An idea is.
and we are its vehicles. (see the ted talk below) We are the replicants at the employ of ideas. An idea does its best to spread no matter what we want to do with it. Tomorrow it will find a better replicant than us in machines. And right now, it is rewarding people who are doing the most to accelerate that shift. Hence the big payouts for apps, .coms, automations and all sorts of work that serves automation.
Future of service economy
Indian pundits have hedged their economic bets against agriculture and with service economy. Against creation and with impending obsolescence. Indian service economy is not cutting edge, it is largely a job shop for work that is too mind numbing for actual willing humans to do. So the industry hires smart young people to waste their time (not learning skills beyond the immediate task) on cleaning data/ writing reports/ analysing markets/ making numbers/ writing algorithms and so on.
All these tasks are in the service on making temes*.
*gene – genetic info replicant(?),
meme – info copied from person to person,
teme – info replicated with the use of technology
What happens to Indian service sector jobs when most data in the world is cleaned by it, ready for smarter algorithms to take over those jobs. How can humans remain competitive in spreading ideas than machines? What advantage does human consciousness have over machine intelligence?
Future of apps and e-commerce
Digital is the playground of creation. and the possibilities are endless. Ideas are finding their BIGGEST EXPRESSIONS in this medium. It essentially is an industry of making better and better temes. and hence is rewarded. But how long will it need human ingenuity, human consciousness?
What advantage does human consciousness have over machine intelligence? Google and facebooks of the world are merely competing to be the future rent seekers of access to the temes exchange. The access to global consciousness. Enriching that consciousness will always remain a lucrative opportunity – rewarded in some way or another.
Future of advertising and Oil
Both the industries are in service of globalisation. They were rewarded in the last decade because they were the best soldiers in the relentless march of globalisation. However, that project is nearly over. The world is global and open now. (almost. or atleast as much as it needed to be).
The current project is to build systems to employ this globalisation in the service of efficient teme replication. (So more innovation in form than innovation in content.)
The future project is to streamline the world in service of temes. (Content over form) Advertising and Oil might have a role here.
In the race for relevance, humans will renegotiate the relationship with machines. The illusion of control will vanish.
Ofcourse none of what i said today is original. So I think I should write down some memes that are making my brain their home these days.
1. Kurt Vonneguts ‘Breakfast of champions’ – hence ..machines.
2. Philip K Dick’s ‘Second Variety’ – hence dystopian robots taking over man.
3. ofcourse Susan Blackmore’s idea of temes
4. Facebook showing me articles about tea/ coffee/ sleepiness on a friday afternoon – apt content for everyone. we are so fucking predictable.
Orchids fool bees into carrying their pollen by making the bee think that it is getting laid.
Advertising works in a somewhat similar fashion.
The difference is; instead of genes, it is in the business of propagating memes*.
Advertisers needs agencies because, intrinsically, most commercial memes are not interesting enough. Deep down in our hearts and colons, we don’t care about soaps and cars. we care about love and health and sex and our sense of self and so on. (just read Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions. hence the hangover of ‘and so on’.)
So the parasitic commercial memes piggy back on emotional/ funny memes we really care about. Agencies in that sense are the piggie-safari-wallahs. Agencies help the fat advertiser climb onto the pig of ideas. (pig of ideas.. that doesn’t make any sense. anyways.)
II. Advertising business is simply not as rewarding as it was before.
If you look at an idea objectively beyond the context of its birth, it looks much grander.
Think of the last idea you had for a client’s campaign. and now think a logical conclusion to that idea divorced from the brand. Put that idea onto another stage/ context/ medium – see how it expands. if it is a good idea, it will always fill up the volume of your imagination – more than any brand can do justice to the idea.
Before internet, people only had advertising as profession where ideas could find a definite shape and reach millions. Your idea piggy backed on client’s money. and client’s commercial meme piggy backed on your emotional/ funny/ useful idea. ‘Symbiotic’.
But now we have the internet and much more. Ideas can translate to bigger things if you let them run free. the digital world has brought down the cost of realising ideas drastically. It has given us the tools to translate and mutate ideas in infinite ways.
Then why straitjacket your ideas for the sake of commercial messages?
Advertising serves only as a business solution.
So unless you profit from it handsomely, why waste your good ideas on it?
Earlier, brands would pay shitloads for an idea. a clean 15%. Now they have turned an idea into commodity – stripped to hours, execution costs, bargains. Artists (or closet artists) can do better. There are enough businessmen who can run this show. Leave it to them.
Any good idea that a planner/ creative can think of for a brand can always find a bigger expression in the digital playground now.
A creative/ planner (a closet creative person) can now put his ideas into movies, songs, comics, business, apps, installations and so on. He can do all that by himself. for himself. and yet make money out of it.
Be honest. you didn’t come into advertising because you loved brands. you came because you thought you are an artist. But you are scared to actually be one. Look around you. The only ones who are left are the ones who are too old or too young or the ones who are too afraid. everyone else has taken their flight to the land of trying.
What’s an advertising guy without his/her side project? //nudge//nudge//
The orchid’s partner bee went extinct. and yet the orchid carries on the pretence as if with a nostalgic tumour.
Advertising industry, as it stands today, seems to be in a similar situation. You, under-paid friend of mine, do not need nostalgia of others.
*meme – info copied from person to person