March 08, 2013

Friday Fun Fest

People - 38,765, Comments - 0
Adweek publishes a pretty good blog called AdFreak. I read it sometimes. I was reading an interesting post there the other day and I noticed something.

There were 38,765 people who "liked" the blog on Facebook. And not a single comment on the post. 

Can someone please explain this "engagement" thing to me again?

This Week's Fun Couple
Yesterday, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stated that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who died on Tuesday, would be resurrected along with Jesus.

Also this week, Kim Jong Un's foreign minister said North Korea was planning a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the U.S.

I'm starting to think these guys are a little kooky.

Where Are The Guitar Picks?
I buy them by the dozen and lose them by the score.

In my life I have lost at least a thousand. I figure I am about average stupid. If there are a million guitar players like me in the world (it seems there at least a million just on YouTube), that means there are a billion guitar picks that have gone missing.

Where are they? They have to be somewhere. How do you hide a billion guitar picks?

I want answers.

Interview With A Quitter
I've been asked a lot of questions since I announced I would be leaving my agency last week. To avoid having to answer them too many more times, here are the most common questions I've been asked and my answers. 

Q: Why are you leaving the agency?
A: I'm bored. After a while, a large part of being a ceo becomes ceremonial. I'm not good at it or interested in it.

Q: What are you going to do?
A: Don't know. I'll definitely continue writing and speaking about advertising. There's about a 50% chance I'll do something new and small in the ad/marketing world. Another 25% likelihood I'll try some other business. And about a 25% chance I'll retire. I have some options and I'm in no rush to decide.

Q: When did you decide to leave?
A: Five years ago. I started selling my interest in the company to my partners in 2007. The plan was for me to leave at the beginning of 2012, but business was lousy and I didn't feel comfortable doing it. Our business is excellent now and I feel a lot better about leaving.

Q: What's the hardest part about leaving?
A: Don't know. I'm sure I will find out over time. Right now I am excited, which is a nice new feeling for a cranky guy. Boredom is for young people. I'm too old to be bored. 

Q: Are you available for consulting and, if so, how can we reach you?
A: Yes, after April 1. You can contact me now at 

Q: What's the biggest problem in the ad business?
A: By far, the biggest problem is consolidation. We used to be an industry of mainly small businesses run by craftspeople and entrepreneurs. We are now an industry of huge enterprises run by financial guys. It has changed everything, mostly for the worse.

Q: What are you most proud of?
A: I'm most proud that I was able to help create jobs and a little bit of prosperity for a group of nice people and their families. I am also proud of this blog and the books. And, of course, my Noble Prize.

Q: Are you going to keep writing the blog?
A: Yes.

Q: What advice do you have for people in the ad business?
A: Save your money.

And Finally...
Ad Contras are the best. I've received a lot of very nice emails from people over the past week. Thank you. It was unexpected and much appreciated. If I were a different kind of person I might even say I was touched. I am planning to respond to each personally. Please be patient. I am way behind but will try to get them all answered this weekend.


Eoin Alexander said...

"How do you hide a billion guitar picks?"

There's a campaign in there somewhere.

Unknown said...

They're in the same place as all the single socks missing from the laundry ...

Steve Walker said...

Where are all the guitar picks? Next to all the ballpoints, of course :-)

Jim Powell said...

On the consolidation thing, that interests me. Confused I am.

Most markets it has been said move towards monopoly over time. Except the Monopolies and Merger Commission ....old joke I know.

And some markets that have done this have served the customer well with lowered prices and retained quality and served more people.

We may bitch about it but food is cheaper, cars, travel, mobile phones, elec goods, energy, drinks. All consolidated. Mainly cheaper, quality still okay in some places exceptional, customer service shot in most places but not all.

But advertising consolidates and gets worse? Is that right? I think so.....mass produced advertising never works, is that the answer? Working in a big corp environment doesn't attract the right people to make good ads? Or is it that there is no attention to quality only profit?

Consolidation is not going to stop is it?

Best wishes on the retirement. I have only followed your blog for a while and it has changed me, for the better.

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Rob Hatfield said...

Re: The guitar picks. Jimi is using them keeping heaven entertained.

Chris S. said...

I imagine armies of rodents using the guitar picks like kite shields as they scurry into fuzzy, flea-infested battle. Like BraveHeart meets Ratatouille.

My amusement starvation must now be plainly apparent.

MB said...

2 day Pepsi announced that have fired its chief marketing officer perhaps mr contrarian would like to go work there?!

Mark Avnet said...

Avram Davidson wrote an award-winning short story called "Or All the Seas with Oysters" in which his characters speculate on the hidden (and sinister) life cycle of safety pins that turn into coat hangers... and where did all those abandoned bicycles come from, anyway? I've always imagined that my missing guitar picks have metamorphosed into sharp objects I don't remember having that I step on in darkened rooms, on their way to becoming something else... maybe those ladybugs in the house that come from nowhere in the middle of winter...

Charlotte said...

People – yep people will like anything. The headline “Nevada Ranked Last for Financial Stability
of Residents” received plenty of Likes.

Fun couple – does politics make you crazy or do you have to
be crazy to be in politics? I don’t know nothin’ about resurrection.

Guitar picks – I’m going into that business and sell them to

Quitter – Awesome to be able to retire - especially from
advertising. That means you are successful. Glad you stayed on another year –
it shows you care. Thank you for creating jobs. Consolidation will eventually
be undermined by the folks who are creating that mess – it will leave more
space for those who care about the “craft” of advertising. I look forward to
reading your blog – thanks for maintaining it – I really mean it.

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A_sanz said...

Thanks for staying on and adding some sense to the ad business. I stumbled upon your blog several years ago and have repeatedly used your shrewd analysis and no-nonsense approach in our work in an advertising agency in Spain. Glad you will keep blogging so your Spanish apostles can continue to counter local socialhypebullshit here too.

Pat said...

If you play an acoustic, the guitar picks are all piled inside. Just shake them out of the hole. You'll have at least a hundred picks back. You're welcome.

Wade Sturdivant said...

The guitar picks are in the dryer. At least that's where I always find them after they've gone through another wash cycle in my pants pockets. Glad you're going to keep writing the blog, Bob. I'd hate to lose one of the few advertising sites I post links to on Adpulp. Thanks for all the wisdom/common sense. Looking forward to more.

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