Have You Ever Wondered Why So Many Ads Are So Bad?

I was talking to a friend from a production company last week. He told me that one of his directors was wondering why, with all the safeguards in place, so many ads are just plain awful.

They have strategies that have been thought up by supposedly intelligent people in conjunction with the client.

They then get answers to those briefs that have been created by supposedly creative/intelligent people who spend a great deal of their time working out how to communicate in new and interesting ways that will stand out.

These answers are then not allowed out of the door until another person checks them out and decides that they are good enough, both for the client and for the target market. This person has supposedly made many good ads him/herself and has been appointed to his/her position by other intelligent people who are even higher up than he is.

Then someone on the client side, who presumably has a vested in interest in producing good work that stands out and drives sales etc., checks the ad out and decides whether or not it meets his or her high standards.

Then, having already gone through this system of checks, the ad is often subjected to a dress rehearsal, where it is played in front of people who represent the target market (this stage can also happen at the briefing and creating parts of the process). This gives all concerned another chance to hone their ad to perfection so that it works to a tee.

Then the ad goes on air and, 99% of the time, everyone ignores it and the world would be virtually identical if the above process hadn’t happened.

Of course we all know the many reasons, usually rooted in fear and incompetence, that tend to produce gallons of shite, but it’s kind of odd that a system that is designed to create one outcome so fully creates the absolute opposite, and yet it doesn’t change.

If anything it’s getting worse.