Australia: Save Our Advertising Industry!!

… or evolve it? PHYSICIAN, HEAL THYSELF. The Gruen Transfer is buzzing: As of last night, 6100 spoof ads had been edited, scripted and uploaded to the website by viewers of The Gruen Transfer, the 10-part series which has been watched by more than 1 million viewers each week.(Julian Lee, Sydney Morning Herald, Monster Mash…

… or evolve it?


The Gruen Transfer is buzzing:

As of last night, 6100 spoof ads had been edited, scripted and uploaded to the website by viewers of The Gruen Transfer, the 10-part series which has been watched by more than 1 million viewers each week.
(Julian Lee, Sydney Morning Herald, Monster Mash Gives Ad Boss Nightmares)

Here’s the clincher for me:

But some in the industry are less enthusiastic. Clemenger’s Mr Morgan said the advertising industry has been “led like lambs to the slaughter” to take part in “a slapstick show” and that the industry should have seen it coming.

“It’s the ABC. What do you expect? It was always going to be this … good luck to them for good programming but this isn’t a good show for the industry. Far from it.”

He said the series had “demeaned and trivialised” a $12 billion industry.

“It really doesn’t portray the serious side to the industry and what we do on a day-to-day basis and I don’t think it’s going to do us any good at all.”

…ya think?

Target demographic advertising (or anti-advertising) to target demographic must be an advertiser’s dream! So how did a (previously?) $12 billion industry become demeaned and trivialised? How is it, that the industry that is responsible for delivering a message, that the industry who’s sole purpose is to create good brand-vibes, a communication industry, can fail so badly at generating warm and fuzzy feelings??

Of course companies are turning to customers to create ads. If the advertising industry can’t fix their own message and brand image, how can they successfully deliver the clients‘ communications?

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  1. Mr Morgan should get of his high horse and see the Gruen Transfer for what it is, light entertainment and shameless self promotion of the agencies and individuals.

    And I am sure the agencies and individuals involved knew what they where getting into, the chance to strut their stuff on prime time TV in front of an audience of their peers (and potential future employers and employees, ie almost everybody in an ad agency in Australia is watching), potential clients and to a far lesser extent the great unwashed public.
    And as for “demeaning and trivialising” is that not what television and advertising do to any industry to get people to watch.

  2. I wonder if they guy from Clemenger’s is actually right – it is short sighted to think that this is just a ‘bit of fun’. It has the potential to be a tipping point.
    “oh” says the viewer “I can create my own stuff instead of sitting here passively”.

    Uh Oh Here Comes Everyone (probably TM of Clay Shirky)

    In a few years, when the Google Adsense model has been migrated across to TV/Film/Video ads, we’ll wonder how we ever sat and watched agency created stuff. Friends advertising to friends is fun.

  3. I think the show is great for the industry.

    No it’s not what we as marketers want it to be and Will is a wank who makes things too corny and scripted. But it is intended as some light hearted entertainment.

    I think providing a bit of insight into some techniques used makes the image of marketing more positive if anything. People find this kind of thing interested (as seen in the ratings) and there’s no harm in telling people about it.

  4. The problem is internal, it started with the abbreviation generation who came up with KPI’s which in short is common sense to us that had been in management for many years, staff and product evaluation was always a given, to simply give it a name was only for the incompetent, this then spread to name changing in business especially in the marketing sector, with new titles such as BDM’s and so on, Reality is that “managers” people do not know the difference between advertising, marketing, branding or business development, and the reality is that the marketing managers was and is responsible for all of those things, if your branding, or business development sucks, sack your marketing manager. Branding is a coca cola add, “here we are this is what we sell” (3 billion per annum wasted on a marketing firm there)Simply keeping a name in high public profile is what branding is, business development is the act of generating new business, this is done by implementing the marketing plan. Marketing is to identify and target new business within existing channels or new arenas altogether, and to convince the consumer they need one or should choose their product over a competitor, this can be done without a single advertisement, advertising is not marketing it is simply a vehicle for marketing or branding. The industry is falling apart because they simply don’t know what marketing is anymore and have invented new titles in the hope they can pass the buck to a department rather than get better marketing managers, so the BDM’s and the KPI’s have simply slid into the realm of the LOL and the mwah, so as to be as credible as the rubbish that flies around the internet.

    This is a paragraph from my CV.

    I am above all things an exceptional marketing manager, in fact so confident would put myself against a team of any size, give them 7 days, and I will devise a better marketing program complete with television commercials in less than 24 hours on any consumer product; and be certain that any independent person asked to judge the two, will have a clear preference for my work.

    The industry simply needs to go back to basics and stand it’s ground, to be drawn into the mudslinging match of dribble as marketing will only bring them down to the level of those who simply think they are talented, the corn chips add for the super bowl was not talent, simply a little clever, sure i liked the add, but it didn’t make me want to buy that brand or even make me feel like a corn chip, I million dollars worth of 5 second branding nothing more. The fact that Morgan was even bothered is what i found scary, I thought he was smarter than that

    1. Hon, if I saw that paragraph on a C.V. I would say “there is a marketing manager who is so sure of him/herself, so confident…. that they don’t listen. To anyone. Experience, customers, shareholders”.

      I mean, 7 days is nothing to fcuk up a brand, but surely it takes longer than that to understand where it is and where to take it?

  5. the answer at every interview for a marketing manager that is Not worth a pinch, yes ahhhh let me review the figures ummm yes and Ill ahhh get back to you.

    The reality is that if the company is sound, doing great or up the sh!t that will not make any difference to adding a great marketing plan. And therin lies the truth, I bring new Markets fresh money and new ideas regardless of the status quo. Now you mat think the claimis out there, but the best of us are simply like a good comedian who can come up with a comeback instantly, they dont have to have them in a list, they are just able to do it> good marketing managers are able to do the same thing. Listen as hard as it is to believe that there a many such people still left in the world, you work in the industry correct? surely you have a client in need of a marketing strategy etc?? Tell you what, My email is email the product name and I will do this one for free, well almost, the price is you have to put the result on this page, Fair enough? after all the only thing that can happen is you get to humiliate me in public or you get to help a friend. So here is your chance to show us you have what it takes to put your money where your mouth is, or show us your true credibility??? sink or swim time. Amazing how in such a short time I have your reputation in my hands isn’t it??? Told you I was good.

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