The Gruen Transfer (named after the bloke that invented shopping centres) is coming to the end of it’s first season. The show about ads and the Ad industry has been a popular success and a second season is planned.
At my first viewing I was a bit concerned that it might give us in the industry a bad name (or is that a worse name?)
But I was pleasantly surprised. The panelists soon overcame their urge to seem clever by cracking a few too many jokes. They settled down over the series to present a fairly good image of what’s best in Ad Land.
Here’s my subjective list of what I think the general public (and a lot of professional marketers) might not have known about the industry and the people in it.
-The Ad Industry is not populated entirely by wankers. I’m sorry I don’t like the word but it’s what a lot of the general public think of us. No, I thought they had rounded up some interesting and interested panelists. Of course there are some industry identities who have very well developed egos. But like bad policemen, those are the ones you remember. A lot of thinking goes into a 30 second spot.
- The panelists were real thinkers. But then they were all very experienced. They had gotten over the ‘let’s copy a shots reel ad and win an award’ stage of life. They impressed me with the way they came at any question from a range of angles. Marketers often are not aware of how much work goes on behind the scenes. You might not always agree with the results but you can be pretty sure any script, copy or layout has been well ‘interrogated’ before it get’s to you.
- As an industry we don’t always agree. Another misconception is that the advertising world moves, thinks and acts as one. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many marketers refer to ‘the agency’ as though it was a single monster made up of glued together people. As a marketer you can choose from a range of creative styles. We are not all the same.
- Ad people are not all heartless bastards. Far from the callous manipulators of the masses, these folks struck me as individuals that are daily balancing the realities of selling product, doing great work and being decent humans.
The associated web site is brilliant too. In Consumers Revvenge my 12 year old constructed a perfectly acceptable TVC in 10 minutes! Should I be worried? The Learn how to AdSpeak section should be compulsory reading for all agency heads before they talk to the press. It’s just good fun.
Who’d have thought that good old Aunty ABC would be running a series about advertising and win high ratings to boot? Good on Andrew Denton (the boy genius) for getting this idea up and running. I think it will help the ad and marketing industries immeasurably.