Bob Hoffman’s 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising

An ad agency principal who is an example on how to use content marketing and social media to build awareness and new business opportunities for your agency.

I am a Bob Hoffman fan. I have read everything he has written, from his book The Ad Contrarian, to every ADWEEK and blog post article and now his new book, 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising.

Bob is the CEO of Hoffman/Lewis advertising located in San Francisco and St. Louis. He has created marketing strategies and advertising for some of the world’s most successful companies: McDonald’s, Toyota, Shell, NBC, Pepsico, Bank of America, Nestle, AT&T, Chevrolet, Dole, Blue Cross, Seagrams, Fairmont Hotels, Pebble Beach and others.

I was first introduced to Bob Hoffman through a article, “Hoffman/Lewis CEO Can’t Stop Cursing and Swearing on His Blog”

Hoffman/Lewis in San Francisco and St. Louis promises on its website to “get beyond the fleeting trends, false goals, and dreadful jargon of contemporary advertising.” But a look at the blog of its CEO, Bob Hoffman(pictured), shows that ‘getting beyond the jargon’ seems to mean dropping the F-bomb as much as possible. The blog is titled “The Ad Contrarian; Cranky opinions and advice from the CEO of a pretty big ad agency.”

Hoffman has a created a large online following as one fan recently wrote, “Your no b.s., take-no-prisoners approach to our business is entertaining, informative, and spot-on…”

Bob’s blog puts a face to the Hoffman/Lewis agency. He comes across as being transparent and blatantly honest. He’s not going to appeal to everyone but those who find him appealing they become ardent fans. They know that Bob will tell it like it is and cut through all the agency B.S. He’s not afraid to tell his readers what he really thinks. 

Even though Hoffman often berates social media, he has wisely used it to build awareness for his agency.  He has experimented again with a self-published book, 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising: The strange world of advertising in 101 delicious bite-size pieces. This is a collection of some of his best blog post articles that have been repurposed in a convenient Kindle eBook.

This was very smart of Bob. With a little bit of work, he gets an even greater return on the time he originally invested in writing these blog post articles. His new book is already a best seller within its category.  

The Kindle version is a great buy. Only $2.99, You will also find it to be an excellent, entertaining read.

Hoffman’s take on the advertising industry is refreshing, insightful, amusing and discerning. With the advertising industry in such a state of flux and upheaval, he will keep you grounded. I highly recommend it. 

Here’s some additional reviews:

“Bob Hoffman’s perspective is terrific because he continually digs into various heaping piles of advertising hype to discover nuggets of truth. And if he doesn’t find any, he’s not afraid to say how bad it stinks.”

“I just love the way Bob thinks and writes about our crazy business and even more crazy world. This is take no prisoners kind of stuff that is just superbly written always.”

“Bob is one of the smartest guys in the business. His thoughts are not obscured by fads, what’s au courant or quotidian bs. He is a straight-shooter. Honest, to the point and fact-based. Qualities sorely missing in the world today.”

“This book is an insightful, hilarious look at what’s wrong with advertising agencies, with marketing in general, and maybe even the world overall. But it isn’t just for people who work in ad agencies. It’s for anybody who ever saw an ad that sucked and wondered how it got that way. It’s for anybody who works in any kind of job involving generation of new ideas. And yes, it’s for anybody who enjoys “Mad Men.” Bob Hoffman is smarter than Don Draper. He’s funnier than Don Draper. And he’s better looking than… Okay, like I said, Bob Hoffman is definitely smarter and funnier than Don Draper.”

“A funny, enlightening, clear-eyed look at advertising and marketing. Pleasantly didactic and cheerfully challenging of the fables and fantasies that pass for advertising principles.”

Bob shares some insights on the process of writing and promoting his book that I think you will find helpful:

101 contrarian ideas about advertising, Bob Hoffman

Click Here to review on Amazon.

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. he has wisely used it to build awareness for his agency

    No he has not

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