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36: On the contrary: Bob Hoffman on the state of the agency world

Bob Hoffman on Marketing Today

Bob Hoffman is an “Ad Contrarian,” which is also the name of his popular and influential blog, and he’s a best-selling author, advisor and sought-after speaker on advertising and marketing. Earlier in his career, he was CEO of two independent advertising agencies. So, needless to say, he knows his way around the block.

In this podcast, Hoffman discusses his perspective on all things advertising, from the watering down of creative to the changing role of account management to the rise of media.

For him, one of the things present-day advertising gets wrong is its lack of focus on creativity: “Advertising isn’t as effective as it used to be, and…advertising isn’t as creative as it used to be. And I have a very hard time believing that these two things are not related.” He also says, “One of the problems is that it (advertising) has become corporate-tized. And they’re investing in everything but creativity. They’re investing technology, data and metrics, but they’re not investing in creativity. And I think creativity is the real business of advertising…I think creativity has become a support service now in most large agencies, and not the focus of what they’re doing.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • What’s wrong with advertising? (4:31)
  • Calendar keepers: The demise of the strategy function in account management. (7:38)
  • Planning or Strategy: No matter what you call it, without defined principles, is it really a discipline? (10:31)
  • What’s “broken” in the creative department? (16:35)
  • Are clients to blame for the watering down of creativity in advertising? (20:45)
  • The ascendancy of media. (21:31)
  • The (sorry) state of the agency model: Blow it up and start over? (27:31)