Las Vegas is a mirage that is real. The city of sin is everything they
say it is. The brighter the lights, the longer the shadows.
taxi driver told me he just needed one more jackpot and he could leave. I
asked him how long he had been waiting for the big win
hesitation he replied 16 years. He then asked me how much change I
wanted from a 10 dollar ride. I had given him a 20.
Vegas is also
plastic fantastic. The city has created its own world that eventually
on some level you have to surrender to. A reality, based on greedy
determination and admirable ambition. A flagrant disregard of what you
are supposed to do. Vegas has so much of itself, that somehow, it can
defy the laws of physics. Time and space can be altered. Day becomes
night. Luxury that makes you forget. Opulence that makes you believe
anything is possible. And, savagely sunburnt couples in matching vests
drinking two litre Margaritas at 8:47am. On a Tuesday. Eventually, you
sort of love it. You know you shouldn't, but you kind of do.
Vegas has is a density. A density of information. Layers of glitter.
Many explanations. Proof that the odds are in your favour.
against that backdrop, perhaps the silence in the jury room was
heightened. We had all just seen a great idea. We were all smiling. We
were nodding. Words were unnecessary. Nobody had to explain. It was
I was lucky enough to experience that silence a few
more times on the trip. Once at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
overlooking the Colorado River. It is so beautiful it looks like a
bizarre naturally occurring Wes Anderson film set. There is an intense
silence. A silence, that feels like it is coming from inside you. A
silence where everything makes sense. A silence when you are absolutely
I began to think about this idea that when things are
truly great, language fails you. This idea of knowing. Nobody has to
explain something if you feel it. Whether it is an idea, a song or a
very large tree. We easily trust and are seduced by
words. But, when
something is truly great there is a leap from language to another place.
saw the Redwoods in San Francisco after a slightly insane bus trip. Our
bus driver had an extremely monotonous voice. It didn't go up or down.
He droned on as if reading while highly medicated. He was doing this
while going around sheer cliffs. A passenger actually shouted for him to
shut the fuck up and focus on the road. I believe we reached The Muir
Woods just in time. The silence amongst those giants was perfect. That
is the only word I have. Perfect.
So what does this have to do with advertising?
has a lot to answer for when it comes making a lot of noise. It is
responsible for a lot of glitter and tinsel. It also makes a lot of
rubbish. Watch television on any given night or flick through a few
banner ads. Most of it is utter shite. The Vegas strip is not dissimilar
to this. Selling and yelling. Everybody wants your attention. It
literally becomes a blur. Some of you may say well that is just the way
the world is these days. Perhaps.
What is strange though, is when
you are in a room and watch 400 ads you remember the one where there is
silence in the room. You just know. We all smile. No words. It had
craft, beauty or made you feel. You don't remember the tinsel you
remember the Redwood. You remember what is special.
you say it, I am not comparing advertising to the majesty of the Grand
Canyon or a giant Redwood.What I am saying is what always stands out is
quality. The hustlers think you can cut corners. You can, but only for a
while. The truth is people know. Just like the jury, we just knew.
A simple lesson I learn over and over.
Instead of making and believing in a lot of noise, we should be looking for that perfect silence a little harder.