July 24, 2019

Three Reasons To Like Gary Vee


If you ever tell anyone I said this I'll deny it, but I kinda like Gary Vee. I know he's full of shit but I can't help liking the guy.

Here are three reasons I like him:

1.  He gives hope to those suffering from DDD (Delusional Disrupter Disorder.) These meatballs think that Gary's "just a poor boy with a vision" hooey is a model for success. They don't understand probability. They have about as much likelihood of gaining success from Gary's homilies as I have of winning a hugging contest. Nonetheless, he gives them hope.

3. Our business has two kinds of bullshit - the cold bullshit of the data weasels and the hot bullshit of the Gary Vees. You can have your Powerpoint-addled jargon-spewing data-monkeys. I'll take Gary's hot bullshit any day.

3. He had to grow up in New Jersey with the name Vaynerchuk. You try it.



June 24, 2019

The Only Test Of Brand Purpose


The message from Cannes this year is very clear. Every brand in the world is now trying to woke-wash itself to appear more acceptable to socially conscious consumers. Much of it is cynical bullshit.

The key to understanding which companies are truly doing the right thing, and which ones are using token "brand purpose" as a PR gimmick is very easy. There is only one conclusive touchstone to knowing who is truly committed to social welfare and who is a cynical poseur...

To what lengths do they go to avoid paying taxes?

The most serious attempts to create a better society are substantially funded by tax dollars: education; affordable housing; civil and personal rights; job training; infrastructure; health care. Companies who take unusual and excessive measures to pay little or no taxes are depriving our citizens of the tools we need to improve our societies.

The hitching of a brand purpose initiative to a politically fashionable cause while behind the scenes going to great lengths to avoid paying a fair share of taxes is a deplorable and cynical manipulation of public perceptions.

The fact that these tax gimmicks may be technically legal does not impress me one bit. It is perfectly legal for me not to support charitable causes, but as a responsible citizen I choose to be better than the law requires.

As far as I'm concerned, corporations who use advertising and marketing dollars to pound their chests about their trendy brand purpose cause-du-jour, but employ legions of lawyers to avoid the true cost of improving society are nothing but scum.

June 19, 2019

Dying At Cannes


For the 100th consecutive year I did not go to Cannes. But the good thing is, I know exactly what happened and saved myself thousands of dollars. As a free service to you other losers who didn't attend, here's what you missed
  • A very casually dressed ceo from a very big holding company said that the consumer is changing and we have to change to keep up with the changing consumer. He said we have to evolve or die. 
  • A very rich and famous creative person gave a very stirring speech about how creativity is the heart and soul of our industry and we have to get back to celebrating creativity. Agencies that don't prioritize creativity won't be around long.
  • Another famous creative person with very expensive eye-wear said we need to be brave. Those that aren't brave won't last.
  • A very earnest female executive gave a talk about how we have to value all people regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, absence of religion, age, ability, body type or gluten sensitivity. Marketers that don't value diversity will soon be dead.
  • A very European planner gave a talk about how we have to stop thinking short-term and realize that brands are built by long-term strategy. Those who focus on the short-term will disappear in the long-term. (Then she hurried out to see how many tweets her talk got.)
  • A panel discussion was held to discuss the future of marketing. It was agreed that more personalization was necessary to make marketing more relevant to consumers. Brands that don't have better insights into individual consumer behavior don't have long to live.
  • A panel discussion was held to discuss the future of the agency business. It was agreed that the agency business must align its priorities to the evolving needs of our clients or we will fade away.  
  • A very famous celebrity from outside the advertising industry gave a talk on why he/she now pays as much attention to social media as he/she does to acting/singing/basketball. "You have to stay in touch to stay alive."
  • A very famous billionaire sent a very mid-level executive to explain how their company is committed to protecting consumer privacy by developing an AI process to screen out everything and everyone that is bad. "If we don't do that, we have no future."
  • A research expert said that in order to understand Gen Z we must forget everything we know about Millennials, who were digital natives, and start to understand Gen Z, who are "digital aboriginals." Ignoring the needs of Gen Z is a death sentence.
  • A panel of branding experts agreed that consumers now expect brands to be socially responsible and make the world a better place for all people regardless of sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, absence of religion, age, ability, body type or gluten sensitivity. Brands that don't do that will soon be extinct.
There is so much potential for death in the advertising business these days that there is only one responsible way to avoid marketing's grim reaper -- hang out on yachts and gulp putrid rosé.
Thank goodness there are thousands of men and women from around the world who are willing to do this on our behalf.

Otherwise, we'd be dead.