The gulf between geeks and advertisers

In addition to my suprising lunch with the food company execs, I found another thing that was very different: that advertising folks dress and talk very differently from geeks.

There are more suits over in our building 33 today than I remember seeing at any geek event. Geeks like building software and cool experiences. These folks want to brand, want to push out messages, want to get you to see their solutions.

When I see oil and water I see business opportunities. People who can bridge these two groups and get them together can create value. Massive value. Remember, the advertising industry is about 10x what the software industry is.

Comments

  1. Some advertising people dress in suits and have all the attendant cultural norms that wearing a suit implies. Those people are usually account executives, and have little to do with the creative process.

    The culture of advertising agencies varies as widely as it does in the tech world. Imagine conflating geeks at Microsoft with those at Apple, or Sun, or Google, et al.

    Copywriters and designers, however, are very often geeks. Not often computer geeks, mind, but geeky about something.

  2. Some advertising people dress in suits and have all the attendant cultural norms that wearing a suit implies. Those people are usually account executives, and have little to do with the creative process.

    The culture of advertising agencies varies as widely as it does in the tech world. Imagine conflating geeks at Microsoft with those at Apple, or Sun, or Google, et al.

    Copywriters and designers, however, are very often geeks. Not often computer geeks, mind, but geeky about something.

  3. “These folks want to brand, want to push out messages, want to get you to see their solutions…” WANT TO TAKE RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF YOUR MONEY FOR DOING, BASICALLY, FUCK-ALL. And sam is correct, the CoolAndCasually Dressed Creative types are kept under lock and key back at the agency…..lucky for you….

  4. “These folks want to brand, want to push out messages, want to get you to see their solutions…” WANT TO TAKE RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF YOUR MONEY FOR DOING, BASICALLY, FUCK-ALL. And sam is correct, the CoolAndCasually Dressed Creative types are kept under lock and key back at the agency…..lucky for you….

  5. Great observation, Robert. Really great. And comment #2 is typical of why geeks just DO NOT get it. I wonder what kind of sneaks “Brand Nobody” is wearing right now. Anybody who thinks they aren’t influenced by brand should think hard about that when they walk down the aisles of the supermarket and inspect their own choice-making decisions. But, few people seem to be able to look at their own behavior in any way close to objectively.

    Brand is everything. I used to be a geek (big time, you know that). And for the last 12 years have been doing entertainment stuff online. At first, there was the clash of “geek vs. marketing” and I used to call them names and say “they did nothing”.

    Then I met some really brilliant marketers. You know… the kind of people you KNOW INSTANTLY are smart as hell and cause you to reconsider every assumption you’ve ever made and throw them out and start over.

    And you’re right. It’s ALL OPPORTUNITY for those that see the bridge between geek and marketing. It’s the special genius that Jobs has.

    Good post, thanks.

  6. Great observation, Robert. Really great. And comment #2 is typical of why geeks just DO NOT get it. I wonder what kind of sneaks “Brand Nobody” is wearing right now. Anybody who thinks they aren’t influenced by brand should think hard about that when they walk down the aisles of the supermarket and inspect their own choice-making decisions. But, few people seem to be able to look at their own behavior in any way close to objectively.

    Brand is everything. I used to be a geek (big time, you know that). And for the last 12 years have been doing entertainment stuff online. At first, there was the clash of “geek vs. marketing” and I used to call them names and say “they did nothing”.

    Then I met some really brilliant marketers. You know… the kind of people you KNOW INSTANTLY are smart as hell and cause you to reconsider every assumption you’ve ever made and throw them out and start over.

    And you’re right. It’s ALL OPPORTUNITY for those that see the bridge between geek and marketing. It’s the special genius that Jobs has.

    Good post, thanks.

  7. Interesting, I feel I sit kind of betwween both worlds. I’ve always been a geek (band, computers, gaming, RPGs, ) but have always had fun being creative, outgoing, and enjoyed brand, style, and beautiful things.

    As such, my career has landed as a hybrid too –web marketing -ya gotta know both sides of the fence, as well as interface with both types.

  8. Interesting, I feel I sit kind of betwween both worlds. I’ve always been a geek (band, computers, gaming, RPGs, ) but have always had fun being creative, outgoing, and enjoyed brand, style, and beautiful things.

    As such, my career has landed as a hybrid too –web marketing -ya gotta know both sides of the fence, as well as interface with both types.

  9. Where did you get those numbers from? Microsoft revenue alone for 2005 was almost $40bn.

  10. Where did you get those numbers from? Microsoft revenue alone for 2005 was almost $40bn.

  11. must… make… printed version….
    can´t resist….
    he he
    I guess it’s time for word verification

  12. must… make… printed version….
    can´t resist….
    he he
    I guess it’s time for word verification

  13. I must agree with comment #4, I am a geek – period, so marketing I know nothing about and just looking at my own lifestyle I realize I am brainwashed by marketing and branding.

    A winning combination I found to work is a geek + a marketer, especially if both of them are very good in their respected fields.

  14. I must agree with comment #4, I am a geek – period, so marketing I know nothing about and just looking at my own lifestyle I realize I am brainwashed by marketing and branding.

    A winning combination I found to work is a geek + a marketer, especially if both of them are very good in their respected fields.

  15. s/w industry at $ 40 b – I guess you consider Microsoft entire industry? Just between IBM, Oracle, SAP and you are double that, and there are a few hundred more s/w companies. Besides SIs, offhsore firms write lots of software themselves and that is at least $ 299 billion…

  16. s/w industry at $ 40 b – I guess you consider Microsoft entire industry? Just between IBM, Oracle, SAP and you are double that, and there are a few hundred more s/w companies. Besides SIs, offhsore firms write lots of software themselves and that is at least $ 299 billion…

  17. Robert, this is why advertising will still do traditional advertising but they WANT OTHER solutions that work. They want events, evangelists and etc. Vendors will spend money on “advertising” that shows results. The bridge between the “brand” and the “consumer” is often the local chamber of commerce and others who can create interesting but useful connections.

  18. Robert, this is why advertising will still do traditional advertising but they WANT OTHER solutions that work. They want events, evangelists and etc. Vendors will spend money on “advertising” that shows results. The bridge between the “brand” and the “consumer” is often the local chamber of commerce and others who can create interesting but useful connections.

  19. #4 if this concept is a revelation to geeks than they are more insulated than anyone could imagine

  20. #4 if this concept is a revelation to geeks than they are more insulated than anyone could imagine