Jeff Goodby in the world’s biggest band*

Read this first: We have become connoisseurs of esoterica and irrelevant award-chasers.

I fear reality is less quote, blog or twitterable.

I live in a tiny village in the middle of Hertfordshire. Once a week I meet up with friends in my local pub. A builder, an electrician, a stay at home dad and a patent lawyer. Quite a good cross section of society I think. As far away from “adland” as you can get. Sometimes I tell them what I do and of course they haven’t heard of any of the campaigns I have worked on. The advertising they remember is at best 5 years old. The only thing they know about is curiously Spotify.

We quite frequently talk about music. And one question keeps coming up: Who is the biggest, relevant band on the planet at the moment. Not the one you like best. The biggest. Ask yourself. It’s not easy. U2? Are they still relevant? Coldplay? Biggest? Who is it? Metallica? AC/DC? The Stones? No. We always draw a blank. It used to be clear: 70s Genesis/Led Zep/Pink Floyd, 80s Madonna/Prince/Michael Jackson, 90s Guns’n Roses.

I have a feeling that the times of big global fame are over.

People have their very, very personal cultural favorites.

Could this be the reason that we need those god-awful awards entry films (we make them too at Dare) for juries to understand the context of a campaign, a banner, a Facebook app? Maybe just like in music, it’s not possible anymore to create truly globally famous pieces of work?

Here’s an idea to revamp awards shows: let’s get a room full of builders, lawyers and electricians and ask them if they have heard of a piece of work – most show of hands wins the Grand Prix.

In the meantime I have made it my mission to create the next Whassup. It’s not going to be easy, but I will try to have fun along the way.

*untrue attention grabbing headline


2 thoughts on “Jeff Goodby in the world’s biggest band*

  1. Have your friends heard of Google, YouTube, Facebook, perhaps the iPlayer?
    Back in the day famous TV ads could be as famous as a famous TV show.
    Online an ad can never be as famous as the most famous websites. That’s why advertising is dead and award shows are irrelevant.
    Ahem… IMO

  2. Bands:

    Hmmm, well, in terms of ‘bands’ it’s Coldplay or U2 isn’t it?

    I only say this because it’s what I would perceive as the common consensus on such things, rather than out of any personal liking myself. The very fact that such insipid acts figure as the potentially biggest bands of the moment is surely testament to the that the age of the era-defining supergroup (or indeed ‘bands”?) is pretty much over.

    If I had to vote for ‘an act’ who best embodied ‘relevance’, it would probably be someone like Jay-Z, who sort of manages to straddle the tricky venn of: Fame, wealth, mass popular appeal, whilst still retaining some kind of vague credibility and/or integrity. ‘Ver kids’ love him.

    But then, he isn’t a band, obviously. And I quite like him. And an electrician from Hertfordshire is only likely to be peripherally aware of him at best.

    It’s interesting that you use the term ‘relevant’, too. What exactly do you mean by that? Relative to what, or whom?

    Aside from the fragmentation of media, Isn’t the trend in advertising and marketing and branding in general to focus on and target more and more specific consumer groups, and communicate with them in increasingly subtle ways? isn’t the bombast of old-school big telly ads now perceived as crass?

    That’s my two penneth.

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