ANA Annual Meeting 2016

Gary Vaynerchuk Tells Industry to Wake Up Already in Blunt ANA Talk

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Speaking at the ANA conference, Gary Vaynerchuk is never one to mince his words.
Speaking at the ANA conference, Gary Vaynerchuk is never one to mince his words.  Credit: Clarion Pictures

Gary Vaynerchuk once again delivered a blunt wakeup call to the industry when he spoke at the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing conference Thursday morning. The Soviet Union-born entrepreneur, who runs digital agency VaynerMedia, had some hard truths for ad execs as he discussed his own experiences and where he sees the future. Below, some highlights from Mr. Vaynerchuk's self-described rant.

On improving creative: "Everyone likes to talk about the media inefficiencies and transparencies, but what about the creative? We have to understand our brands mean different things to different people and the attention of the consumer is shifting at scale. Creative gets elevated when we accept an ecosystem that gives us more creative at bats."

On the potency of the Super Bowl: "When I buy my first brand, the first thing I'm going to do is run multiple Super Bowl ads," he said. "The No. 1 underpriced value of attention is the Super Bowl. Every single person watches it, but the problem with the current execution of the Super Bowl is the creative has so much vested interest in being a showcase for agencies … we're not making the kind of work that takes advantage."

On measuring marketing: "You're scoring the wrong shit," he said. "There's a new world and attention is in different places. I could care less if Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat exist tomorrow -- I just care about where your attention is."

On targeting your audience: "If you are running [TV] commercials for a brand that targets consumers 22 and under, you're a fuckface."

On final takeaways: "You're going to die," Mr. Vaynerchuk said. "It's an amazing time to be in this industry if you're on the offense, it's the worst time if you're on the defense and 95% of you are on the defense."