We all have had the moment. You're at a party, a wedding, or an event, and you mention to someone that you work in marketing/advertising. And they say: "hey, I have a great idea for an ad!" And we all usually roll our eyes, brace ourselves for their horrible idea, and feel quietly smug. After all, they don't know what they're talking about. They don't know anything about making ads. They think just because they've seen lots of ads that they could make one. They don't know how complex and difficult it actually is.
But here's the thing: now we're all doing that. People at agencies all over the place are saying "I have a great idea for a viral campaign" or "I have a great idea for using social media," but how many of us actually have done it and know what we're talking about? I'm always surprised how few agencies are blogging, or posting on Flickr and YouTube, or using any social media themselves. We all think that just because we've read about it or seen it done a few times that we could do it. And that's not the case. It's a whole new grammar, a whole new philosophy, and it takes a while to learn and understand. We've been blogging for a while now and I feel like I'm still learning.
Think about it this way: would you trust an agency who recommended a TV ad if no one there had ever made one before? So next time you hear someone recommend blogging, or posting on YouTube, or doing something in Second Life, ask if they've ever done it themselves. Let's all try not to be the person at the party who goes around saying "I have a great idea for an ad!"