15 Oct

Audi waffle – what’s happened to creativity?

I think I wrote a similar post a little while ago, but no matter – this will just reiterate what I said last time, which is; what’s happened to creativity? Where did it go?
And what’s this saccharine pap – this supposed life-affirming crap – that we’re left with?

I give you ‘exhibit A’, from Audi.

I’m going to type out what the actor, Regé-Jean Page, says, as it looks/sounds even worse when writ large across the screen:

‘For me, one of the best things about life is that we keep moving forwards.
We discover exciting new technologies.
We redefine who we are and how we want to live our lives.
Bascially, we choose what we want our future to look like.
So, what’s yours going to be?’

I mean, it’s straight out of the Brad Pitt/Chanel No.5 playbook isn’t it?
It reads like the ramblings of a life coach who learnt their trade on one of those quick-fix, one-week courses.

Just this line alone is bad enough; ‘For me, one of the best things about life is that we keep moving forwards.’
Of course we ‘keep moving forwards’ – we have no choice. Each new day comes, we put one foot in front of the other, and onwards we go. That’s just life.

‘We redefine who we are and how we want to live our lives’ – it’s a car ad. You’re just getting people to buy a car, they’re not redefining their life.

Somewhere, the copywriter is watching this ad, dying inside – the client made him write that shit. There’s no way an agency came up with that off their own steam.

What’s happened to Audi? They used to produce great ads.
I feel like whispering, as Samuel L Jackson did to Robert De Niro in Jackie Brown;  ‘Your ass used to be beautiful, man’
I remember when they came out with stuff like this:

And these:

But it’d be harsh to lay all criticism at the door of an advertising giant like Audi.
It’s more a case of asking, what’s happened to ads overall?
They’ve just become this homologous soup of nothingness. Just bland.
Everywhere I look, it’s pretty much the brief restated on a poster.

I’ve started getting the tube into the office for a new role I’ve undertaken and I get to spend long-ish periods staring at all the new ads out there, on cross-track posters, and, well… there’s just a dearth of creativity.

In all of these, below (bar the JD ad), the creative brief has simply been written out on the ad:





There’s no creativity. No imagination. No attempt at something a bit lateral – something which makes the audience think. You’re told, in as literal a way as possible, what the product/service/initiative is. 
In fact, in each case, there was no reason for any creatives to be involved – the clients could’ve just created these themselves.

And there are many more examples of this, just within the tube network itself.

So, what’s happened to creativity? Has it died a death?
It seems that way. And yet there are signs of life.

The West Coast Avanti ad, with the rollerskating tortoise, makes me smile:

And this new spot, from John Lewis (home insurance) is a little bundle of joy:


But that’s about it right now.
There’s not much else out there.
All the charity ads I see are ‘poverty porn’ or guilt-tripping.
All the brand ads I see are bland, obvious, dull, and literal.

It seems like fresh blood is needed in adland (or in-house, depends how the work is produced) or clients need to stop meddling (unlikely to ever happen).
Something’s got to change, because what’s going out there at the moment is an absolute snoozefest.

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