“Advertising hasn’t changed since the 1960s,” says Rosenblum, 40, the cofounder of a 50-person agency called Questus that specializes in digital media and just won anAgency of the Year award from iMedia, a publication that tracks the online marketing industry. “But we’re on the verge of a revolution. People are starting to realize that there are more effective ways to build a brand than through advertising.”
Rosenblum is so passionate about this that he’s even made a documentary film, The Naked Brand, in which he bashes his own industry. “My father looked at it and said, `So what’s your master plan here? Because it looks like you’re going to get hoisted with your own petard,’” Rosenblum says. But the son disagrees: he thinks the revolution is coming whether people like it or not, so he might as well become part of the destruction.
In his film, he argues that companies for decades have behaved abominably and then used advertising to cover up their behavior. The Internet, by giving consumers a voice, has rendered that strategy useless because consumers can now sink a brand with a blitz of online complaints. His advice to big brands: instead of pumping millions of dollars into advertising, why not invest that money into actually fixing your company? Don’t just say you’re great—actually try to be great. Once you’ve done that, you can use social media to spread the word.