adcontraby  Bob Hoffman (@adcontrarian), San Francisco Bay The fun part of being a contrarian is coming up with crackpot theories. And I’ve got a doozie for you today (by the way, how do you spell doozie?)

(Also, by the way, get ready for a lot of “by the ways” and parentheses today.)

I think that a substantial part of what makes our culture such a toxic cesspool can be laid at the feet of agency media buyers. Yup, all this rot is their fault.

You wouldn’t think that a kale-eating, instagram-obsessed 28 year-old media buyer could have much effect on society. But you’d be wrong. They actually have an alarming and pernicious effect.

In a very insidious way agency media buyers influence our culture. Their decisions on what TV, radio and web media to buy largely determine what types of TV, radio and web content are produced. Nobody wants to produce programming or content they can’t sell (except NBC, but that’s an accident.)

Media buyers pay special attention to the interests and tastes of 18-34 year olds… oops, excuse me, Millennials (they’ve been re-named, promoted and deified. By the way, I just noticed that “deified” is a palindrome. Is this column awesome, or what? But I digress…)

These peoples’ tastes determine what our media look and smell like. They set the tone and determine the agenda.

Why do people care about the amazingly talented and sophisticated (sarcasm) Miley Cyrus? Because the media pay attention to her. It’s quite a simple formula — no media coverage, no Miley.

Why do the media pay attention to her? Because media buyers will “buy” her. Why will media buyers buy her? Because idiot 18 year-olds want to hear about her.

Circle of Stupid.001

 I don’t really know what this illustration means but I don’t think it’s fair that the digi-dorks get to use all the arrows and circles.

The obsession with targeting 18-34 year-olds is mostly quite dumb. But that’s a whole other story that we don’t have time for today. You really can’t expect media buyers to understand it. They just do what media buyers have always done (it’s so much simpler than thinking.)

Why is most TV, radio and web programming and content so astoundingly stupid? Because 18 year-olds are astoundingly stupid.

So what ya get is crazy stupid programming which fills us with crazy stupid values and crazy stupid culture and creates crazy stupid people. Ergo, media buyers are ruining everything.

It’s a very pleasant time to be an idiot.

And who would know that better than me?

– The Ad Contrarian is Bob Hoffman, is the author of The Ad Contrarian and 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising. Reprinted from his blog The Ad Contrarian.


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