I'm a big believer in Neil Postman's premise that we're amusing ourselves to death. The masses are appeased by spectacles and don't seriously discuss things like budget deficits, our role in the world, environmental challenges. The worst part of this idea of panem et circenses is sports. People can talk for days about meaningless games that do nothing to elevate us as a society or make this world a better place.
The worst time of the year in sports is the NFL draft. The proliferation of statistics has led to a secret society of stats and meaningless data. You have the Wonderlic Test. The 40 yard Combine dash. And all this data stuff lead teams to pick Tom Brady in the 6th round. Right after Giovanni Carmazzi, Tee Martin and Spergon Wynn.
The same adulation has taken over our industry, and, yes, our clients. We make sure to forget about our gut reaction. Looking at data is our initial response to anything. We have metrics but they are most often completely meaningless. In the advertising industry, the only metrics that should count is: "Would I show this with pride to my wife/friends/family?"
While the whole sports world is going nuts on stats and data, whenever you look at a winning team there's always this little thing we call "heart". The Los Angeles Dodgers of 1986 had heart, Kirk Gibson the biggest. The 1980 US hockey team had heart.
Where is yours?
Uwe Hook is the CEO and Co-Founder of BatesHook, Inc. (www.bateshook.com) and a veteran of the advertising and marketing industry with the goal of building connections between people and brands. Uwe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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