The Future of Advertising: Reinvention for Growth — Cindy Gallop

October 18, 2010

By Guest Blogger Telisa Yancy, American Family Insurance

Just when I was settling in to what was shaping up to be a "good" day at the 2010 ANA Annual Conference, Cindy Gallop, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of IfWeRanTheWorld stepped onto the stage and instantaneously made it a "great day." In less than 30 minutes, she personally challenged every marketer and brand in the room, to demand extraordinary performance by taking an intensely serious look into their corporate structures, systems and processes and then "blow them up" and start anew in a quest to move from being brand stewards to becoming the embodiment of the brand's conscious and leveraging it to do good in the world. 

From start-to-finish, Ms. Gallop was both intensively provocative AND simplistically authentic in her challenge to ANA marketers to do and become the proverbial change we all wish to see in the world of marketing. During Ms. Gallop's, presentation, the audience was given a dizzying array of sound-bites, challenges and even "homework assignments" to overcome the present reality:

"People HATE advertising in general, and LOVE it in particular"

Ms. Gallop's remedy or formula for success to marketers hoping for change in the industry was for marketers to create and shape their own destiny by radically embracing action to create a future for the industry fueled by to 100 percent committed to five key pillars necessary for the industry's survival: goodness, transparency, action, agency and production. 

At first blush, these are very, simple words. However, if you were in attendance at today's conference or have the chance to view it on video, you will quickly find out that these five simple words are really not that simple and may prove to be hard to do without a very visceral understanding of this sometimes hard to follow human truth:

"KNOW that the only person who can make things happen for you, is YOU," Cindy Gallop

In fact, Ms. Gallop stated that the single biggest pool of untapped resources is the good intentions never acted upon, both corporately and individually.  From this huge insight, Ms. Gallop has developed a set of tools to allow people and brands to begin to take micro-actions to translate intention into action. She calls it emotional software — I haven't quite figured out what to call it except brilliantly inspiring and a personal challenge to everyone who KNOWS that the ideas, tools and processes around which we can radically innovate already exist among us — the question is who will make the first micro-action to get the snowball started.

A couple of good starting points to solving this equation might be to do some of the homework assignment Ms. Gallop handed out. Here's the list that I managed to capture:

  1. Read Rework — it's a catalyst to help you design out the crap
  2. Visit to get a healthy dose of modern poetry and a good laugh (an essential ingredient to goodness I think)
  3. Read "Cognitive Surplus" by Clay Shirky
  4. Make Something...

So on purpose, I am leaving this blog-post open, unfinished without a nice, neat conclusion because honestly, this conversation is too important to end... I would love to hear your thoughts on how you will apply her raw sentiment to turn all of your great intention into action for the good of the industry, world and perhaps even your soul....

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