Monday, March 18, 2013

bark at the moon

The other day someone mentioned to me 'have you seen the Old Spice Wolf thing?'

I hadn't so I went out and found it.

'Sometimes you gotta eat people. America - that’s how business works.’


I recall walking out of Euston Square tube station (I think it was there) sometime in the late 90's and seeing the huge French Connection billboard.

It seemed like the biggest billboard in London, plain black with two words on it.

fcuk advertising.

That poignant message seemed to somehow be a final statement on big advertising of that nature.

In 1998 or whatever, the internet was fast taking over and it really felt like the last days of the old advertising paradigm.

At the time that self-aware French Connection campaign felt almost like a last hurrah. And it was a pretty good last hurrah.

(That legacy is somewhat lessened by the fact that it's a last, tired hurrah that's still running today... ho hum.)

But somehow this Old Spice Wolf campaign has a similar end-of-times feeling.

Perhaps it's the last final triumphant hurrah of this period of multi-channel/transmedia, social media-fuelled advertising.

The old adage goes that a candle burns most brightly just before its flame goes out.

Social commentary, arch irony and a general ridicule for the industry of which this is a part means it's hard to visualise where we go from here, such is the completeness and scale of this work.

Of course - as with the final word on anything - it's never the final word.

Doom mongering aside - and lest we forget - in a world where we have a plethora of tools, channels and networks that help us avoid advertising and marketing, where we can easily filter out the noise that's trying to interrupt us from what we are doing and move our attention to something else; those very same tools and processes make it super easy for us to find advertising and marketing that we'd like to watch or get involved with.

If it looks interesting enough.

Grand Prix.

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