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March 21, 2011

Attention Ad Nerds: We Need to See This

via www.youtube.com

Morgan Spurlock is back, and this time he's not here for a Big Mac. No. this time he's coming after the industry you and I hold near and dear to our hearts. If the trailer is any indication, he won't have much concern for our feelings, and he will likely work hard to change how people think about what we do -- and not in a way that benefits us.

This is not a bad thing.

In fact, I'd argue that we, as an industry and as a culture, need this film worse than we ever needed Art & Copy. Because let's face it -- Art & Copy was little more than a chance for us ad nerds to sit around and circlejerk with our colleagues about just how cool we're capable of being.

Now, don't get us wrong -- we don't mind a good circlejerk from time to time. Talking about how awesome you are with your friends can be a whole lot of fun, and is probably healthy in moderation. But in an age when Mad Men is one of the biggest shows on TV and where Super Bowl commercials inspire as much water-cooler chat as the actual game, don't we have more of that than we need already? I'd argue that we do.

What we don't have, however, is a clear look in the mirror. Somebody making known to us and to the public the real truths of what we do and how we act in the name of our brands, whether those real truths show us in a favorable light or not.

Well, folks, it looks like Morgan Spurlock is here to break up the circlejerk. He's going to show real advertising people doing real advertising things, and it looks like at least some of his footage won't paint us in a favorable light. It will be interesting to see how we, as an industry, react. Will we write him off as a sensationalist jerk? Will we take what he says to heart and look at ways to change how we represent ourselves and our brands, even if in the smallest of ways? Or will we just ignore him all together?

I, for one, can't wait to find out.


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I don't get the chance to name-drop a lot, but I met Morgan Spurlock at TED in 2009. I wanted to thank him for his "30 Days" series on FX and talk coal-mining, but he was interested in telling me about this film when he heard I was in advertising. It sounded great at the time and I'm stoked to see how it came to be now.

The fact that the pitch process is the end product is just tremendous. "This IS the movie." Reminds me of how Spaceballs was promoted inside the movie, or one of Costanza's ideas on Seinfeld. Wither way: what a win!

Morgan Spurlock is a super loco MAD MAN. I'm sold!

Thank you for this article. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases.Thanks!

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