1. Been scouring the net and the bookshops and whatnot. Hot marketing word du jour: “Transparency”.
Yep, we’re all f–cking transparent now. From the guy who cleans your pool to General F–cking Motors. Rock on.
2. “Advertising is Dead.” Yep, bastards like me are no longer going to try to sell you anything. You heard it here first.
3. “Blogs cure cancer”. Yep, so now you can go tell that expensive chemotherapist of yours to go f–k himself.
4. “Alternative Advertising” is really hot right now. So instead of advertising on TV or People Magazine like a normal person, you show your boss you’re “with it” by hiring one of these ‘Alternative’ advertising agencies and getting their army of freelance college girls to smear their pert, young breasts with your company’s product and march around the campus a’giggling. Hopefully “word of mouth” is generated, the media “picks it up” and suddenly you’re no longer referred to as “Cube Boy” around the office.
5. We’re all about “empowerment” these days. We have great need to be constantly reminded by the brands we buy into that we’re not the flaccid nonentities we spent most of our lives believing we were. So instead of it saying “Powered by Blogger” on your website (a perfectly reasonable and succinct phrase, in my opionion), you now have “I power Blogger”. So now people are going to laugh at you less. Right.
6. What makes the hi-tech/internet/dotcom client attractive to the ad business isn’t their actual products, it’s their customers.
What is attractive is the idea of selling products made by smart people (e.g. computers, iPods etc) to other smart people (e.g. techies, entrepreneurs, college profs). As opposed to selling products made by smart people (baked beas, candy bars, soap powder) to dumb people (welfare mothers, redneck sports fans), the latter being 90% of what the ad business does to pay its bills.
Selling to people of your own caliber is generally a far more rewarding way to spend one’s time than selling to people you wouldn’t want to invite into your own house. Which is why the best agencies get to work on those accounts, and why hi-tech accounts get more than their fair share of advertising and marketing accolades.
7. We seem overly fond of “Zen” imagery these days. Whenever possible we like to design our company logos to resemble sumi ink drawings from 17th century Zen Masters and whatnot.
We like Zen because it has all that comforting, calming, meditative, spiritual schtick without the insistence that we believe in anything too specific or counter-intuitive. Unlike say, Christianity or Islam.
So if your company cannot come up with its own spiritual schtick, Zen is the easiest “big one” to appropriate without appearing too tacky.
8. The future of advertising is… never using the words “future of advertising” in conversation. Don’t even ask.
9. Regular readers will have heard me mention The Cluetrain Manifesto: “All markets are conversations.”
OK, I’ll up the ante.
The Hughtrain Manifesto: “All products are conversations.”
Again, you heard it here first. Heh.