Nobody gives a toss

I recently commented on the venerable Ben Kay blog. And it got me thinking. I basically said that nobody gives a toss about anything. Ever.

And it’s true. Everybody cares about themselves. Shouldn’t be a surprise. But you’d be surprised.

It’s easy to imagine that because you have media money you are front and center in people’s minds. But it takes hundreds of millions of dollars in media to do that. At least that’s how much it costs in media to do that in the USA. And a huge chunk of that will still be in television advertising. Take that internet!

I vividly recall the moment when i “got” this notion of nobody giving a shit about advertising. I was sweltering in New York City in the summer in a tiny one bedroom apartment without air conditioning. and the guy in the apartment across the yard was teaching himself to play the first Guns and Roses album on the electric guitar. His window was always open. He was clearly no talent. And in the apartment above was an Asian family whose tween daughter had a friggin baby grand piano and was even less talented than the would-be Slash across the way. It was hell. I needed a hook fast.

So i came up with one. This was my test of a good print ad, which was what i was doing for my book. “If i were a deaf mute door to door salesman for this product, and i held this up this ad when they answered the door, would I get invited in for further discussion?”. Assuming that nobody ever gives a toss about me or my ad or anything i care about is always a good thing. it keeps you honest.

Plus, i really needed to get a better apartment fast. And it worked. i got my first job based solely on that.

7 responses to “Nobody gives a toss

  1. 1 bedroom eh? How many of you were sharing?! Ha! Studio apt are an arm and a leg these days.
    I want to know what you did.

  2. I sold my soul for a condo in california. I should kill myself.

  3. This is something I think about every once in a while.

    Interestingly it usually strikes me when I’m reading a case study about some huge product launch or promotion. The results section of the case will tell you about the enormous amount of paid or earned media impressions. But usually I’ve never seen the campaign. ALL I DO IS CONSUME MEDIA! How did I miss it? You (brand) spent all this money for a lot of output (impressions) but NO impact.

    I’ve realized over the years it takes a crap-ton of $$ (like way more than I ever imagined) and truly memorable creative to make an impact. Also, it takes consistency of media over time.

  4. john, thankfully i just shared the apartment with with my girlfriend. it was a phenomenally hot summer that year. dog day afternoon every day.

    and yes Ian, when i worked on beer I realized just how much money it can cost to stay on America’s mind. but i also realized that the right idea can make 5 million dollars seem like 50. and that’s the real trick isn’t it. that has to be the goal all the time.

  5. GL once said he makes one million dollars look like ten million. I guess you factored inflation in, Vinny.

  6. Howie aka Politicalfools

    Its never about the money its what you do with the money. Though I bet those greenbacks aren’t going that far in Ire but further now than they did a year ago!

  7. Pingback: I couldn’t agree more | ESCAPOLOGY (the escape pod’s blog)

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