22 March 2009

The Ad Contrarian

Thanks to Christopher Simpson’s outrageous Ad Nauseam blog, I took a long peek at a PDF that had me laughing and nodding:

acThe Ad Contrarian (book)
by Bob Hoffman
…. Today’s marketers seem obsessed with the irrelevant. They have convinced themselves that the Internet is a strategy; that pathetic, desperate stunts are a shortcut to brand building; that advertising is a dying practice …

A few quotes from Bob’s book and my book (so you know why I like his so much)

Bob’s book:

bh … I read an article by the creative director of a large international ad agency. He said his advertising is not intended to sell products. The objective is to “build brands.”

There was something alarming about this statement, but I’d heard it expressed so many times before that I’d begun to take it for granted that I was crazy and everybody else was right …

Chuck’s book:

I’ll be branded as a whistle-blower, a troublemaker, but all branding is today is advertising. It’s the new word for advertising, and not a very good one. Due to fractured, varied target markets, and the scores of new ways to reach consumers, branding has become the easiest way of dealing with all the variables. It’s a dumbed-down version of advertising. You could call it instant advertising—something that has no lasting value to the consumer, or to the advertiser. It’s a quick fix. In show biz parlance, the hydra-headed branding monster has no legs …

I’m guessing that the branding circus is about over. It will return, for advertising techniques are as cyclical as most everything in life seems to be. Print copywriting was once King, the radio commercial was once King, the television commercial was once King. Now, the brightly colored, crackles-and-explodes-in-your-mouth, rather tasteless and nutritiously deficient branding message is King.

But not for much longer.

Bob’s book:

… We don’t get them to try our product by convincing them to love our brand. We get them
to love our brand by convincing them to try our product.

Chuck’s book (more prophetic than Chuck knew at the time):


Bob’s book:

Of all the dumb things that advertisers do, perhaps dumbest of all is aiming their message
too young.

advbbpfrt Chuck’s book:

…. That is my book.

Mr. Hoffman also has an outrageous blog – with some great quotes if you scroll a bit and bear right:

The Ad Contrarian (blog)
"Brand studies last for months, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and generally have less impact on business than cleaning the drapes."

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