I Love Advertising Because I Love Lying
At the 2014 Clio awards in New York, Jerry Seinfeld, the famous comedian, receiving an honorary reward for his work in the advertising industry, critiqued and mocked the dishonesty and illusion upon which the industry rests. Here is a good portion of his speech transcribed.
I love advertising because I love lying. In advertising everything is the way you wish it was. I don’t care that it will not be like that when I actually get the product being advertised, because in between seeing the commercial and owning the thing, I am happy, and that’s all I want. Tell me how great the thing is going to be. I love it. I don’t need to be happy all the time. I just want to enjoy the commercial. We know that the product is going to stink. We know that because we live in the world and we know that everything stinks. We all believe, “Hey, maybe this one won’t stink.” We are a hopeful species. Stupid, but hopeful.
We are happy in that moment between the commercial and the purchase, and I think spending your life (referring to all present who are in the advertising business) trying to dupe innocent people out of hard earnings to buy useless, low quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy.
I also think that just focusing on making money and buying stupid things is a good way of life. I believe materialism gets a bad rap. It is not about the amount of money. Nothing is better than a VW Beatle, or a pair of regular Levis. If your things don’t make you happy, you are not getting the right things. This will all be in my new book, Soulful Materialism, which is in the planning stages at this moment.
Thank you and have a great evening.