It’s been a long two years, hasn’t it? Particularly in the advertising agency business.

But you know what? It’s time for advertising to be fun again. Agree?

Listen, 78Madison has been in the soup with everyone else, but truth be told, it is time that brands stop saying “We’re with you during these unprecedented times” ever again. Yes, it’s been tough, but there is still a lot of joy to be had, and our messaging needs to start reflecting that.

Consumers want to be entertained, distracted, and engaged. In fact, our ads need to be more interesting and entertaining than the content that surrounds them. That’s been true since there were only three TV channels and it’s even more true today. Unfortunately, many marketers have lost sight of an insight that should be common sense…

Consider the context.

News media ratings depend on keeping us in a constant state of fear. That may work in the short term but after a while, viewers’ cortisol levels can’t take it anymore and they tune out. TV ratings have plummeted, especially among the younger viewers that advertisers crave. Similarly, many magazines are near extinction because the click-bait game got old. This all gets at the thing media mavens keep getting wrong.

Streaming is up because it’s driven by entertainment, not because it is ad-free.

The vast majority of consumers don’t mind marketing, and they generally love their favorite brands – they just can’t stand bad marketing. Why else do Super Bowl ads, holiday ads, real-world activations and memes get shared again and again? Because they are fun!

So leave behind the pandering peddlers of paranoia and the carpetbaggers of corporate conscience that have made the last couple of years so boring. Open your aperture to optimism and laugh a little. And as we continue our new journey into 2022, let’s find a glass that’s half-full – and hope someone poured tequila in there.

Focus on what matters!

Joe Bouch
CEO, 78Madison
Move from orchestrating campaigns to facilitating conversations.

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