When Just “Doing Your Job” Fails To Solve The Problem

Add branding consultants and hapless clients to the long list of things and people Hoffman/Lewis President, Bob Hoffman, a.k.a. The Ad Contrarian, doesn’t respect.

If your products are crappy, or your stores are dirty, or your service is lousy, or your business strategy is stupid, you — my friend — have a brand problem! Send in the branding consultants.
…Tinkering with the brand is so much more pleasant than solving the problems.

Naturally, this begs the question, should agencies be involved in the client’s operations? It’s clearly not what we’re hired to do, but layering effective advertising on top of a shit pile does no one any good.
What’s the deal at your shop? Do you suggest solutions that go well beyond advertising? If you do, how is this additional thinking received?



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.