“Brands become interesting to us once interesting people start using them, not the other way around.”

[Back in 2004, I tried merging The Cluetrain with the ad industry, perhaps a couple of years before the world was really ready. Heh.] One of gapingvoid’s favorite collectors, Havas International CEO David Jones wrote a nice article in Advertising Week recently about how we need to kill the idea of “consumer”, replacing it with […]

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Thoughts on the OmniPub merger: “I’m not sure what problem the merger was actually trying to solve.”

I know I’m a bit late to the party, but a few people have asked me what I think about the recent headline-grabbing Omnicom-Publicis merger, which if it goes ahead, will create the largest advertising conglomerate in the history of the world. Not much, to be honest. It’s just a continuation of the decades-old trend […]

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“Mea­ning­ful brands out­per­form stock mar­ket by 120%”.

Havas CEO David Jones tweeted the following news story earlier tonight: “Meaningful brands outperform stock market by 120%”. 120%. And why is that, you ask? Perhaps it’s related to something Seth Godin and I were riffing on, WAY back in 2008: SETH: You can’t drink any more bott­led water than you already do. Or buy […]

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So what comes after advertising (9 years later)?

Back in the early blogging days of 2004, I wrote a little online rant called “The Hughtrain Manifesto”, influenced by all the stuff I was reading at the time: Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Mark Earls, The Cluetrain Manifesto etc. The question I was asking then was, “What comes after advertising?” If this new Internet thingy […]

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A Message For The Next Generation:

[Note to young, creative types, just leaving college: I wrote this post just for you.], It’s a very sad and poignant story that’s already been all over the Internet… A British advertising veteran, Linds Redding, a guy not much older than me, gets terminally ill. Shortly before the poor man dies, he writes a long, […]

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Cultural Jamming: America’s next big industry?

SO WHAT COMES AFTER ADVERTISING? The Golden Age of advertising- the “Mad Men” era- started about 50 years ago, with people like David Ogilvy, George Lois, Bill Bernbach leading the way, and shops like Weiden & Kennedy, BBH, Fallon, BMP, GGT, CDP and Goodby following in their wake. This golden age came to an abrupt […]

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supergenius conference in nyny next week

I’ll be in New York next week, speaking at Supergenius, the Word-Of-Mouth conference organized by Andy Sernovitz and his team. I designed two prints for the event, based on Andy’s two favorite WOM lines. My take on Word-Of-Mouth? Two thoughts: 1. Would anybody tell a friend? If it’s a social object, yes. 2. Advertising is […]

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commission: supergenius

This is one of two prints I designed for Andy Sernovitz’s Supergenius conference in New York, July 20th, 2010. I’ll be speaking there, along with a lot of other authors. The headline is one of Andy’s two most famous Word-Of-Mouth mantras. As he says, Advertising is the cost of being boring. If people won’t talk […]

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cube grenade: lemonade

Advertising hacks losing their jobs is a subject very dear to my heart (I was one of them, more than once). Advertising hacks re-inventing their crash-and-burn careers and turning it into something more interesting, is also a subject dear to my heart (I’ve done that, too). Which is why my latest “Cube Grenade” goes to […]

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brands don’t need ad agencies

So everyone and their mother in the business has forever been asking the question, “So what is the future of the ad agency?” Clay Shirky wrote a damn good article about the future of newspapers. Substitute “Newspapers” with “Ad Agencies” and advertising grunts everywhere will have plenty food for thought… “When reality is labeled unthinkable, […]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
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  • Brian Clark