State of the advertising business: Ad Contrarian’s must-read views

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I have briefly touched upon some of the critical issues facing the advertising industry in this blog – the oft-quoted talent crunch, new business pitch shenanigans, attitude towards new media and such. But I have skimmed the surface and have only whined about the problems, never presented any concrete solutions. Not to mention being unhappy about the quality of writing (as always).

I was thrilled to discover Ad Contrarian, a blog from an agency CEO in the US who not only sums up the ills of the business but provides great food for thought in outlining his solutions. His views are forthright and articulated in a compelling manner.

I particularly liked the post on The Crisis of Advertising (its a 5-part series). Most of what he has outlined there rings true in this part of the world too. Some of the other posts that made great reading and great sense are:

How to sell Creative – The Big Show: a great post on what happens at ‘big’ meetings where decision-by-committee is the golden rule. Most agencies seek comfort in numbers and a large contingent makes the client feel important. If it is a creative presentation, the collective defiling of the creative is all too familiar for us.

How to sell Creative: the ideal way to sell a creative idea. Or should I say idealistic?

Stop listening to consumers: maybe overdoing it a bit, but succinctly captures the general attitude towards research. Reminded me of Steve Job’s quoting a Henry Ford quote: “So you can’t go out and ask people, you know, what’s the next big [thing.] There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, ‘If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me “A faster horse.”

The author, Bob Hoffman is the CEO of Hoffman/Lewis advertising in San Francisco. See his profile here. Some thoughts on the issues he has raised in forthcoming posts.

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1 Comment

  1. Do agree with the points but not to the last observation as in ” Stop listening to the consumer”. This is quite scandalous . My point here is that this may be true for an evolved customers. But in the case of India where customer behaviour is different from state to state , marketing and advertising is a tough proposition – you would not want to invest in a product going by one’s gut feel ! Well Mr Henry ford said in the same breath ” Any colour is ok as long as it is black ” and how wrong he was ( T Model).

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