Steve Simpson Creative Director/Partner, Goodby, S

Steve Simpson Creative Director/Partner, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

Stepping back after a year and half of dot-com frenzy, agencies now need to stop being freelance comedians and get back to being real business partners. Don’t get me wrong, I love comedy. Much of what we do around here is comedic. But so much of the work we’ve seen has been gratuitous. At a point, you think, why should I not hire a group of eighth graders to come in and tell each other fart jokes? We’d get a couple of campaigns out of it. … There was no business proposition and no argument to make. It was just about putting a name out. To me, it is the most primitive form of advertising, like Burma shave signs on the side of the road. Ultimately, people got really tired of it. Irreverence became conventional, so what’s next? You’ll see more work that is thoughtful, that makes a proposition from a company to you. It’s not going to be enough to put a logo on a piece of obscurity anymore. It’s too expensive, too cliché.