Why we’ll see more creativity in the world, not less
The Ad Contrarian has a post explaining why advertising is crappy. His point is that doing a good job is hard. And he’s right.
The other problem is this: to do advertising, one only needs to put a sign on the door and start charging $10 for a logo and $100 for a print ad. At those prices, one could easily make the margins up in volume. Indeed, I’ve seen some people who just churn out print ads and brochures like they are t-shirts.
The result of these low priced communications is the damn clutter we spend our waking days trying to break through.
The lack of any kind of standards, or test, or anything that would stop otherwise uncreative hacks from adding to the clutter is a problem that will never really be resolved. So advertising will continue to be crappy.
But I don’t thinks it is because of a lack of creativity in the world. He thinks that creativity is rare. I think we haven’t been using it enough.
For the last half of the last century (and parts of this one) people of the so-called first world gave around 8 hours of day to the creativity sucking medium of TV.
This isn’t an anti-TV rant, I love TV.
But TV doesn’t ask anyone to create, just consume. If anyone has ever moaned that “there’s nothing on TV”, but still watched a Law and Order episode for the 8th time, then you understand the power of this medium, and the utter and complete devotion we give it.
But that’s changing.
The proliferation of tools that ask people to create (blogs, YouTube channels, Flickr photo streams, etc) allow people to create. My point is this, for the last 60 years, most people outside of creative professions weren’t creating. They were consuming. Now people can easily create mashups, videos, podcasts, blogs, posts, art work…etc.
Admittedly, when masses go from being passive consumers to active creators, there’s going to be a load of crappy stuff. Loads of it. But as but some of the good stuff breaks through this clutter of crap. I personally think that we’ll all get more creative as we all participate.
That will still mean a lot of clutter. But like in advertising, the good stuff breaks through.
Update: In a moment or serendipity, a LinkedIn group called Small Biz Nation, someone responded to a question about how much one should charge for a website. If this doesn’t add to clutter, then I don’t know what does:
“Phillip Biel • At the risk of being condemned for not supporting small businesses in the US, I have spoken with a number of my clients who have used Mexican web development companies when creating a website. These Mexican developers will create, functionalize and maintain a very nice website for much less than we are able to do in the states – probably 1/2 the cost. A bit of caution is important though – if you pay the developer and they don’t deliver, you may be limited in your remedies or just plain out of luck.”