I’m Now A Mad Man: Podcast 027

I was going to be an AE. This was amazing. Or was it? There are so many moving parts here I’m not sure where to begin. The point was and is that what you see for ads and sales materials are not these random exercises but well measured considered works. And you add to that the need to target specific audiences with a message and strategy and tactic it became truly the rubic cube of pieces. But this was my start.


The Good Old Days of Marketing and Advertising: Re-Modeled for Big Data

The best marketer, strategist, advertising thinker online DigitalTonto offers up his take on where advertising and marketing need to go in todays big data love fest. His post “Why Most Marketers Will Fail In The Era Of Big Data“. Walks us through the heyday advertising Leo Burnett to big data.

Leo Burnett and Marlboro is a success story built on the back of guts and instinct. Those of us from the day know this story and even though it is for poison the reality is clear you can move from “worst to first”.

Greg reminds us of New Coke and what that ended up being. F L O P Yet it was tested with over 200,000 consumers who voted it a winner. (Reminds me of a brand manager who said he didn’t want us to use green on an ad because his wife didn’t like green.) Well the truth was no one wanted ‘real’ Coke taken away.

Lest we forget planners, those in the agency who would research the shit out of the consumer to enhance the creative product. They offered up the likes of ‘professional men’, ‘young aspires’, etc. As Greg shares planners suffered confirmation bias. So much for the human condition and data.

Today we are moving toward simulation marketing where data is analyzed by machines. It is the application of BIG data into marketing decisions to identify what to do, say, pitch, at various segments. Greg points out that we are no longer Leo Burnett’s but (a new word for me) growth hackers. But the following is where he sees this marketing world and us inhabiting it:

In fact, he points [Andrew McAfee] to research which shows that rather than trying to use data to inform our judgment, we would do much better by putting our energy into building better models, but taking their answers at face value.  Applying our own subjective judgment after the fact is much more likely to worsen results than it is to improve them.

I am not so sure that we have to do that, you know close our eyes fall back and trust someone will catch us. I am not a Luddite and I believe that we can take what the machines tell us and massage meaning and color and shading and messaging and strategy and a headline and a graphic from it. We need to work in parallel with the machines and the big data. To this point a good trusted and very smart friend had this response to Greg’s post:

So essentially no one has to actually think anymore, no one has to exercise judgment or insight or perception, they just have to be able to push the “start” button.  Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: the answer is 42.  Perfect for today’s crop of spoiled, insolent, lazy-minded students.  The computer nerds win.  Civilization is totally, totally fracked.

Makes you glad we’re old and useless, rather than young and useless which is what we would be today, where the mantra is do not think, force not accommodate, and make war not love.

My take on this, my friend is right we can not surrender at least those of us who think and have experience. We can be Leo with the help of the machines. Perhaps even better but the issue is those to control the creative product in advertising and marketing are not creatives but that is whole long rant. 

Mad Men Circa 1977

Prime Burger on 5 East 51st across from Staint Patrick’s is closing after 74 years. My first non-sales job was in the building around the corner on Madison Ave. I was doing medical advertising. It was just down the street from DDB. (Those famous VW ads). It was amazing to be in advertising in the heart of mid town surrounded by ad agencies and everything we see on Mad Men. It was where I met Donna.

Prime Burger had the best EVER burgers and fries perfect just perfect. Life is organic it lives and dies one big cycle. This article reminded me of what has been in my life not what is gone.