“An industry of insecurity”: the pet peeves of advertising people

More often these days, advertising is taking its cues from Silicon Valley, where the hacker way is to build through constant experimentation and improvement.

The Digiday Agency Summit, Feb. 19-21 in Palm Springs, Calif., explores the theme of “hacking advertising.” The centerpiece of the event is a brand hack to solve the riddle of how Toyota can raise brand awareness among millennials. Please check out the Summit agenda and register for the event.

We asked speakers from the summit to share their “hacks” to making the ad world more nimble, fast-paced and innovative.

Kat Gordon, founder and creative director, Maternal Instinct, speaker on “Challenging Agencies to Accept Diversity”
There’s a special place in hell for people who reply all. This pixelated pollution chokes inboxes and wastes precious time. Enough already, with art directors and designers who don’t proofread their work and include all-type instructions the writer included in an email as part of the copy itself. Lastly, to the people who come in at 10:30, play foosball all day, and then assume bragging rights for working vampire hours: stop it. Working parents may need to catch a train or relieve a nanny, but they are working just as hard — if not harder — than you. They came in at 8 and worked through lunch.

Jim Cuene, vp of marketing strategy, GoKart Labs, speaker on “Redefining the Agency Model Through Client Partnership”
Stop calling it “content marketing.” It’s just brand building. Calling it “content marketing” is like saying “press PR” or “voice talking.”

Steve Babcock, executive creative director, EVB, speaker on “Consumer Engagement: The Power of Socially-Minded Campaign”
I am not a fan of the advertising industry in general. It’s an industry of insecurity. It’s an industry of negativity. It has been known to ruin marriages, relationships and even lives. And for what? To be important? To be thought of as an advertising super star? Trust me, this is the foulest tasting Kool-Aid on the market. The sooner we all stop thinking we’re Mad Men, the better. How about we all just focus on providing real value for our clients and have the confidence to support one another. And hey, let’s check the drama at the door so we can all get home for dinner. It’s not that complicated.

Geoff Cubitt, Co-CEO, Isobar US, speaker on “Bridging the Gap Between CIO and CMO”
Can we make spam go away?

Kirk Cheyfitz, Global CEO and chief storyteller, Story Worldwide, speaker on “The Content Marketing Deluge: Making it Suck Less”
The traditional pitch is wildly annoying that anyone believes in this day and age that it is productive — for client or agency — to ask a gaggle of established agencies whose work is well known to create and deliver presentations on what they would do for a client. Face it, all you can judge this way is the ability to create pitch theater, not the ability to create great advertising. Even the winning ideas are invariably uninformed (by necessity) and rarely survive the pitch process. There are simpler, better and more effective ways of recruiting good help.

Image via Shutterstock


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