Not quite true fairy tale

I'm not part of the advertising world - we have to start with that. But I know this world because I am its observer, I've been writing about advertising for over 20 years. In fact, I participate in this world only when my word (written or spoken at some conference) influences the course of events. Sometimes it happens, but it's my privilege as an industry journalist to usually stand aside and look. Someone will say: convenient, because I don't bear the consequences - because the budget won't be taken from me, it's not me who will have to dismiss part of the team, people won’t expect me to solve the company's problems. Those who say this are probably right, but that's my job. Besides - the fact that I'm not embroiled in a struggle for survival in this industry world means I can really see it without sentiments or pretending that advertising is more than it really is.

It can be said that I remove fairy-tale elements from advertisements and introduce realism in their place. Some say that what I write and say is due to cynicism, but that's not true, I really like advertising. This is a very important and certainly the most interesting element of the sales process, which in itself is an extremely complicated and fascinating mechanism. Knowing how to get into human heads, and then into their wallet, is an unusual and dangerous skill. That's why it's deceptive. It gives advertising people the feeling that they are more unusual than they really are. That they CREATE something that is not marketing, but only a slightly worse sister to ART. Advertising is primarily to sell, not provide artistic experience. If it works this way, it's great, but it is not its main task. Of course, this sister should try to get involved in social issues - but only if the combination benefits the brand.

I am a journalist, and I will never get a Pulitzer for a love poem - even if it was beautiful, it touched and delighted everyone. If I ever get it, it will be only for journalistic material: an article or a report. Not that I think I deserve a Pulitzer, or that I have a chance to get it at all, because that's not the point. Advertising should also reward works that benefit the brand, not the agency itself. So I have a question: have you ever wondered why your recent campaign to fight for a just cause might not be so right?

That's why I have a request for you creatives: when you work on a campaign, tell yourself: “I'm not making a movie, I'm making a spot, it's not a movie - it's an advertisement”- and you will look at it differently straight away. It will not prevent you from creating an advertising gem - an element of the sales process does not have to be trivial; it is a huge field for creativity.


Agata Małkowska-Szozda, Head of Advertising, Marketing and PR department, Press Magazine, Poland