Are You Are Young, Smart and Ambitious? Join The Guild of Meaning Makers

Members of the Four A’s are in Beverly Hills, Calif. this week to confer around the topic of industry transformation.

According to The New York Times, recruitment advertising is one notable area where transformation is desperately needed.

“The No. 1 thing you hear from students and young people in other fields is, ‘Wow, I didn’t think you could do that in advertising,’ ” said Andrew Benett, global chief executive of Arnold Worldwide.

That’s right, you can make stuff that doesn’t suck. To help me see the industry through an even better frame, my friend Tom Asacker, pointed me to some of his recent writing:

Marketers, ad agencies, package designers and branding professionals are in the business of creating belief just like actors, writers, directors and sound editors. They’re not trying to fool or “protect” anyone. They’re trying to give people the cognitive experiences which they, as consumers, desire.

Despite what the present zeitgeist would lead you to believe, great salespeople and marketers are not human bullhorns and shifty manipulators. They’re strategic and creative communicators. Like great film producers, their challenge is to convey truth in an engaging, transcendent way. Their job is to induce the audience to feel the meaning behind the brand performance.

To sum up, ad people make cool shit and tell the truth, and you can too, provided you’re on the right account at the right agency.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.