On Nov. 14, 2013, SJMC welcomed Jonathan Hoffman as the keynote speaker at its annual Fall Forum event for the Professional M.A. in Strategic Communication.
Hoffman is the president of experience design at Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), based in Chicago. In this role, he creates campaigns at the intersection of media and technology to help create a better value exchange and user experience for people and brands. Hoffman has also recently launched Zero Dot, a six-person unit out of SMG dedicated to branded content.
Nearly 100 current and former students of the program, as well as members of the professional community gathered in the West Wing of the Campus Club at Coffman Memorial Union to hear Hoffman speak about how advertising and creativity is changing and how brands need to include their users in their advertising to create a value exchange.
"The brand means nothing if people don't connect with it," Hoffman said. "And advertising isn't the only way to do that."
Hoffman spoke about how brands can resonate with the next generation of consumers, who he says "don't hear or see" current advertising. "We need to figure out how to connect with the next generation and that probably won't be with a commercial," he said.
"Thinking only about creative is dead," said Hoffman. "Traditional advertising is dead. We're moving toward user-generated content. We need to connect all of the dots to connect with the audience."
Hoffman offered this insight for strategic thinkers: "We need to go from making people want stuff to making stuff people want.
Prior to his role at SMG, Hoffman was the chief creative officer at Campbell Mithun and executive creative director at Leo Burnett.
The Strategic Communication M.A. forums work to connect current students and alumni of the program not only with one another but with both national and local strategic communication professionals.