“I love advertising because I love lying”
October 5, 2014 9:28 PM   Subscribe

Jerry Seinfeld gave the best/worst/most honest/cynical acceptance speech ever as he received an Honorary Clio Award (that's "the world’s most recognized international awards competition for advertising, design, digital and communications"), and got cheers from a crowd of modern-day Mad Men when he said "I think spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy."
full transcript here
posted by oneswellfoop (99 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow. Ouch.
posted by mazola at 9:42 PM on October 5, 2014


I was pretty happy reading that, and I am pretty happy typing this now on my smartphone, and I'll be happy a little bit later, if anybody decides to favorite this.

That's about all anyone can hope for, and so, thanks to oneswellfoop for sharing Seinfeld's Clio acceptance speech with us.
posted by notyou at 9:44 PM on October 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


The only appropriate response
posted by clarknova at 9:45 PM on October 5, 2014


previously

Jerry Seinfeld accepts award for something-or-other, gets stuff off his chest about the nature of awards shows
posted by philip-random at 9:48 PM on October 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


the 1991 Clio Awards
posted by Bwithh at 9:54 PM on October 5, 2014 [23 favorites]


Still dislike him, but that was delicious.
posted by Auden at 9:55 PM on October 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Funny how easy it is to rail against the thing that has made you so very, very rich. Funnier still how they laugh and applaud as you do so.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:08 PM on October 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


Brilliant speech - but why'd he win again?
posted by Dragonness at 10:10 PM on October 5, 2014


elwoodwiles: "Funnier still how they laugh and applaud as you do so."

It's almost as if there are people in the world who work, but do not actually like their jobs, their companies, or their employers!
posted by Bugbread at 10:11 PM on October 5, 2014 [31 favorites]


It seems clear that all those years on the Seinfeld show when he played a narcissistic, selfish, immature, insincere, amoral person -- he wasn't acting.
posted by JackFlash at 10:33 PM on October 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


I've mentioned before that I got to see Joel Hodgson's one-man show at DragonCon. In it, he mentions that one of the people who really helped him out in his early career was Jerry Seinfeld, who he said was one of the healthiest people in comedy.

Joel Hodgson has always had a down-to-earth air about him, completely lacking in pretension while still doing wonderfully creative and inventive things, and to hear him explain how great Jerry Seinfeld is in such glowing terms filled me with respect for the guy. Particularly, he said, of Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee series, which Joel has been on, that that's exactly what hanging out with Jerry is like.
posted by JHarris at 10:42 PM on October 5, 2014 [17 favorites]


I think we should make sure we're all on the same page here, so, if I'm interpreting correctly, Jerry Seinfeld won an award for lying in a way such that you know it's a lie and still enjoy buying into it, and so in recognition of this he gave a speech in which he lied in such a way that his audience knew it was a lie and still enjoyed buying into it?
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 11:01 PM on October 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


I assume that Jerry Seinfeld got the award for lifetime services to product placement (all those candy plot arcs etc. on Seinfeld) but that's just a guess
posted by Bwithh at 11:34 PM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Nah, this is an award for his appearance in Bee Movie.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:36 PM on October 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I work in advertising and I like it because it's more honest than most things. That's because everyone involved in it actually acknowledges that everything that is a commodity has a price on it, no matter how 'creative' it is, and that all commodities connect to either our base needs or our complex psychological ones.

Advertising - which is not the Dickensian factory but is in reality a bunch of cheerful guys like me being kicked around by standard-issue ambitious guys in suits - conveniently acts as a scapegoat that people like Seinfeld can unconsciously use to deflect attention from the brutal economic system they live under. Often those who have done very nicely out of capitalism (Seinfeld is worth 820 million dollars and is the world's wealthiest actor) like to give it a kicking to make themselves feel better.
posted by colie at 11:49 PM on October 5, 2014 [35 favorites]


Christ, (see what I did there) what an asshole. How did you think your show was paid for, Jerry? Never heard of commercials/adverts? But I guess he feels it's OK for him to act that way. Has he ever really worked a day in his life? He's got a clever mind (but not clever enough to add to the hard sciences) and a very loud mouth, but he doesn't seem to have much more than that, IMHO.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:50 PM on October 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


he told the truth about a very ugly aspect of our culture, managed to get few laughs. which is pretty much what he's been doing his entire career.
posted by philip-random at 11:56 PM on October 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


He's got a clever mind (but not clever enough to add to the hard sciences)

Much as I love the sciences, they aren't the only thing worth doing in life with a clever mind.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:58 PM on October 5, 2014 [95 favorites]




I wonder how much merchandise Must See TV sold
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:09 AM on October 6, 2014


> Brilliant speech - but why'd he win again?

It's a general award for making ads. (Maybe an excuse to get him into the awards show.) I'm one of those people who don't own a television -- I even avert my eyes when an ad comes on -- but if you Google around you'll see that he helps ad agencies write and produce commercials. For example, here are some Acura commercials. He is the world's richest actor thanks in part to millions of dollars from advertising work over the years.
posted by pracowity at 12:10 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


conveniently acts as a scapegoat

Poor, poor advertisers. Obviously, they should be free to sell us all the useless overpriced crap they can, for prices we can't afford without anybody pointing those uncomfortable truths out.

In fact, somebody should give these warriors for social justice an award!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:28 AM on October 6, 2014 [13 favorites]


InsertNiftyNameHere: "Has he ever really worked a day in his life?"

My son thinks I have the easiest job in the world because, as he puts it, "You get paid money just to touch the keyboard a lot".
posted by Bugbread at 12:33 AM on October 6, 2014 [59 favorites]


Fair enough, I shouldn't have said 'scapegoat' because that implies there's any pain in working in advertising - I meant the industry seems to act as a 'safety release valve' for Seinfeld and others to say things about the state of the world that aren't the fault of advertising.
posted by colie at 12:46 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Shoulda gone the full Bill Hicks
posted by iotic at 12:48 AM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: Somebody should give these warriors for social justice an award!
posted by Optamystic at 12:54 AM on October 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


iotic: "Shoulda gone the full Bill Hicks"

Wow, 25 whole comments before Bill Hicks. I think we've got a new record!
posted by Bugbread at 1:00 AM on October 6, 2014 [26 favorites]


colie: "Fair enough, I shouldn't have said 'scapegoat' because that implies there's any pain in working in advertising - I meant the industry seems to act as a 'safety release valve' for Seinfeld and others to say things about the state of the world that aren't the fault of advertising."

Fair enough as well, but they get paid via advertising. So if I see a TV star (especially) knocking advertising, I call out loud and proud, "BULLSHIT." Hell, one could argue that Seinfeld was knowingly shilling for stuff simply by having a TV show. He had to have known that he was getting paid by other people conning the viewers into buying shit they either didn't need or banking on them switching brands. He made a mega-fortune by doing what he's now railing against. That shit doesn't jive with me. It's like a thief who made a fortune who then speaks out against theft. He's immensely wealthy (which is what his goal was, I'm sure), but he can fuck off, IMHO.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 1:05 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


what he's now railing against.

He's not railing against anything.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:20 AM on October 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


(Seinfeld is worth 820 million dollars and is the world's wealthiest actor)

He's no Oprah
posted by Optamystic at 1:38 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow, 25 whole comments before Bill Hicks. I think we've got a new record!

In threads about prominent US comedians being disarmingly frank about advertising people? Gosh.
posted by iotic at 1:45 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


He's not railing against anything.
Exactly, he's more like a thief who made a fortune who then explains how thankful he is for the people who don't have locks on their doors. He is not at all scapegoating the advertizing biz, but rather celebrating the fortunes he and everyone in the audience made at something which, if you look at it closely, is rarely used for non-evil purposes.

Seinfeld was being the full ANTI-Bill Hicks here, telling everyone in advertising to NOT kill yourselves, but celebrate your evil accomplishments. I much prefer someone who can honestly say "yep, I'm evil", to those who try to claim they're good with toxic levels of cognitive dissonance.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:45 AM on October 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Bugbread, if it's coding that your son is deriding you for, consider showing him Programming Sucks.
posted by JHarris at 1:54 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


the full ANTI-Bill Hicks

sheep boy?
posted by iotic at 2:02 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Brilliant speech - but why'd he win again?

Glo-coat.
posted by officer_fred at 2:22 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ice Cream Socialist: "what he's now railing against.

He's not railing against anything.
"

OK, let's call it mocking then. Better? Probably not, so I'm out. He's still an arrogant SOB.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 3:10 AM on October 6, 2014


He's got a clever mind (but not clever enough to add to the hard sciences)

Is this a joke? What's the deal with STEM?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 3:12 AM on October 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


Maybe it's a double-insult thing? Because "clever", as far as I know, is usually used to refer to ideas or plans or the like. You only apply it to living things themselves when they're evil ("a clever thief") or when they're not particularly smart in the absolute sense, but smart for something which isn't very smart in general ("a clever boy" or "a clever horse").

So it's either "He's smart for an idiot. Not as smart an idiot as a STEM guy, but smart for an idiot" or "He's a smart evil bastard. Not as smart as one of those evil STEM bastards, but a smart evil bastard."
posted by Bugbread at 4:23 AM on October 6, 2014


In STEM, your technician is "clever," your grad student is "ingenious," your post-doc is "sharp," and the PI down the hall is "a shameless self-promoter."
posted by Mapes at 4:33 AM on October 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'll just assume that everyone in this thread calling Seinfeld a hypocrite fully endorsed every practice of their employer and parent companies and will never criticize them in the future.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 4:45 AM on October 6, 2014 [13 favorites]


Here's the thing...Advertising people, for the most part, would agree with him. Ad people are probably some of the most cynical people living, especially towards their own business. In an odd way, that's what helps make the best work so darned good.

So, in a way, Jerry was preaching to the choir.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:46 AM on October 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


is it just because this is the Internet that somehow people are talking about STEM here? is that like, all you guys talk about?

anyway, my impression was that this speech was told from the most self-loathing, complicit place possible. saying he's "arrogant" for this is completely missing the point. saying that "advertising made him rich" is also missing the point. he's making this speech while accepting a Clio for crissakes, clearly he is aware of this!

personally, I'm really enjoying late game nihilistic Seinfield.
posted by young_son at 4:48 AM on October 6, 2014 [12 favorites]


Brilliant speech - but why'd he win again?

So they could have Jerry Seinfeld at their award ceremony. And presenting him a trophy was cheaper than paying his appearance fee.
posted by dances with hamsters at 4:59 AM on October 6, 2014 [20 favorites]


I don't know where you guys are getting 'self-loathing', 'railing', 'cynical'.
Watch/read it again, taking it at face value.
Clicks into place, no?
posted by signal at 5:00 AM on October 6, 2014


I meant the industry seems to act as a 'safety release valve' for Seinfeld and others to say things about the state of the world that aren't the fault of advertising.

Plenty of awful shit in the world is my responsibility, regardless of whether or not it's my fault. I mean, we're either all in this together or we're not. Whatever. Seinfeld puts on a solid air of bemusement and uses his comedy for the same reasons it's always been used: to support the comedian and to (sometimes) allow us to address societal issues in a way that, but for the yucks, would be considered class warfare.
posted by The White Hat at 5:26 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty much the target market for the anti-advertising sentiment, but I find Seinfeld so unfunny that I just had to turn this off.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:29 AM on October 6, 2014


personally, I'm really enjoying late game nihilistic Seinfield.

I assume you mean as opposed to early game nihilistic Seinfeld, because have you ever seen his sitcom? Klosterman wrote a pretty terrific piece here.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 5:40 AM on October 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


It seems clear that all those years on the Seinfeld show when he played a narcissistic, selfish, immature, insincere, amoral person -- he wasn't acting.

That only seems clear if you are confident that what Seinfeld is doing in the clip is not acting.
posted by layceepee at 5:47 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I worked in a small agency for a while (while I waited for them to figure out the web in like 1996), and I thought that I said bad things about my colleagues, our clients, and the business as a whole. But hoo, boy, this is pretty bracing, harsh stuff:
I’m happy now. The same way those executives were in 1991 when they ran onto this stage and grabbed trophies that weren’t theirs. But it trumped up their phony careers and meaningless lives.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:56 AM on October 6, 2014


This is part of the roast tradition, comedians always insult their audience - especially at awards shows. I don't think we are meant to see this speech as a window into his Machiavellian soul.
posted by Think_Long at 5:59 AM on October 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


He's got a clever mind (but not clever enough to add to the hard sciences)

I can't think of any actual scientist among the many I know who would express such a juvenile sentiment.
posted by spitbull at 6:12 AM on October 6, 2014 [24 favorites]


As much as Seinfeld weirdly grates on me, I'm gonna have to go with Think_Long on this one. You guys, this is meant to be funny! You know, because Seinfeld is a comedian and because advertisers have a notoriously cynical sense of humor?

My theory is that people hate the advertising industry as much as they do to distract themselves that politics, media, entertainment, journalism, business, and to a certain extent the arts are dominated by an obsession with selling something to the public. Our culture has become amoral and wealth-obsessed through-and-through, and nihilistic, in the sense that "what's good" matters less than "what reliably sells." Advertisers, who are cheerfully explicit about what they do and who often operate with a healthy sense of irony for the nature of their work, and whose output is the silly bright often-irritating crust on the consumerist machine, get picked as comfortable targets because they're the one group that, left or right, you can feel good at yourself for dismissing as valueless, amoral leeches, all while ignoring that they're merely a byproduct of the process that's created larger and infinitely scary demons which we still, as a society, claim to respect.

I will say this about advertising: if you're an artist or a UX designer or a programmer or create anything in any way, you ought to have a few good books by a few brilliant admen on your shelves. No trade teaches you to care about people and their limited, fettered attention spans like advertising does, not even straight up User Experience Design; and the best advertisers were generally the best because they hit upon deep, meaningful insights about what people respond to most intuitively and emotionally. It's incredibly useful knowledge, it helps remind you to give a shit about your audience, and the great thing is, because they all worked in advertising for decades, these admen usually know how to write a damn compelling read. Ogilvy on Ogilvy is a lovely nugget of a book, even if you'd like to keep your soul perfectly intact and sleep like a baby at night.
posted by rorgy at 6:13 AM on October 6, 2014 [24 favorites]


clearly he is aware of this!

Um, no, clearly not -- one of the foundational premises of the internet is that random commenters are always smarter and more fully self-aware than the subject of their comments.

If you claim otherwise you're destroying maybe 35.76% of the reason why the internet exists in the first place. Duh, everyone knows that! [insert sharp remark #16 here]!
posted by aramaic at 6:14 AM on October 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


In STEM, your technician is "clever," your grad student is "ingenious," your post-doc is "sharp," and the PI down the hall is "a shameless self-promoter."

Where does "cunning" figure in here?

Having looked at the transcript of the speech, I think "Seinfeld rips apart advertising industry on its biggest night" is wildly overselling what is basically a sub-Dean Martin roast sketch. It is so wildly overselling the speech, in fact, that I want my money back. Either that or a Clio* of my own. Because, goddamn what I wouldn't do for a Clio. I would crawl over a horde of clever STEM technicians to get my hands on a Clio.

*Why is the advertising award named after the Muse of History?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:33 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's because everyone involved in it actually acknowledges that everything that is a commodity

But what is a "commodity"? It's not something found in nature. It's a set of human ideas about how certain categories of products and services should be bought and sold. It's theory reified in culture and treated as a natural inevitability when, in fact, we have to go out of our way to create the kinds of conditions and markets that allow for commodification because commodification is a goal we work toward in the economic choices we make--a goal informed by certain ideas about what makes sense for industrial manufacturing processes, but that don't necessarily make sense now, not a self-evident good we discovered in nature. Adam Smith and the economists of his era developed the idea to serve a particular purpose for organizing industry, they never claimed to have discovered any "truth" about the world in the process.

There's nothing honest about saying everything is a commodity. Nothing is a commodity in reality, independent of theory and without the specific efforts required to fashion things into commodities. Commodification just describes certain human ideas about ideal ways to organize certain industrial business functions, not natural law. No one serious has ever claimed otherwise.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:40 AM on October 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


> "Where does 'cunning' figure in here?"

It is reserved for the field of linguistics.
posted by kyrademon at 6:45 AM on October 6, 2014 [15 favorites]


Particularly, he said, of Seinfeld's Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee series, which Joel has been on, that that's exactly what hanging out with Jerry is like.

... and it's also a convenient way for Seinfeld to treat his car collection as a tax write-off. I don't mind praising Seinfeld for his clear-eyed cynicism but as far as I can see that's not just his bit, that's his life.
posted by mhoye at 6:46 AM on October 6, 2014


David Letterman talks to Jerry Seinfeld at The Paley Center for Media about his web series.
posted by valkane at 6:51 AM on October 6, 2014


What ad wizard thought this up?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:57 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


*Why is the advertising award named after the Muse of History?

To antagonize people who know enough to ask such a question, I suspect
posted by clockzero at 7:17 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


The contemporary NYT story on the 1991 Clio debacle is hilarious. And as it happened, that year's second scheduled Clio event the following Monday was also canceled after Ed McCabe, chairman of the 1991 Clio advisory board, resigned his position and Bill Evans, owner of the Clio Organization, was unable to pay for the reservations at the Lincoln Center. Several years of financial difficulty and changing owners would follow. Currently, the Clio Awards are owned by the rather portentously named Prometheus Global Media.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:23 AM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


I actually agree with saulgoodman above, but I have to make a living some how.
posted by colie at 7:28 AM on October 6, 2014


I assume that Jerry Seinfeld got the award for lifetime services to product placement (all those candy plot arcs etc. on Seinfeld) but that's just a guess

Advertisers don't want mere visibility out of product placement in the entertainment industry: They want memorability. That's what Seinfeld pioneered in contemporary television:
It wasn't just television comedy that NBC's "Seinfeld" managed to shake up during its eight seasons on the air. The groundbreaking show about nothing is credited with finally breaking down the decades-old resistance by the major broadcast networks to product placement in primetime.

It was Jerry's butter fingers with an infamous box of Junior Mints candy in the beloved 1993 episode "The Junior Mint" that showed marketers the way of the future. They didn't need to settle for mere placement on a shelf in a kitchen scene. With a little creativity, a product could find its way into the script, becoming an integral part of a storyline and assuring that audiences would remember it the next day.{...}

"Seinfeld broke the barrier on brand-name products in television," says Brad Brown, who co-founded one of the first major product placement agencies, Davie-Brown, in 1985. "The brand became a plot point, and it was so successful that they (NBC) looked the other way."

Indeed, no money was ever paid for placements on "Seinfeld," often cited as some of the most successful in television history, but it set the stage for broadcast and cable and network shows to begin raking in cash from eager brands in the coming decade.
Fun Factoid: M&Ms and Lifesavers were originally considered for the role of Confectionery Product on the sitcom but their owners turned Seinfeld down.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:29 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


I actually agree with saulgoodman above, but I have to make a living some how.

No shame in that. We all do, until we can figure out a new direction and start heading that way.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:33 AM on October 6, 2014


Fun Factoid: M&Ms and Lifesavers were originally considered for the role of Confectionery Product on the sitcom but their owners turned Seinfeld down.

You think they would have learned from the E.T. The Extraterrestrial blown up opportunity.

Then again, I assumed Junior Mints was picked because they are a ridiculously disgusting candy.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 7:41 AM on October 6, 2014


... and it's also a convenient way for Seinfeld to treat his car collection as a tax write-off.

Oh, honestly? Look, I'm as likely to impugn the motives of my fellow man as much as the next blackened shriveled-up bag of diseased cardiac tissue, but this seems like a stretch.
posted by JHarris at 7:45 AM on October 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


InsertNiftyNameHere: Has he ever really worked a day in his life?
Seriously, rising to the top of standup comedy is sooooo easy.

Now, back to more popular-person bashing.... Did you hear that Seinfield talked to Amanda Palmer once? What a jerk!
posted by IAmBroom at 8:01 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


There was a NYT magazine article about Seinfeld fairly recently (a couple years ago?) describing how he's still on the road doing standup. Now I'm sure he travels in comfort, and obviously he's not wracked by any sort of fear that if he bombs he won't be able to pay his rent, but it seemed like he was working pretty hard for someone who could hire somebody to turn him over in bed when he wanted to face the other way.
posted by leopard at 8:29 AM on October 6, 2014


IAmBroom: "What a jerk!"

I'm glad to meet a like minded individual! I agree 100%. JS is a total asshole.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 8:32 AM on October 6, 2014


Has he ever really worked a day in his life?

No, you've got this all wrong. It's supposed to go "What is up with this Jerry Seinfeld guy? Has he ever worked a day in his life or what? ... I don't think so!"
posted by octobersurprise at 8:39 AM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


By the way, was the deal with airplane peanuts ever determined?
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 8:40 AM on October 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Fun Factoid: M&Ms and Lifesavers were originally considered for the role of Confectionery Product on the sitcom but their owners turned Seinfeld down.


This seems like dumb luck on the Seinfeld production teams part because Junior Mints is, by my calculations, about 1005 times funnier than those options.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:41 AM on October 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


By the way, was the deal with airplane peanuts ever determined?

$0.10/unit if you buy by the gross.
posted by griphus at 8:43 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


... and it's also a convenient way for Seinfeld to treat his car collection as a tax write-off. I don't mind praising Seinfeld for his clear-eyed cynicism but as far as I can see that's not just his bit, that's his life.

I know he has an extensive car collection of his own, but many of the cars featured in 'Comedians in Cars...' are not owned by Jerry.
posted by crank at 8:54 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


This was great. Now I really want Jerry Seinfeld to win an Oscar, just to hear his acceptance speech. (And if I never hear about the Bill Hicks rant again, it'll be too soon.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:21 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


man still doesn't make up for The Marriage Ref
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


In this thread: a bunch of people who really don't get satire.
posted by stenseng at 10:06 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've never been a Seinfeld fan, but I've always enjoyed watching how passionately people feel the need to register their dislike of him. Please, never change.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:11 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I filled a pipe, paraded the chessmen and inspected them for French shaves and loose buttons, and played a championship tournament game between Gortchakoff and Meninkin, seventy-two moves to a draw, a prize specimen of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, a battle without armor, a war without blood, and as elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you could find anywhere outside an advertising agency."
posted by yerfatma at 10:18 AM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I work in advertising and I like it because it's more honest than most things.

The first thing you learn when studying advertising are the rules concerning just how deceptive you're allowed to be before you cross the line into illegality. Not the hallmark of an industry that's more honest than most things.
posted by Flexagon at 10:35 AM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


The first thing you learn when studying advertising are the rules concerning just how deceptive you're allowed to be before you cross the line into illegality.

Maybe not the first, but the most important thing I learned as a copywriter in advertising is that you have to connect with a truth inside the person you're selling to, otherwise they don't care. All you're really trying to say, every time, is 'this product will make you happy in your life', but the billions of ways of making that into a feeling are quite fascinating to consider.

The only ads I've had declared illegal (and quite rightly) were car ones that might possibly be interpreted as encouraging people to drive fast. Not because they were actually deceptive (the cars were indeed fast, and lots of people enjoy driving like idiots)...?
posted by colie at 10:56 AM on October 6, 2014


I work in advertising and I like it because it's more honest than most things.

There's some truth to this in my experience.

I've already related almost the entirety of the story of my career in advertising. It's a very short story, consisting mostly of a producer (who liked my rock vid work and thought I could do interesting car commercials) saying to me, "Before we go anywhere, you're going to ask and answer for yourself how much shit are you willing to eat, because you won't get anywhere in this biz without eating shit."

You don't get much more honest than that, I guess.
posted by philip-random at 11:23 AM on October 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Did you watch until the anactdote about the 1991 Clio Awards ceremony debacle? Actually happened. I do remember the first time I noticed that this award actually existed giving an audible "noooooo??? ".
posted by sammyo at 12:32 PM on October 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


sammyo oh boy that appeared to be a hilarious piece of absurd performance art until the end when everybody lost their jobs
posted by Tevin at 1:04 PM on October 6, 2014


So I can't find the actual photos, but the Dith Pran credited with a photo of the 1991 Clio Awards ceremony in the NYT article linked above is apparently the same Cambodian photojournalist Dith Pran depicted in the 1984 Oscar-winning critically acclaimed movie about the Cambodian civil war The Killing Fields.
posted by Bwithh at 1:52 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


funniest thing about this whole kerfluffle is that from an advertising perspective, this is a huge coup. Seinfeld singlehandedly made the entire internet care about the Clio awards for a few days (when have we ever talked about a Clio award? seriously), thus proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he deserves such an award.
posted by young_son at 3:02 PM on October 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


My theory is that people hate the advertising industry as much as they do to distract themselves that politics, media, entertainment, journalism, business, and to a certain extent the arts are dominated by an obsession with selling something to the public.

In just about every damned thing that's important from religion to freakin' facebook, the problem seems to be that when there is a hand that points at the moon, people tend to stare dog-like at the finger that's doing the pointing.

Don't hate the fist that hits you in the face, resent the guy who threw the punch.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:48 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't argue with that mr. wonderchicken but there are cases like this it's real hard to excuse.
posted by bukvich at 7:53 PM on October 6, 2014


The Jester often stands beside the King.
posted by juiceCake at 8:44 PM on October 6, 2014


Why is the advertising award named after the Muse of History?

"Clio, sometimes referred to as 'the Proclaimer', is often represented with an open scroll of parchment scroll or a set of tablets. The name is etymologically derived from the Greek root κλέω/κλείω (meaning 'to recount,' 'to make famous,'[7] or 'to celebrate').[8]
posted by mr. digits at 8:55 PM on October 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


He's got a clever mind (but not clever enough to add to the hard sciences)

The easy rebuttal to this is: what do we expect all the "hard scientists" to be doing on their downtime? Should they be doing the hard science constantly, even at home? Or perhaps hard scientists like to relax as well, perhaps unwind with a fun entertainment program? So I ask you: better for hard scientists to watch a fun entertainment program that is written by a clever person, or one that is written by a mouth-breathing moron or toolbelt imbecile?
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:56 PM on October 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


turbid dahlia: "He's got a clever mind (but not clever enough to add to the hard sciences)

The easy rebuttal to this is:
" complete bullshit.

Who do you feel is more valuable to society, Jerry Seinfeld or, say, Jonas Salk? If you recall, the latter invented the vaccine for polio and immediately put it into the public domain. Imagine where we'd all be (probably in iron lungs or a grave) if Dr. Salk decided to simply tell some jokes rather than save millions of people.

But fuck the hard sciences and STEM. As long as we have mindless laughs, we're all better off, right? *eye roll*
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 7:21 AM on October 7, 2014


And imagine where we'd be if you had decided to cure cancer instead of writing wonderfully incisive and insightful comments on Metafilter.

Oh well, I guess moral decay is everywhere.
posted by leopard at 7:35 AM on October 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Who do you feel is more valuable to society, Jerry Seinfeld or, say, Jonas Salk?

Hello, Newman.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:43 AM on October 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Who do you feel is more valuable to society, Jerry Seinfeld or, say, Jonas Salk? If you recall, the latter invented the vaccine for polio and immediately put it into the public domain. Imagine where we'd all be (probably in iron lungs or a grave) if Dr. Salk decided to simply tell some jokes rather than save millions of people.

But fuck the hard sciences and STEM. As long as we have mindless laughs, we're all better off, right? *eye roll*


I know of nobody in the arts who feels as scathingly disrespectful towards the sciences as STEM-trained acquaintances of mine routinely act towards the assorted arts. Sure, there's some woo amongst the artsy-fartsy New Age sorts, but you've also got Steven Hawking claiming that science is good at doing philosophy so like, plenty of people on each side seem to misunderstand and be stupid about the other.

There is something of a trend towards certain STEM types acting in a particularly culty way, rejecting all other forms of education and enlightenment as somehow less potent than their own chosen area of expertist (or than STEM fields in general). They have a hard time recognizing or acknowledging the healthy interplay between various fields, how the sciences are as often inspired by the arts and by creative fields as the arts draw upon scientific breakthroughs to explore new modes of creating things. Many of the greatest scientific minds of the 21st century readily acknowledged this; it seems to me that it takes a particularly narrow mindset not to recognize what appears to many of us to be a relatively simple and straightforward observation.

In any case, you can admire and be deeply grateful to Dr. Salk and even simultaneously think Seinfeld is an especially awful comedian without being as unnecessarily derisive as you're being right here, and it's kind of unpleasant that you're doing so anyway.
posted by rorgy at 8:46 AM on October 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


My favorite thing about STEM snobbiness is the implication that literally every single STEM grad is the next Jonas Salk and not, like, making video games, or figuring out how to get potato chips to taste chicken-and-waffles-flavored, or designing weapons, or any of the other thousands of non-Jonas-Salk things one might do with a STEM degree.
posted by naoko at 10:20 AM on October 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


But fuck the hard sciences and STEM. As long as we have mindless laughs, we're all better off, right? *eye roll*

Literally nobody said that. I believe the point turbid dahlia was making is that there's room for both hard scientists and entertainers in the world.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 11:59 AM on October 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, there are just as many STEM fuckos figuring out how to make a better boner pill that *"may or may not make you bleed from every orifice. Consult your physician to see if Chubb-X is right for you."
posted by stenseng at 2:48 PM on October 7, 2014


> "My favorite thing about STEM snobbiness is the implication that literally every single STEM grad is the next Jonas Salk and not, like, making video games ..."

This time coupled with the snobby implication that everyone in the arts is spending their lives making jokes about airline peanuts (not that there's anything wrong with that) rather than creating movies like Blood Diamond or Norma Rae, books like The Grapes of Wrath or Animal Farm, or plays like Angels in America or Fear and Misery in the Third Reich.
posted by kyrademon at 3:14 AM on October 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


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