There’s a scene in ‘The Breakfast Club’ when Molly Ringwald mouths the word ‘STOP!’ to Judd Nelson during an argument that’s careering out of control. That’s happened to me, only it was mouthed by various account people and I was the one arguing – with researchers.
Some of the greatest fights I’ve had in my career have been with research companies. I mean, real stand up fights. Fights where I’ve used ‘Here’s to the Crazy Ones,’ ‘Guinness Surfers’ and ‘1984’ as proof that great work doesn’t need a smiling consumer holding a product up in the first few seconds. You know, like my one apparently has to.
From now on, I’ll just tell them that people hate what we do SO FUCKING MUCH that they’re willing to use a bespoke program that completely eradicates it from their lives. Because when all’s said and done, the vast majority of what the industry puts out is shit.
It’s shit because of many factors. Researchers. Nervousness. Lack of talent. Researchers. And the people have had enough. And who can blame them? We show the same ad literally thousands of times on YouTube.
When major world events happen we can’t get to the story because of the rotating 3D object COVERED in ads and you can’t find the sodding ‘X’ to close it.
We’re in the way. We’re not interesting or clever. We’re an over-researched joke with the funny removed.
D&AD recently put out a browser extension that replaces all the shit ads with great ones. It’s incredible. I enjoy watching pre-rolls again instead of wanting to violently smash the screen in with a stapler.
And maybe, just maybe, if we can all trust our guts again and remember that we’re uninvited guests on someone’s browser these programs will fade away. Just like us if we don’t.
This article originally appeared in Adnews.