I’ve been a graphic designer, art director, and copywriter for a good twenty years and each year my hatred for marketing seems to grow. Okay, to be completely truthful, I don’t hate ALL of it—just most of it. Bad marketing makes me angry. It’s obnoxious, annoying, offensive, boring, and downright insulting to my brain cells. I hate it so much that I listen to CDs in order to avoid radio spots. I race to the bathroom when a TV commercial comes on. And I actually watch the Super Bowl for the game, not the ads.
Sometimes I wonder why I don’t become a plumber instead.
I guess it’s because deep down I believe in the potential of marketing. Marketing helps businesses grow. It builds awareness for lots of good causes, great products, and other things that people benefit from. Not only that, but when done artfully and thoughtfully, an ad or direct mail piece can be a thing of beauty, even rising to the level of—dare I say it—actual art.
Because for every turd out there, there’s also the opportunity to do something groundbreaking. Something meaningful. Useful. Entertaining. Surprising. And brilliant. Something that doesn’t merely add clutter to the world, but actually enriches it. Yes, it’s possible to create marketing that moves people, inspires them, even changes their lives. The potential is always there. And that’s part of the thrill and the challenge of what we do every day.
They say the average person is bombarded with approximately 2,000 marketing messages every day. That’s 2,000 opportunities for us marketers to do something better—to educate people, make them laugh, offer them something in a fresh way.
At least, that’s the goal. And the fact that all the bad stuff makes me so angry fuels that goal even more.
Because part of me still believes that if done well—by maintaining respect for your audience, holding onto high standards, and fighting for what you believe in—marketing can indeed help make the world a better place.
In the meantime, if any plumbers out there need a logo design, give me a call.