A couple of weeks ago Alex Bogusky sent over a copy of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky’s new book, Hoopla. I hate to say it, but I’ve grown weary of many marketing books. I know, as a business and marketing author myself, that might be hard to believe but I find so many books boring, rehashing the same old stuff from an ego-centric point-of-view.
So, it was with that lens that I opened Hoopla. What I found was something totally different. Instead of another branding/advertising book, it was a cultural exploration into a journey of storytelling through the eyes of CP+B. And, what a wonderful journey it is!
CP+B’s philosophy is relationship-centric, focusing on building a dynamic relationship between brands and people, instead of being media-centric, like so many agencies today. This relationship-centricity is what makes Hoopla magical.
To get the story behind the book I thought I’d ask Alex a couple of questions.
John: I loved the book. Great job! It made me feel hopeful about the power of brands and their ability to promote positive change in their relationships with people. Today, many agencies and clients have a hard time keeping up with the radical media changes happening and the empowered customers of today. They seem to be driven by fear. Yet, Hoopla, CP+B and your clients are infused with fearlessness, always finding a new and bold way to deepen a relationship with people. How do you stay so fearless?
Alex: Wow, I’m not sure we’re quite fearless but fear is something many of us identified a long time ago as having a negative impact on creativity. Being afraid is okay and it can help. But fear is different. Fear paralyzes people and organizations. As a company we try to protect our people from the fear that seems so prevalent in corporate life. Seems like fear often passes itself off as wisdom. The idea being that to avoid risk makes you a hero to your bosses and your company. But fact is there is no reward without risk. They are two sides of the same coin. So to minimize risk is to minimize reward. That’s not to say that any risk can bring reward. That’s obviously not the case. But when the potential gain is huge and the risk is low, that’s a time for action. Not the paralysis that fear brings.
And in adverting the concept of what kind of work is risky is completely upside down. The biggest risk when you’re spending millions of dollars is to not be seen or noticed at all. Yet somehow all that invisible advertising that gets created is seen as “safe.” I may be crazy, but in my mind, to flush 50 million dollars down the toilet without anybody noticing is the only real risk.