By Hans Ebert
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It really doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters, because there’s nothing we- you and I- can do about any of it- Facebook, all the many ills plaguing what was baptised “social media” and which all the time was Rosemary’s Baby grown up and in control of malleable minds feeding them with more and more and more clutter until priorities became lost in the shuffle.

The Bill Cosby trial, Trump, the Russians, the Chinese, Fleetwood Mac. Whatever it is that interests others are doing, but which might not be on the same page as the hymn book from which you’re singing is often just more clutter- if you choose to allow all this randomness in. It would be boring as hell if we all fell in line and became lemmings following the Pied Piper of Hamlyn. There’s a necessity to move away from the sheeples. It’s called survival and it took a houseguest to remind me of all this. It was the wake up call needed to still “belong”, but also remain detached enough to focus on individual thinking. Leave the sheeples behind. They’ll be fine. Like misery, mediocrity loves company.

What we can do, and must do, is be part of evolution and revolution and take our own journeys into the unknown, because this unknown is where the excitement lies. It’s where we can become ourselves again.

Most of us have forgotten how to be ourselves. I know I have. And it’s much to do with a lack of personal communications. No, messaging is not the same nor is, “I can work from wherever I am.” That’s crap. This is just one of the many reasons why the end result of so many things is never as good as it should be and why we settle for Okay Is Good Enough.

Looking back to when in advertising, we fought darn hard to turn our ideas into reality and fought even harder to make sure that there were zero compromises. There was also teamwork and trust. Trust today is in short supply. Almost everyone wants something for free. And if something is not free, then just take it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. New online laws will take care of content theft.

Being brought up believing in the creative ethos that The Technique Is Not The Idea, we were Mad Men like Don Draper. We were the great disrupters. We weren’t out to win popularity awards. We demanded attention and recognition. Narcissistic? Maybe. But who knew? Who cared? We were on some weirdly wonderful mission of experimentation and damn the end results because at least we tried.

We were ambitious and ruthless and very good presenters and persuasive communicators who knew our audiences and were loyal and unfaithful with our own Achilles heels and very much married to our work. These were our babies that we wanted to be recognised for their originality by winning a Clio in New York, or the biggest awards in advertising at Cannes and London.

We looked up to the work of Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, Joe Pytka, Joe Sedelmaier and others. We were jealous of these older guys because their work was so damn good. But jealous in a good, healthy, competitive way.

Most of us had given up trying- TRYING- to compete with Cat Stevens or James Taylor or the Lovin’ Spoonful. We were INSPIRED by the Beatles and the songs of Dylan, Ray Davies, Nick Drake, Rod Argent and others and were mesmerised by Led Zeppelin, The Who, the Stones, Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience etc etc.

We absorbed ALL of this. We inhaled all these creative eras with their own distinctive creative communities. And then? And now?

We’ve downsized our thinking into talking about how many “followers” and “likes” and “views” someone has without thinking, “So how is ANY of this relevant to me?”, especially when most of us know the tricks of the trade and those who make smoke and mirrors work for them and which keep them travelling with no direction of home or wherever the hell it is they’re going. These are our new “influencers”? Please. But that’s okay only if you let it get to you. This means wasting time, no, not on the details, but on the petty stuff. The discardable stuff from the Nowhere People making all their Nowhere plans for Nobody and going nowhere fast. Ignorance is bliss.

This annoyance factor too often slows down original thinking. Taking this unnecessary baggage on board makes us lose sight of what WE want for OURSELVES. No, if coming to Hong Kong, get a tour guide. Don’t look for me to be the host with the most.

Other than making music the way I hear it and still being an “adman”, there’s something about seeing street art like what’s below in Hong Kong and wanting to work with this artist named Quint.

The best and most successful marketing in Hong Kong? Everything my friend Manu Lee has accomplished with his Burger Joys brand. To paraphrase Nike, he believed in his idea and just did it.

Hell, there’s nothing wrong with being real and honest with ourselves. And just maybe from all this, we’ll be great distractors again. There’s also a need to be extremely selective about who we allow into the same sandbox to play. We need to move forward and actually DO instead of more wistful and wishful thinking and poor management skills that lead nowhere except for going around in circles and thinking you’ve gone somewhere.

#socialmedia #advertising #DonDraper #music #TonyScott #JoeSedelmaier #iconoclasts #ManuLee #BurgerJoys #Streetart #Hongkong

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