This was one of the questions that Carly Ally and co wrestled with early on. They opted for the idea of advertising agency as maker of valuable product. And were one of the first to do so.
That distinction persists. The agencies who put all their energies into their creative product vs the agencies that are good at making their clients feel good. The former is a much harder life than the latter. But also much more rewarding.
Can you imagine anything worse than sucking at doing advertising? I can’t. What a horrible notion!
At the very least produce fragrant-smelling poison gas that blisses people out, is my thinking.
After a while in advertising you realize that the only thing worth pursuing is effectiveness.
What is effectiveness?
Here is effectiveness.
When a bricklayer builds he wall he gauges his “effectiveness” by this criterion: is the wall level and straight? very simple.
similarly the only thing that matters in advertising is: “did it sell?”. very simple.
but it’s HOW you do “effective” that makes you effective. this is not so simple.
And that’s where we come in!