Gary Vaynerchuk on volume-based creative and the future of advertising

"People are very confused about how I feel about holding companies. They think I hate them. I'm actually very empathetic."

Gary Vaynerchuk is no stranger to sharing his predictions about the future of adland, but with the world having changed significantly in the last three months due to COVID-19, we decided to check in with the business mogul on his viewpoints.

Vaynerchuk, chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia, pre-recorded an interview with Campaign US at the end of May for Campaign Connect, a two-day global virtual conference that aired last week and featured more than 100 senior-level brand and agency speakers.

When it comes to how he thinks the future of advertising will play out now in a post-COVID world, Vaynerchuk said he thinks marketers will continue to get involved more in day-to-day work.

"A lot of CMOs and brand managers have become a little bit more practitioners during this time. This has been my biggest thing. I didn’t see it coming because of [a pandemic] but it’s been a great thing for the industry," he said. "I think there are a lot of people who don’t know how modern things [in marketing] work. They are not ‘hands-on keyboard’ -- they don’t really get in there."

Vaynerchuk said he’s been blown away by some of the questions clients and even non-clients have been asking him regarding how specific pieces of the marketing puzzle work.

"By far the most pleasant surprise for me has been… ‘uh oh’ some of these marketers are starting to learn how these things actually work …and ‘uh oh’ that’s going to change marketing because now all of a sudden, I’m not some crazy guy on the ANA stage yelling about stuff that makes people think I’m a futurist or digital hyperbole machine," he explained.

The marketers with the most sustainable models for the future, according to Vaynerchuk, are those with the right mindsets and casting across the C-suite, including the CEO, CMO and CFO. He believes that most DTC brands that are "over-venture-capitalized" are in trouble, while Fortune 500 brands are "dying a slow death by over-valuing traditional means of distribution."

So, once the right "cast" is in place, it’s anybody’s game, according to Vaynerchuk.

On the agency side, GaryVee (his online influencer persona) told Campaign US that the larger independents will survive and thrive too, particularly those that can take chances and survive after taking a "punch in the gut."

"And then absolutely it’s the big holding companies," he said. "I believe that holding companies are at a disadvantage to provide great work because they are publicly traded and they have to worry about their margin. People are very confused about how I feel about holding companies. They think I hate them. I’m actually very empathetic."

He disagrees, however, with most holding companies and agencies about the amount of creative work they put out in the world for clients. And he believes their work is mainly "about the awards, about the headlines, about the reports."

Vaynerchuk backs the idea of volume-based creative for a number of reasons, including how it can help the industry improve its D&A efforts.

"We have so much more diversity in our creative because when you’re making 800 pieces of content a month for a brand you CAN show a Muslim-American, you CAN show trans, you CAN show Caucasian white male this, you CAN show African-American. You can do so much more," he said. "Everybody thinks that quantity is at the cost of quality and I think that’s audacious and business-blind."

For tickets to watch the full Vaynerchuk video interview – which includes a look into VaynerX, an honest chat about the need for more humanity in adland and a sneak peek at what GaryVee wants to do in the future with his company – click here

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