SKIN IN the (END) GAME.
THE DIGITAL GIMP RANTS ABOUT AGENCIES THAT TAKE NO RISKS AND PUT PROFITS BEFORE STANDING UP FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN AND THE COMMUNITIES THEY REPRESENT. HE ALSO FINDS SOME INTERESTING USES FOR ECDS AND STRATEGY DIRECTORS IN THE COMING BREAKDOWN OF SOCIETY.
Skin in the game - it’s an authenticity thing. Like a football pundit who has never f#@king played football but spends his Saturday nights telling footballers how to do it, Creative Industry agencies are the ultimate bullshit armchair pundits creating communications and products that do nothing other than drive f#@king GAAC and at the same time enthusiastically encourage others to do something they won’t or can’t do themselves, or want to do but are too f#@king scared to try (those that don’t have the courage to start up a business start up an agency, and those that don’t have have the courage start up an agency, work for one). Today, creative agencies are the living proof that we are indeed in the new jazz age and a massive f#@k off (third) war that will obliterate everything we know is just around corner. Look around you and you can see what a f#@king shit show the world is right now, and then have a look at agencies, who represent most of the creative talent in Britain, and see what they have to say about the coming of fascism, the return to bigotry and racism and end of world as we know it. F#@k all. Are they fascists themselves or do they worry their clients will stop paying them to sell their products if they say something? Is their lack of skin in the game amoral or just f#@king immoral? Taking any f#@king stance would actually have some honour in it, but not taking a stance at all in order to not upset clients or governments and secure profits (what else is there of value in this world I ask you!) is just f#@king spineless. Why is it that the most talented and gifted young people of their generation work in companies that are either f#@king aiding and abetting the destruction of the world, or are actively ignoring it and staying out of the fray? When will they stand up and be f#@ king counted? When will an agency publicly turn down a multi million pound account from Coca Cola because of the amount plastic pollution they are responsible for? When will the kids that work for the agencies refuse to work for them until they begin to stand up for the world and all of its people, instead of just their f#@king shareholders? When? If there ever was a time it is now. I mean, I am an old git, a has been, a middle- age man of diminishing power, dwindling hair and disappearing body shape who lives in the boot of his car - but I find myself really f#@king caring and really f#@king angry about what I see. Why not you my dear Millennial? Gen Z and Alpha are on it, hassling everyone they see f#@king over their future - but not you? Of course, it’s not your f#@king fault, it’s your
shitty parents and their parents’ fault (i.e me). So not giving a shit and chucking more plastic in the ocean could just be your equivalent of ignoring your mum and leaving your dirty pants on the floor. I don’t f#@king blame you really - just have a good time and help your old dad dig the foundations for the family panic room on Sunday afternoons. It’ll be funny, the end of the world, like Shaun of the Dead, and the spirit of the blitz will get us through it and Britain will be great again, and will reign the seas as they did in [insert date]. I often try to imagine what the breakdown of society will look like for you guys. I wonder what end of the world questions keep you up at night - will Netflix still be available and if so will its algorithm recommend any good end of the world films (funny ones like ‘This is the End’, or nasty ones like ’28 Days’)? When should we start downloading as many box sets as possible to get us through the riots and black outs before the internet goes down and should we start hoarding shows now? Will neighbours we haven’t bothered to meet share their food with us or will everyone turn on each other for a can of Heinz Beans with six pork sausages? How long does gluten free pasta keep for? Will Bill from Hull who you met on 4Chan (and who you have come to see as one of your best friends) respond to your cries for help? Will Spotify put a load of music compilations together entitled ‘Riot Chill Out’ and “End of the World Party Bangers’, and will everyone be sick of hearing Prince’s ‘1999’ on repeat within a week? Should I preorder a 3D printer from Argos so I can print myself a gun? My questions, being older, and more insecure of my usefulness to society in an Armageddon, are more focused around skills. What f#@ king use will we have for an Executive Creative Director when the world is ending? Could we find something for them to do? Apparently, when societies collapse they become destratified, despecialised, decentralised, destructured, depopulated - all the de’s. Which is f#@king bad news for all jazz hand bullshit gurus like us, cause basically, if you can’t do anything of f#@king value you’ll be digging f#@king trenches for the dead mate. No one will want us to run a f#@king integrated digital campaign for them I’m afraid, and they certainly won’t need a f#@king logo refresh for a quarter of a million pounds. But they may be interested in us re-segmenting their customer personas (again) to take into account the anxiety and depression epidemic so brands can understand how best to sell their products to the nervous wrecks that were their customers. Plus there could be a load of work for on government propaganda campaigns. And the most over weight of the middle-aged Strategy Directors could find quite a bit of work as security guards managing ration queues for food. They could probably come up with some quite useful (but f#@king pointless) frameworks of how to structure the queuing system - no one would f#@king care though as there would be no rush because no one would have anywhere else to f#@king go as the Netflix box sets we all downloaded before the end would have been watched so many times that everyone in the family can recite every line, and the opening credits make half the family vomit because of some repetition gag reflex. They say that creativity is what distinguishes us from the f#@king animals, but it is our constant need to recreate everything in a mad rush for the new that is in fact what will take us back to the f#@king animals. Those bottom rungs of that most overused f#@king triangle since the pyramids, the great Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (oh how agency folk love the top of a f#@king good triangle), will suddenly become very relevant to us. Food water warmth rest security safety will be all that f#@king concerns our marvellously creative brains. And those ex-Facebook enthusiasts that roam the streets now with their f#@king (real) megaphones speaking of self-actualisation and healing stones and that life is what you make it, just wake up and grab it (and constantly reminisce over the times when they could live-stream their family holiday from a villa in Tuscany) - will be taken into the back alleys and silenced for f#@king ever. And those of us that aided and abetted the creative destruction of our world by using our talents to create needs for shit we never f#@king wanted, and who never f#@king bothered to stand up for what we believed in because we were too busy editing an Instagram story of our latest city break to Budapest, should get our shovels ready - those ditches for the dead aren’t going to f#@king dig themselves are they? Time to put some real f#@king skin in the game.
The Digital Gimp - future innovation specialist
He sleeps in the boot of his S-Class Jag Shirley, he’s a middle-aged trend setter, and he gets very angry when the world gets ahead of him without him noticing (so he does his best not to take his eyes off it). Once a Colossus of the Creative Industries, now not so much. He’s looking for redemption in the Lady Grey tea leaves of future innovation, and he is so confident he is on to something that he has just got himself a desk (with lockable storage) at WeWork. He’s our very own DG and he is soon to have his own show on Sky Channel 679.