Throughout the presentation he hit on data that doesn't back up all the things that pundits are constantly saying about the evolution of the advertising and marketing business. And, he's right about a lot of things, some of which have always bothered me. You look at case studies that talk about "amazing, great success" because 1,000 people participated in a contest or 10K watched a video online. We work the data to tell the story that we believe to be true (hence bullshit), and sell it in like snake oil salesmen. We care more about channels and the medium than the ideas. I remember someone once told me that ideas didn't matter anymore--what a horrible, sad state for this business if that was to be true. Ideas are not just for creative, they're a part (or should be) of each step in the process of creating advertising, branding, marketing and communications from strategy to development.
At the end of the talk, Hoffman is interviewed and in response to a question of an audience member he says this:
"We are so obsessed with delivery systems, with what media you're going to use. We have to get back to ideas. That is what has always built brands. Great products and great ideas about those products that can be delivered in any advertising channel. A good idea is a good idea in any channel. A bad idea is a bad idea in any channel." - Bob HoffmanYes. Yes yes yes yes yes. Yes.
How and why we as an industry have gotten away from this basic thinking is just crazy. Ideas matter. It's what we do. It's what we sell. It's our value to our clients. Pretending that it's not is just absurdity.