In a rant riddled with satire, cynicism and humourous punts, award winning Jerry Seinfeld managed to criticise both advertising and the destiny of humankind. Seinfeld’s acceptance speech for an advertising award quickly took a turn. Watch the speech here:
His humourous prodding of advertising started with a claim, “I love advertising because I love lying.” The rest of his speech continued in the style of him claiming he loved many controversial facets of advertising.
He also encouraged commercials which misrepresent the product because “in between seeing the commercial and getting the product I am happy. Tell me how great the thing is going to be, I don’t need to be happy all the time.”
He further claims, “We know the product is going to stink. We know that because we live in the world, and we know that everything stinks. We all believe, ‘Hey, maybe this one won’t stink.’ We are a hopeful species. Stupid but hopeful. But we’re happy in that moment between the commercial and the purchase. And I think spending your life trying to dupe innocent people out of hard-won earnings to buy useless, low-quality, misrepresented items and services is an excellent use of your energy.”
His speech of course is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. He did not intend to jeopardise advertising, insult the audience of advertising enthusiasts or cause great self reflection. And it was well received; the audience can be heard frequently applauding and laughing. This demonstrates how an advertiser can masterfully use storytelling to evoke a comical reaction from what would otherwise be a distasteful acceptance speech.