Potholes are a real drag for motorists, they ruin your tyres and your suspension.
For pedestrians they fill up with rainwater, so you get splashed.
But probably worst of all is for cyclists.
Iâve just seen the freshest piece of advertising Iâve seen in years.
But it wasnât advertising.
At least not in the sense the new media gurus mean: mobile-optimised, content-curation, storytelling, native advertising, big data, multi-screen experience, video-play platform.
(From âTHE OTAGO DAILY TIMESâ – New Zealand.)
âWe were trapped for thirteen hours in our own carâ Brian Smith explained to reporters in Alexandra, âand the emergency services told us that weâd have died if weâd been there for another half hour.
Itâs a keyless car, so when the door was shut and we didnât have the transponder key, we couldnât get out.
We tried to smash the window with a car jack, and we sounded our horn, but it was Guy Fawkes Night and nobody noticed it, due to fireworks.
We were trapped.
By morning, my wife Molljeanne was unconscious and I was struggling to breathe, when neighbours finally rescued us and took us to hospital.
Iâve since been shown that I could have opened the door manually with the door handle, but I didnât know that then.
I thought the doors would only work with the transponder, so I didnât try the handle.
I think all owners of keyless cars need to educate themselves in how to operate their car.â
So letâs get this right.
This guy and his wife sat in their car for thirteen hours and nearly died because it didnât occur to them to try the door handle.
That sounds pretty stupid, weâd never do that would we.
And yet we do it every day.
We are so overwhelmed by how complicated weâve made everything weâve lost the ability to use simple plain old common sense.
No wonder creative departments are confused.
What exactly is their job?
Is it: native advertising, content curation, storytelling or ideation, big data or hyper local, demographics or psychographics, semiotics, neuro-linguistics, or behavioural economics, choice architecture, cognitive dissonance, loss aversion bias, the sunk-cost heuristic, hyperbolic discounting, or confirmation bias, CRM, SEO, KPI, RPI, or CSR?
In fact theyâre expected to know about all of these.
Recently, Tim Bell was giving a talk on political advertising.
He and Saatchi helped Thatcher win three elections in a row.
They know all about the complicated world of political advertising.
Tim said this:
âThere are two strategies in political advertising.
Either: Itâs time to change.
Or: Itâs not time to change.â
Tim and Saatchis won Thatcher three elections in a row by keeping it simple.
One of the simple things Tim understands is the difference between advertising and marketing.
Advertising isnât marketing.
Advertising is the voice of marketing.
But most advertising people donât know that.
Consequently a lot of advertising looks like a marketing mood film with a two second logo on the end.
It keeps everyone in the clientâs marketing department happy.
It ticks all the boxes.
And itâs bland and invisible to the consumer.
Because everyone forgot the simple job.
Will ordinary people notice it?
Why should they buy it?
We donât ask those questions because everything is too complicated.