The Most Important Man in Advertising?

Hugh “cartoons drawn on the back of business cards” Macleod writes a fine blog over at Gaping Void – a kind of post-modern riff on marketing and what comes next now that advertising is dead (hadn’t you heard?).

He just came up with this rather fascinating idea that I’ve been struggling to put coherently for a while:

Ask me to name what I think is the most brilliant piece of new advertising I’ve come across in the last 5 years.

My answer would not be some big, funky-dunky campaign from a company like Apple or Volkswagon.

My answer would not be something from some edgy, hipster, in-your-face creative hot-shop in downtown Manhattan or London.

My answer would be Robert Scoble, a regular guy with a regular job who blogs regularly about the company he works for. That company happens to be Microsoft.

I seriously believe Robert, on Microsoft’s behalf, is making more advertising history at this very moment than all the creative hot-shops combined. He is changing the game beyond all recognition. The hot-shops are not.

And he’s probably doing it at less than 1% of the price the conventional agencies are used to charging.

He has a point you know. Scoble is probably responsible for more people changing their minds about how they see Microsoft than all their advertising this year. Or at least considering changing their minds 🙂

His blog communicates that Microsoft isn’t some faceless giant who doesn’t give a fuck about its customers. It’s a company full of people who are passionate about trying to make better products and cool services for customers they respect.

They pay Scoble less than $100,000 a year (he’s blogged about that) and he does a day job too. If you had a $100,000 total marketing budget, you couldn’t even get an advertising agency to buy you lunch, let alone work with you.

I know we’ve seen a lot of next BIG THINGS in the last few years. But I really think that blogging is a genuinely big thing. Not just because it empowers ordinary people to become journalists. But because it’s potentially a very powerful marketing tool, if used properly.

A final blogging thought from George Orwell – yes the Animal Farm/1984 chappie:

“For plugging the hole in history, the blog is the ideal form…especially at a time when organised lyings exists on a scale never before known.”

Well actually, he wrote “pamphleting” but blogs are the new pamphlets and I’m sure that the great man would approve the change.

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