Monday, October 10, 2011


Now going into its fourth week, the Occupy Wall Street Protest, known by its hashtag #OWS, has only grown in strength despite, or perhaps because of, its refusal to clarify its demands.  I would argue that the medium is literally the message: the protesters haven’t occupied Pennsylvania Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard or I-95.  They’ve chosen Wall Street as the locus of their discontent because they believe that the financial masters of the universe have ruined America.

Makes me wonder: what would happen if they had decided to occupy Madison Avenue instead?  So, in the interest of a thought experiment, I offer some thoughts on Occupy Madison Avenue, or #OMA on Twitter.

More specifically, I call on right-minded marketers everywhere to join the protest.  Because I represent a one-blogger coalition, I have the luxury of defining my demands.  However, I invite all and sundry to contribute to my virtual drum circle, so feel free to add yours in the comments.
  • Stop trying to be Hollywood East.  Howard Gossage famously said “People don’t read ads.  They read what interests them.  Sometimes, it’s an ad.”  Nevertheless, many marketers confuse their :30s with Oscar contenders and their websites with conceptual art.  Don’t put lipstick on the pig.  Instead, offer me bacon.
  • Make the pieces work together.  Typically, most marketers work across six or more channels.  Many ad agencies consider themselves integrated if the same logo appears on all of them.  That’s not integration; that’s matching luggage.  Instead, make damn sure that if the TV spot intrigues me enough to visit the store, the in-store marketing keeps developing the ideas planted in the spot.  That does double for anything online.  One click shouldn’t make me feel as if I’ve sailed off the edge of the map.
  • Stop depicting office workers as guys in short-sleeve button-down white shirts.  Nobody dresses that way anymore, even ironically.  OK, not a major issue, but it drives me nuts.

Join me, will you?  Add your demands below and meet me at the bar in the Palace Hotel.  Let’s change the world, one ad campaign at a time.

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