Andrew Essex's Challenge to Advertisers: Innovate or Die | WYPR

Andrew Essex's Challenge to Advertisers: Innovate or Die

Feb 5, 2018

Andrew Essex is a NY-based writer and former ad executive.
Credit From a photo by Paul McGeiver

It was clear from watching Super Bowl 52 this past Sunday -- regardless of which team won -- that the tradition of companies spending millions of dollars for a 30-second Super Bowl advertisement to promote their brands is still going strong.  

ETrade, Mars' M&Ms, Procter & Gamble, Amazon and Netflix, and more than 60 other companies all took the expensive plunge.  Beer and cars, not surprisingly, were well-represented too.  Perhaps the most controversial ad was for Dodge Ram Trucks, whose appropriation of a sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., drew swift criticism online.  Some ads were very funny, some much less so, and a few even used important global issues, such as scarce drinking water, to connect with audiences.  Virtually gone from the ads yesterday were the frequent  Super Bowl themes of sex and heavy social drinking.

Tom's guest today calls the Super Bowl the “high holiday” of advertising, but he predicts that because of the many new ways we have to rid our lives of ads -- at least on all of the days that are not SuperBowl Sunday -- the advertising we know and love (or hate) today will soon be changing.

Andrew Essex is the former CEO of Droga5, an advertising agency in New York that won multiple “Agency of the Year” awards.  Its clients have included Under Armour, Google, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.  Essex, who is sometimes described as a "recovering" ad man, published a book last summer called The End of Advertising: Why it Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come (Penguin/Random House) 

Andrew Essex joins us on the line from Argot Studios in New York, and takes listener calls, emails and tweets.