Last Thursday, around Noon, I got an e-mail from Bob Garfield, the advertising critic for Advertising Age. Rather cryptically, he wrote:
i know payback is a bitch, but here’s your chance to reverse roles: thechaosscenario.net
I’ve known Bob for a long time. Over the years, his opinions have made me smile, laugh, and pull my hair out, though rarely at the same time. We’ve created long e-mail strings, tossing barbs and one-liners back and forth debating various points of contention. In print, online and in person as he emcees all manner of advertising events, he’s a man of great humor, fundamental decency, and unflinching honesty in calling them as he sees them. Which is why I immediately ordered his new book “The Chaos Scenario.”
And like he does so often, he nails it here. His theme is familia: the game-changing reordering of media and marketing brought on by digital technology. With tons of examples–including his well-publicized ‘Comcast Must Die’ campaign–Bob talks about what he calls “The Death of Everything” (the man does have a flair for the extreme). He paints a sobering portrait of our communication and sales landscape as it undergoes significant upheaval and offers some guidance for emerging areas of opportunity.
Bob didn’t sell me with an ad campaign, but rather his one-to-one e-mail, and by extension, a form of permission marketing: both of which fit perfectly with his thesis. Happily, this book is really, really good and I recommend it to anyone in this business. If you’re curious, you can download the first three chapters for free here.
And as Bob was quick to remind me in a follow-up:
thanks for buying it. remember, christmas is just around the corner.