If you want people to like advertising, date them – @zoejessicad

Amy Cranston | June 18, 2019

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By Zoe Dawson

 

Against my better judgement and everyone’s advice, I decided to start dating someone new 2 months out from the end of SCA. Good for time management? Maybe not. Good for my work? Apparently being happy helps. Good for him? I can’t imagine dating an SCA student in the weeks running up to portfolio day is that much fun, but he seems to be fine. So to test the relationship’s potential, I decided to let him write me a SCAB.

 

How dating a creative has changed a non-creative’s view of advertising

By Griffin Shiel.

 

Generally speaking, I’ve always hated adverts. Especially TV ads. To me, an ad break is an interruption, an annoyance, a break from what I was enjoying watching. The only positive is that it’s a good opportunity to make a cup of tea. There are some exceptions to this wholly unoriginal attitude I have; Guinness and Nike both consistently produce adverts which are genuinely engaging, cinematic and tell a story which goes beyond merely selling a product.

The year I spent living in America probably heightened my aversion to advertising (bar Superbowl ads). Their frequency and cheesiness was unbearable and embodied everything I hated about the US’s specific brand of consumerism – and do not get me started on highway billboards (why do you need a billboard to encourage people to sue their doctor, this should not be a thing!?!).

But recently, since meeting Zoe, my attitude has changed. Within a couple of days of our first date, I was being sent pictures of her work including a bic lighter with the line ‘you can’t catch an STD from a lighter, right?’. Somewhat worrying but came with a promise that it wasn’t from personal experience.  

When I got to look through Zoe’s book for the first time, I was seriously impressed – there were funny ads and poignant ads and everything made me think. They had no resemblance to the crap on London’s underground trains and bus shelters or the over the top car ads which leave me confused and bored. For once, I was actually paying attention to adverts.

Spending most of her/my free time together has meant that I have the occasional (frequent) conversation about advertising and being a Creative with a capital ‘C’. Now, if you’d told me two months ago that I would start a relationship with someone with such a “wanky” (Zoe’s words) future job title and spend my evenings listening to them talk about their favourite campaigns and being shown advert after advert, I would’ve laughed and made sure that didn’t happen. But somehow I find myself genuinely interested – maybe being interested in her helps – but mostly, I’m honestly fascinated by the work she does and will continue to do.

My understanding is that good ads don’t just blatantly sell a product, but they present a solution to a problem, and that’s kind of quite cool. And now I find myself noticing adverts, even appreciating them, rather than automatically ignoring them. I may even not use ad breaks for tea runs anymore.

To summarise, I’ve learnt three main things in the weeks since meeting Zoe: that most adverts are terrible but some can be great; adverts have the potential to change the world and if you want to stop hating something just date someone who does it for a living.