Advertising is poetry. Poetry can be abstract and come from the most extreme of emotions without complete explanation. Some of the best poetry doesn’t follow some ancient predetermined formula or definition. Like art, poetry can mean something completely different to you than it does to me. Just because you can define iambic pentameter, meter, and caesura doesn’t mean you’ll be the next Nikki Giovanni. In a similar way, advertising consists of ROI, MBO, TQM, IMC, and CRM, to name just a few of the stale acronyms in the industry. Knowing the meanings won't make you the next Don Draper.
Does it matter what these things mean?
Maybe the best advertising schemes come from ideas that you can’t quite put your finger on. It doesn’t fit a mold, or follow the definition of some words printed in a 200 level advertising class textbook. You can write a 350 page book all about what it takes to come up with a great advertising or branding scheme for a company, but ultimately, the best advertisements come from those who have a creative idea based on key insights and let the idea run wild.
We’re past the years of loud and cheap, in-your-face advertising. We've entered an era of social media, viral videos, elegant fonts and modern content. Perhaps the best way to explain this generation of advertising is that you actually can’t quite explain it at all. I think there exists so much beauty and opportunity in that. Like a great poem, a good advertisement stirs up raw emotion in a person so they can relate on a deeper level, but at the same time, they can’t quite fully put their finger on the emotions they feel.