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  • Bob Hoffman


I was sitting in a client meeting. The client was talking to us about doing a new campaign. One of my agency MBA geniuses asked the client the question they always ask when they have nothing to contribute and want to sound engaged, “What is your objective for this campaign?”

I passed him a note: “Please see me after the meeting.”


An hour later he was sitting in my office. “Did you ever see one of those TV spots for investment houses where they say ‘we’ll review your investment goals and design a plan? ’" I said.

“Yes,” he said.

​“Well, here’s a secret. Everyone in the world has the same investment goal -- make more money . There’s never been an investor who didn ’t have that goal. You see what I’m saying?”

“Um… I guess so.”

“Let me clarify.” I said. “Telling people that you will review their investment goals, is the same as saying ‘I’m a fucking idiot’ because if you don’t understand that everyone’s investment goal is to make more money you have to be a fucking idiot. Do you understand now?”

“Oh, okay, yes.”

“Now," I said, "how does that relate to our meeting this morning?”

“I don’t know.”

“Okay, I’m going to reveal to you now the amazing secret of advertising. Every client in the world has the same objective – sell more shit . There’s never been a client who didn’t have that goal. Repeat after me – their objective is to sell more shit.”

“Their objective is to sell more shit.”

“Good. Now, if I ever hear you ask a client what her objective is again, I will fire you. Every client and every campaign in the world has the same objective. The objective is… you tell me.… "

“Sell more shit.”

“Bingo! Meeting over.” 

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