The Contrarian Wisdom

Bob Hoffman has had a distinguished career as an ad man. He has won several awards and his work speaks for itself. Besides this, he runs an extremely popular advertising blog at “The Ad Contrarian.”

Hoffman is sharp and precise when sharing his views on the problems of today’s marketing and advertising. He makes compelling arguments and gives a clear perspective about advertising and the job it has to do. The book is a reminder of the basics and acts as a wake-up call to why advertising goes bad. Recommended reading for anyone in marketing, management or advertising.

“101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising” is an insightful and hilarious look at what’s wrong with advertising agencies, with marketing in general, and maybe even the world overall. But it isn’t just for people who work in ad agencies. It is for anybody who has ever seen an ad that sucked and wondered how it came into existence.

The TV series “Mad Men” has caught the world over for its peek into the glamorous underbelly of advertising (yes, the underbelly is glamorous too!). If you are one of the people involved in advertising, marketing or have ever wondered about the making of an ad, read the book.

One of our favourite parts of the book is “Top 10 Double-Secret Unknown Facts about Advertising”. 

Here they are: Amazing facts backed up with common sense and research.

  1. 99.9% of people who are served an online display ad do not click on it.
  2. TV viewership is now at its highest point ever. 
  3. 96% of all retail activity is done in a store. 4% is done online.
  4. DVR owners watch live TV 95% of the time. They watch recorded material 5% of the time.
  5. 99% of all video viewing is done on television. 1% is done online.
  6. The difference in purchasing behaviour between people who use DVRs and those who don’t: None.
  7. Since the 1990s, click-through rates for banner ads have dropped 97.5%.
  8. Since the introduction of TiVo (a digital video recorder (DVR)), real-time TV viewing has increased by over 20%.
  9. Baby boomers dominate 94% (now people over 50) of all consumer packaged goods categories. 5% of advertising is aimed at them.
  10. TV viewers are no more likely to leave the room during a commercial break than they are before or after the break.

Not everything may be directly relevant to the Indian marketer but a lot of it is and that which is not will be in the future.

The book is a fun way of keeping up with the industry. A great buy.

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