Anant Rangaswami
Dec 07, 2010

Anant’s blog: Of the love lives of dips

And of being closed to criticism

Anant’s blog: Of the love lives of dips

The hoarding shouted at me: “Seven dips to fall in love”. I look around desperately to see where the rest of the sentence has dropped. Nowhere. 

That’s it? That’s the sentence? 

“Seven dips to fall in love”? 

Is that a statement of a future event, like “Sarkozy to create chaos in Mumbai today”?
Is it, therefore, suggesting that, sometime in the future, seven dips, whatever they are, will fall in love? 

Is anyone interested in the love lives of dips? 

And this is a headline for McDonald’s, one of the leading brands of the world, created by Leo Burnett, one of the leading advertising agencies of the world. 

How does something like this happen? 

There are some who will say I’m being anal, that I’m nitpicking, that ‘good’ and ‘correct’ English is not important anymore. Perhaps that’s true. But I doubt if rubbish like the ‘seven dips’ is acceptable. 
How does something like this happen? 

Overall, the industry is unwilling to listen to criticism of any kind. No one makes a distinction between constructive and destructive criticism. All criticism is perceived as destructive and, as a consequence, all criticism is unwelcome. 

I can’t believe that no one in the entire chain objected to the headline. That no one saw something wrong with it. Yet, the agency presented it and the client bought it. 

I worry very little about the ad in question – but I do worry about how it came to be born. 

We’ve seen it at the Abbys. The inability of the industry at large to discuss anything that suggests that all is not well.

We’ve seen it with the AAAI, where differences of opinion almost split the association a year ago. With two different points of view, the inability to pay attention to the other point of view leads to a disaster – pretending that the differences do not exist, and wishing that they would go away. 

They do not. 

Dissent is good. Criticism, in most part, is useful. That’s why we have unmoderated comments on this blog, on the website. You can agree with us, disagree with us, and your point of view is published. And we read them all and, slowly and steadily, we make course corrections.

Create an atmosphere that encourages criticism and dissent. You can only gain from it.

Campaign India

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