< down > with the < / geeks >
Ah, yes, the digital growing pains of our “integrated” industry.
I find it remarkable that in our new-is-better industry culture, the digital revolution was really more of an evolution. And for that, I blame the geeks.
Several years ago I joined an agency that had an “Interactive Department.” Which, in reality, meant we had a handful of people that found building shitty websites and designing shittier banners inspiring. They sat on a different floor. Worked on different projects. Answered to different clients. And spoke a different language. As a result, I regularly referred to them as the CFL. Yes, like the NFL they had quarterbacks and running backs (copywriters and art directors), but unfortunately their quarterbacks could only throw about forty yards. And their running backs were barely capable of a yard or two at a time. It was kinda like advertising, but not really.
And this is where the blame comes in. The folks I had the “privilege” of interacting with liked being different. They liked pretending that they had a lock on all knowledge about these “digital dark arts.” They had no desire to engage on anything to do with creativity or communication. (It was almost as pathetic as what they did in their spare time.) What frustrated me the most is that the conversation was always about the damn technology. Which made about as much sense to me, as an art director being obsessed by the CMYK separation process. Yes, you need to know how that works, but that’s not really what we pay you for.
There is good news.
The geeks are going down. In the last few years the worst of the Pixel’s & Code crew have found less and less safety behind their force field of bullshit. The real creative talent, including many with a digital background, have wrestled the lightsaber from the sweaty palms of the hacks that just didn’t get it. As proof of that I offer the following statistic: Of the eighty-nine Cyber Lions awarded at Cannes this year, only twelve went to strictly digital shops.
Do the math. Yes, I mean you, geeks.
- Craig Crawford