3 words that need to die (or why I didn't take that job in advertising)


Picture ‘content’. A sea of grey goop flooding the corridors of an anonymous publishing company. A uniformly coloured substance splashes out of the sockets, light fittings and the keyboards of those employed to create it. What is content? It’s an assertion of blandness, explicitly bounding the reaches of a piece of writing, a photograph or music. An assumption that a short story is fungible with a how to article about talcum powder.

The problem with the term content is the lack of respect it has for a creative work. It becomes something wrapped in a cardboard box and filed with things wrapped in the same way so that they all become indistinguishable from each other. Those contents are then seen as a path to making money. It’s an asset. The person responsible for distributing that content then packages it in such a way that makes it most convenient to serve adverts around it. They have no regard for the art of the piece and through lack of concern advertently crush it. The author, robbed of the power to draw something that isn’t a rectangle, falls into line and pumps out dross that prods but never pushes.

When you watch a great film it invades your very being. It doesn’t respect the boundaries of what is fictional and your real life. It draws on the relationships you have with people and the world to invoke the drama of the scenes it portrays. In the process it twists these parts of your perception into something new, leaving you forever shaped by its narratives. Experiencing content is like taking a lukewarm bath.


A job so ludicrously empty of creativity, it needs to have the word injected into the title to reassure the undertaker that they’re not an accountant. A creative is a person who works for an advertising company that takes existing ideas from elsewhere that haven’t been seen much and creates a dead eyed carbon copy. In contrast to the venture of the unknown, they wield a promotional budget to rival a small country’s national debt.

It’s subsequently their job to peddle it to client and consumer alike with equally vacant buzzwords. They will generate content designed to drive passion from mobile consumers and ultimately create a unique experience.


The product of the creative. In my naivete I’d been led to believe that experience is something that occurs to us from moment to moment, the consequence of consciousness informed by sensation and impossible to opt out from. I now understand that an experience is something that has been created by someone who works for an advertising company and we owe them a great deal for giving us the opportunity of so many experiences on television, the internet and the sides of buses.

Were you aware that by the time you’ve taken a shower and had breakfast you’ve already engaged with more brands than you have fingers? Don’t worry, people are paid to think about this for you and optimise your experience. It’ll be a customised social experience that’s encompasses profound innovations. You’ll be engaging in a multi-channel collaboration with brand in an interactive manner. Is all this a little dizzying? Don’t worry, the brand you’re engaging with will be empowering you to make changes in your life.

Experience the experience.