Bob Hoffman seldom minces his words, and his recent post from his blog does not disappoint. The post goes as follows:
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 behaviour 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.
Bob Hoffman has been the CEO of two independent agencies and is the author of the Ad Contrarian blog, where this post first appeared.
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