Friday, November 9, 2007

Evidence against me

Number 378(b) of the quixotic positions I constantly take with account people, clients and even occassionally creative directors is that people aren't stupid.

Sometimes they may be ignorant - they may, for example, not get my hip pop-culture references. But all of our spheres of knowledge are limited. Joe and Betty Barbecue probably know a shitload more about V8s and football than I do. It's just that, for fairly arbitrary reasons, some spheres have higher value placed on them than others.

Likewise, they may be busy or distracted, and so attending to my lovingly crafted 30 second spot with less than their full attention. That doesn't mean that, if I do manage to do something that engages them, they can't bring fairly sophisticated interpretive and reasoning skills to bear.

I'm fairly confident I'm right about this. And having grown up in a working class neighbourhood myself, I've seen how badly it can misfire when some halfwit private school boy with a bad BCom decides to run a piece that patronises ordinary, working people.

But occassionally, I see something that challenges my faith.

Like this piece from the manchester evening news, detailing how a scratch card has had to be withdrawn because punters had difficulty understanding negative numbers.


Underwhelming said...

What about private school boys with good bComs?
I guess they just go work for the government.

I was in estonia one winter and was momentarily confused by the hostel owner's answer to my weather query "high of 20, low of 30".
(He just viewed the 'negative' as superfluous, which is fair enough, I don't say 'high of positive 20')

oh, and nice post

Cleaver said...


I suspect they often end up drinking their talents away in the company of state school boys with passable LLBs.