In an act of stunning, jaw-dropping stupidity, CareerBuilder has lost its ad agency, Cramer-Krasselt, after the agency's Super Bowl ads fell short of the top 10 in a USA Today viewer poll.
The viewer poll, representing nothing but the stated opinions of a few hundred self-selected people, was apparently more important to CareerBuilder than the fact that they got a 148% increase in traffic to their website on and after game day (as reported in Adweek. So they put their account up for review, and the agency resigned in disgust.
Read more about the sorry spectacle in Advertising Age: Cramer-Krasselt Resigns as CareerBuilder's Agency. Or check out the incredulous buzz around the blogosphere at Technorati.
I could get in line with all the others who want to slap around CareerBuilder. Heaven knows, they deserve it. But I'd rather take a shot at the "wronged" agency, Cramer-Krasselt. For them, this is a clear case of live by the sword, die by the sword.
When you visit their website, you are treated to these emphatically presented words:
Yes ... it is a popularity contest. The brand with the most friends wins.
Sorry, Cramer-Kasselt, you served up a steaming heap of ad agency bull -- and your client believed it!
When they lost a popularity contest, struck out with a few "friends" in a stupid poll, they thought their agency had failed them. And why not? That's what their agency told them what it's all about.
That's the problem with the ad industry. They're promoting a huge lie: that "popularity" is the most important thing. It's a fragile and crumbling lie, but a lot of businesses still believe it -- and pay for it. And so do a few unlucky nonprofits.
Inoculate yourself against the ad agency lie. Follow something more like this:
It's not a popularity contest. The organization that actually motivates people to act positively wins.
The big winners are quietly, humbly, and happily influencing people. They tend not to do as well in bogus polls, focus groups, or other popularity contests. But they win where it matters.
(More on this favored rant topic here: Why advertising is so bad.)
Technorati Tags: fundraising, advertising, careerbuilder