Cut The Crap

Spike Jones of Brains on Fire has been having a reaction to all the bullshit he encounters day-to-day in online communities where marketing people drone on about all sorts of mundane, barely digestible topics.

Watching the Twitter stream on a daily basis, I see link after link after link teaching us how to be better marketers: “Twitter dos and don’ts,” “How companies can use Facebook,” “Why your company shoud be using social media.” And while there are somes great points (among all the junk), I feel we are forgetting how to act as people. We, as marketers, are hyper-marketing to one another. And it’s too much.

It’s too much.Can we linger on that for a minute? It’s too much.
A friend of mine just took a 31-day road trip across 22 U.S. states and had NO internet connectivity the entire way. He told me he wished the trip lasted 62 days.
It is too much. Like Spike says, we are humans. And humans aren’t wired for the always on media frenzy. We need real social interaction and we need quiet time to reflect and think and be.
Yesterday, I found this great video about screenwriting discipline:

Don Roos, who wrote Marley and Me and Single White Female writes for an hour a day. I love that kind of focus, and it clearly pays off for him. Yet, it’s hard to create that type of focus in an environment where the majority of one’s day is spent online.
You’re reading this at work, are you not? How many things are in your juggled head space at this moment? You need to concentrate on making ads, or crafting strategies, but you’re reading AdPulp, and working, and listening to music, and updating Twitbook, and processing a mountain of email, and…

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. David,
    Yes, good points. Concentration in this bifurcated online world can be a challenge. That’s why myself and my team at Nemo always stress that companies need a Community Manager whose job it is to track a brands digital footprint all the time. With that position filled [I call it insurance BTW] execs should be able to sleep easier.
    The brand’s experiential awareness and reputation management are key too – it’s not a matter of going without online access, that’s actually dangerous because what people are saying about your brand needs to be tracked every day. If the brand doesn’t own the message then the message owns the brand.
    Community Manager = Insurance
    More thoughts about this here – Authenticity and Authority on the Social Web

  2. I’m totally at work reading this! Good article.

  3. Hi Dave,
    Tell me you’re not writing this from Hawaii!
    I hear you for brands that have a toe in the social Web. You’re either all in or you’re screwed.
    Your idea addresses a means for a brand to be all in. I’m just daydreaming about the way it used to be, when screens and mobile devices didn’t DEMAND our full time attention. You know?