Creative director and industry gadfly, Dave Trott, wants to fix advertising. His fix involves stripping away the false complexities put in the way by egotists and charlatans.
It’s a long weekend, push play.
His talk is full of notable moments, including his discussion of “form follows function.” Trott says we tend to fundamentally misunderstand this common Bauhaus saying. He says the emphasis must be placed on follows, which means that function is much more important than form.
In advertising at the moment, it’s all about form and nothing about function. And nobody wants to look at the function of what we do. Which is very much like a beautiful chair, a beautiful that you can’t sit in. If you can’t sit in it, it’s not a fucking chair. It’s a piece of sculpture. An orange box is more of a chair than a beautiful sculpture that you can’t sit on. And advertising at the moment is making millions of beautiful chairs that you can’t sit on.
Dave Trott is one of the few men in Adland with a Wikipedia entry. In 2004, he won D&AD President’s Award for lifetime achievement in advertising. He writes for Campaign, and he’s the author of Predatory Thinking: A Masterclass in Out-Thinking the Competition.