Confessions of an analog man in a digital world

Mark Duffy has written the Copyranter blog for 11 years and is a freelancing copywriter with 25-plus years of experience. His hockey wrist shot is better than yours.

I turned 56 last week. I’ve written for Digiday — the leading source for all things digital and tech in advertising, marketing and publishing — for a year and a half. This is my 100 percent truthful confessional.

I don’t know if digital advertising is more or less of a scam than traditional advertising
All advertising is partly a scam, because you never know for sure what you’re paying for and what you’ve bought. Digital ads have more metrics attached to them, but do they work better? Some leading marketing experts say they’re still mostly a waste of money.

I’ve argued many times that traditional advertising, like shorter video ads and billboards, are more effective (if — and this is a big if — they’re brilliantly creative). But do I know this? I can provide scores of case studies, but really, no, I don’t. And the only “metric” that matters is the sales number. But if it goes up, is that due to the advertising? I don’t know. And neither do you, digital/tech gurus.

I know next to nothing about ad tech
I did cobble together a definition from a few sources: “The programmatic implementation of advertising using algorithms to hyper-target placement to the ‘perfect’ demographic.”

Yeah, I still don’t know what it is. But some big-name business men, like Jim Spanfeller, do know what it is and they say it’s a big bunch of lies by a big bunch of liars. Maybe Spanfeller is lying? Certainly don’t ask me who’s right.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.01.53 PM
My secret internet platonic boyfriend, Michael Cudlitz

I don’t Snapchat, or Instagram
Hundreds of millions of people now Instagram. Jesus bleeding Christ. You people Instagram everything: Your faces, your feces and everything in between. Now, I am a twice-diagnosed narcissist, and I do post the occasional shirtless shot when the editorial content begs for it (scroll down to #12). But you younguns’ obsession with oversharing scares the crap out of my id, sending it scurrying and screaming back to its man-cave.

Yes, I have a “smart” phone
I use it for: email, texts with my wife, music, and sports scores. That’s it. I have zero apps. I hate the word “apps” even more than I hate the word “ideation.”

I have never made a “GIF”
I don’t know how to make a “GIF.” I will never make a “GIF.” Ever. If Digiday says “make a GIF or you’re fired” — then I will be unemployed.

I have never used an emoji
I will never use an emoji, ever. They make me fear for the future of humanity. Thinking about them makes me nauseous. I am not at all kidding.

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