On ‘Taking fucking risks’ with Bob Hoffman

Using a digital channel to start a conversation about a Bob Hoffman talk seems like sacrilege. Or as Bob would say, “fucking sacrilege”.

Bob Hoffman is the outspoken, old school US adman behind the influential ‘Ad contrarian’ blog and the book ‘Marketers are from Mars, Consumers are from New Jersey’.

His talk last night in London was titled ‘Take fucking risks.’ It was about his belief that much of what marketers are doing today is “horseshit.”

It covered what he sees as the three main Delusions in the industry – The Digital Delusion, The Brand Delusion and The Age Delusion.

Hoffman makes some striking points, using some pretty persuasive proof. He is outspoken on the level of fraud that’s been taking place in the digital advertising space, and happily shares examples of global corporates that are openly moving hundreds of millions of their marketing dollars back into more mainstream channels.

Bob Greenberg, the founder of digital agency R/GA, takes an opposing view to Hoffman’s. His view is that it’s digital that made a success of P&G’s ‘Like a Girl’ and Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaigns and couldn’t have worked as traditional ‘interruptive’ ad spots.

Couldn’t they?

The point is they’re big ideas.

Is that what this is about? We still need the big idea. We can roll it out all over the place but completely ignore those mass channels at your peril.

Agencies needs to find those big ideas and be allowed the time to search their creative minds for them. Ideas that engage and connect people. That can be translated into memorable messages that stick. Death to the wallpaper. Take fucking risks.

Watch Bob Hoffman here: