Talking To An Ad Contrarian

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Episode #327 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

When was the last time you read a non-fiction business book and laughed out loud? There have been instances where I have smiled, perhaps had an occasional chuckle. The last business book that really made me laugh out loud was Luke Sullivan‘s Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. I came to Bob Hoffman in a very different way. I had heard about this blog, The Ad Contrarian, for some time, but a headline in DigiDay really caught my attention. The article was called, The Ad Contrarian’s Reality Check. And, this is what Hoffman said: "The biggest myth is that the digital ad industry knows what the hell it’s talking about. Almost every ‘expert’ and ‘industry leader’ who has made predictions about digital advertising over the past 10 years has turned out to be wrong. They told us interactivity would make advertising more effective and engaging. It hasn’t. Consumers have shown no inclination to interact with online advertising. They told us traditional advertising was on the way out. Anyone who believes this must have slept through the Olympics. They told us that the DVR was going to devastate the effectiveness of TV advertising. Studies have shown it has had little to no effect on consumer purchasing behavior. They told us the PC and the television were going to converge. They haven’t. They have have had a parade of social media miracle cures that were going to ‘change everything’ — blogs, podcasts, widgets, YouTube, Facebook, games, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Pinterest, QR codes and, of course, now content. Mostly they have turned out to be over-hyped, marginally-to-moderately effective marketing tools that have not been game-changers, as advertised. The digital ad industry is unreliable at best, and irresponsible at worst." Ouch. You can imagine how hungry I was for more. I reached out to Hoffman and asked if he would be a guest on the podcast. He agreed. I also bought both of his books, The Ad Contrarian and 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising. His books were sharp and hilariously funny. I may not always agree with everything Hoffman says, but his content is well worth digging into as his experience and expertise in the advertising industry cannot be denied. Ultimately, if you just want to laugh about how industry evolves, the books are worth the price of admission. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #327.


  1. I’ve been reading Bob’s blog for a few months now and I love what he says, but I’ve had this unexplainable negative feeling when I see him on video. I’ve just realized while listening to your podcast that it’s because he’s got the exact voice of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman… lol.

  2. I hardly leave a response, but I browsed some of the responses on this page
    Talking To An Ad Contrarian | Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Insights
    – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image. I do have some questions
    for you if it’s allright. Is it just me or do some of these comments come across like they are written by brain
    dead people? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional places,
    I’d like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Could you
    make a list of all of all your social networking sites like your Facebook
    page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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