Want To Put Agencies Out of Business? Make Better Products.

ClickZ had a party on Wednesday night to celebrate 10 years of innovation and excellence in online marketing and advertising.
They invited author and academic Douglas Rushkoff to speak.
Rushkoff exhorted marketers to convince their clients to come up with compelling products. “Teach them how to get back into the business they are in,” he said. “Then you don’t have to make up a story about them.”
I’m attracted to this kind of lofty message. Yet, I can’t help but chuckle. Most agency pros are unable to help their clients grasp the intricacies of marketing communications. Trying to help them reinvent their product or service offerings seems, at least on the surface, an esoteric idea that could only be cooked up in a school.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. David,
    remember that email I sent you about orange juice. I told you they should come up with better packaging for frozen concentrate. It was like a ice cube tray that would make single servings or a half =gallon. I sent a visual.
    For the old people. Cause they have arthritis. And they might buy concentrate instead of big half gallon jugs cause they cant carry so much. And those cans are so hard to open. And thaw. And it is evenbetter to not be refrigerating so many jugs in the store. It’s compact. It was a stupid idea. I only see more and more reconstituted juices in the store.
    I am so embarassed.
    But if I see an old lady or man or child that needs help, I will help them carry that gallon jug of juice home. Maybe it’s a way of social networking on the street.

  2. holy crap. Slate has addressed this orange juice issue today. Wow, I guess it’s like a delayed checkmark for me that Moire would never give me. They proved that I didn’t think all the way through. But they didn’t address the old people issue.
    Hey slate, why don’t you just tell people to drink rose hip tea in the morning for their vitamin c addiction?
    sundried, light transport…crap who would have thunk that i could think as well as those smart people from slate and the WAPO.
    FRom about. com:
    from health perspective, they are best known for their high content of vitamin C. There is approximately 1,700 mg of C in 100 gm of dried rosehip. That’s a heck of a lot more than what’s in an orange.