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101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising Paperback – April 4, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bob Hoffman is an author, speaker, and partner in Type A Group, LLC, a company that consults to marketers, advertisers and media. He is author of "101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising", Amazon's top-selling advertising paperback for over a year. He is also author of the "The Ad Contrarian" and "The Ad Contrarian" blog, which was named one of the world's most influential advertising and marketing blogs by Business Insider. Bob's new book, "Advertising Needs Troublemakers" will be released in early 2015. In 2012, Bob was selected "Ad Person of the Year" by the San Francisco Advertising Club. Bob founded and was chairman/ceo of Hoffman/Lewis advertising, one of the West's largest independent advertising agencies. He retired from Hoffman/Lewis in 2013. Previously, Bob was ceo of Mojo USA and president and creative director of Allen & Dorward. Bob has created advertising for McDonald's, Toyota, Shell, Nestle, Blue Cross, Chevrolet, Pepsico, Bank of America, AT&T, and more companies than he cares to think about. He has served on the board of the Advertising and Marketing International Network and has also been Special Assistant to the Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences. Bob is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, business meetings, and advertising events.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Hoffman/Lewis (April 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097968854X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979688546
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,040,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Trueblood on December 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Before I decided to go into advertising for my career, I studied formal logic, rhetoric, and debate in college. It turns out this is a terrific background for a copywriter and an ad professional, because I actually use my training nearly every day on the job. How many Philosophy majors can say that!?!?!? However, I have often caught myself drinking the hype that the ad industry serves in 40 oz bottles. Diligently reading Bob Hoffman has helped put me back on the straight and narrow.

Bob Hoffman is an ad agency owner and a popular advertising blogger at "The Ad Contrarian." He is known for his hilarious skewering of the BS that inundates the advertising industry. Over the years, he has become my favorite advertising blogger because of his ability to think critically. Critical thinking and logic are two faculties in short supply in our industry, and Bob is always a refreshing read.

So I was very happy to see his new book for sale. This book is an edited collection of posts from his blog. Bob Hoffman's perspective is terrific because he continually digs into various heaping piles of advertising hype to discover nuggets of truth. And if he doesn't find any, he's not afraid to say how bad it stinks.

There's not much specific to say about his book, because it's collected from his blog. If you like his blog, you'll like the book. And even if you've read every post on his blog, you should still buy the book. Because he's been writing that great blog for free, and at least deserves some beer money for the effort.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It gives me great pleasure to review Bob Hoffman's new book. "101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising." For those of you out there who are not familiar with the Second Best Blog on Advertising, (The Ad Contrarian) I should explain that Bob and I share a vision, which is to explain to everyone that the ad biz is well and truly doomed, and when the old geezers like us are finally gone to wherever it is they still do three martini lunches, you may as well close the door and turn off the lights. The book is a classic, a compendium of some of Bob's better posts on his blog. They are all gems, `cos they all sound like me. I'm not saying for a minute that Bob has done one of my famous "Homages." Heck no... It's the fact that we must have been separated at birth... We think exactly the same, even down to accusing whoever first thought of putting pineapple on a pizza of being a prime douchenozzle. If you do nothing else, read the chapter titled "The Crisis of Advertising." A Gem. He talks about BDA's and BDC's (I should have licensed those things!) Like me, he points the finger at the conglomeration of the business and the bean counters running them. Also, like me, he shares a slime snarling, mucus dribbling hatred of people who bastardize the English language with either invented words, such as ideation, and datametrics. Even worse, words that have been mangled by using them to demonstrate the users innate stupidity, these include such gems as resonate, curate, synergism, holistic, etc. He quotes this beauty from a bunch of industry idiots... "Online media has an abundance of metrics, but none that serve as currency across the ecosystem." For heavens sake, who will fight this creeping menace when Bob and I have departed to join Hal, Howard and David at that big bar in the sky?Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent collection of commentary on current marketing beliefs. Very funny, very wise.

Bob is the little child who points out that the emperor is wearing no clothes, while too many of his advertising colleagues go along with the hype because it pays their salaries. This man has a great sense of humour, plenty of relevant agency experience, courage. And his position is ethical, he cares about advertising/marketing and the consumer - the same can't be said for so many consultants peddling hype and fads to unwitting marketers.

Professor Byron Sharp.
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I enjoy books with the audacity to speak the truth.
Or at least the truth as seen by the author.

You don't have to agree with everythng a writer puts down in print to admire and respect him.

All you need is the knowledge that he arrived at his opinion by giving some concerted thinking about the subject.

Some things I knew Gary Halbert was wrong on. But he is still often praised because he put his opinions out there and why he thought them.

I feel the same way about Mr. Hoffman.

If you are in advertising I think you will find this book refreshing.

Hoffman smashes some often repeated phrases while giving the reasons people that believe in them are wrong.

If you can, get the Kindle version so you can set it on the audio option to be able to listen to it as you relax is my suggestion. Then relax and enjoy.
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It is worth reading. This guy has a a very entertaining blog. He know how much BS that passes for wisdom. I think he a a sober alternative to the all the "Experts" today. One of his observations I liked was on brand building. He observed that there are very few brand that can be pointed to as being build by Digital ad, Blogs, Twitter, Instagram. Yet, so many people are fooled into wasting their company's money on some very weak media.
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