This clip has been making the rounds lately, and for good reason. In it, comedian Jerry Seinfeld accepts a Clio Award, one of advertising’s top honors, while simultaneously slamming the industry for “lying” and “trying to dupe innocent people.” Check it out:
Part of the humor and irony here is that Seinfeld is a member of the industry he slams – he earns no angel wings simply for recognizing the unethical nature of most advertising. Yet it is nonetheless amusing, if not mildly disturbing, to hear the audience of ad executives laugh at being called out for their crookedness, and it is pleasing that Seinfeld used his turn at the mic to tear off the veneer of success that is so pervasive in awards ceremonies. Ads may be entertaining or even beautiful at times, but even as ad producers are patting themselves on the back, it’s not the worst thing for them to be reminded that most of them are fundamentally liars and thieves. Any media critic could make the same point, but unless you’re Jerry Seinfeld, you probably won’t be invited into a room of ad titans to make it to their faces.