The ad industry’s arrogance | Blogads

The ad industry’s arrogance

by henrycopeland
Thursday, January 10th, 2008

I’m reading Joshua Ferris’ Then we came to the end, a wonderful novel about a tribe of ad people perched 50 floors somewhere high above West Wacker Drive in Chicago. (Seems Ferris worked at Leo Burnett in around 1999/2000.) The book includes this great summary of the ad industry’s self-delusion:

“When we had trouble nailing an ad, our reputations were on the line. A good deal of sour self-esteem was predicated on the belief that we were good marketers, that we understood what made the world tick — that in fact, we told the world how to tick. We got it, we got it better than others, we got it so well we could teach it to them. Using a wide variety of media, we could demonstrate for our fellow Americans their anxieties, desires, insufficiencies, and frustrations — and how to assuage them all. We informed you in six seconds that you needed something you didn’t know you lacked. We made you want anything that anyone willing to pay us wanted you to want. We were hired guns of the human soul. We pulled the strings on the people across the land and by god they got to their feet and they danced for us.”

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