Ad Agencies Don’t Run Ads

If ads work, why won’t advertising agencies run them?

Photo by Harry Sandhu on Unsplash

Seems like everyone is a hypocrite sometimes. Advertising agencies almost never run ads; they know the conditions in which ads work are expensive to create and rare to come by. Tech executives strictly limit their kids’ technology use; they know exactly what those products are designed to do. Doctors don’t like to take medicine; they’ve treated too many side effects.

Ever feel like the only sector whose workers actually believe in their products is the pyramid scheme industry? Same. The universe loves irony, I guess. But anyway, don’t forget to subscribe to my essential oil blog.

So, what can we, as marketers, learn from hypocrisy being the norm and truth being the exception across most industries? Before Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” became the corporate manual for masking corporate BS by hacking into consumers’ beliefs, there was Zag.

More than a book, Zag was a philosophy adopted by woke creative directors, account executives, planners and strategists alike. Its premise was simple. When everyone else zigs, you zag. When every brand claims they’re the best, brag about being in second. When every brand is afraid of impolite social media interactions, talk shit to everyone.

It worked then and it works now. What if you told the unvarnished truth while everyone else deploys trickery and dodges tough questions? What if a live human answered your toll-free number when consumers call?

With everyone falling over themselves trying to Start With Why and tossing crunchy word salads about their cherished corporate ideals, what if you were honest and direct, instead?

Your branded media should make genuine, impactful contributions to the arts, instead of serving as data-collection proxies. Because at the end of the day, consumers wonder one thing: what’s the catch?

Could be you.