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Gary Vaynerchuk’s call to creative arms at The Drum Live in New York


By Gordon Young, Editor-in-Chief

May 8, 2024 | 4 min read

In the age of social media, quality creativity isn’t just an asset; it’s the currency of success, according to VaynerMedia’s CEO. Let’s recount his talk at The Drum Live (and the case for a content revolution).

Gary Vaynerchuk

Vaynerchuk speaking at The Drum Live 2024 / Credit: Gordon Young

Amid the backdrop of The Drum Live in New York, Gary Vaynerchuk – chairman of VaynerX, CEO of VaynerMedia and CEO of VeeFriends – delivered a message that resonated deeply with the audience: an urgent call for creativity in an era dominated by social media.

He deftly pointed out that in today’s market, attention is everything and creativity is the key to capturing it.

“If you don’t have attention, it doesn’t matter what you say,” he said, setting the tone for a discussion that would delve deep into the implications of a changing marketing milieu.

Social media meritocracy

Vaynerchuk’s narrative first centered on the meritocratic nature of social media, where content reigns supreme. He explained that unlike traditional advertising, where budget often dictates visibility, social media platforms operate as true meritocracies. The most creative, engaging content rises to the top, not just because it’s clever or visually appealing, but because it resonates with people on a personal level.

“The thing that I’m most passionate about right now is the science and the art around making good advertising in social, organically,” he said.

He went on to say that, in social media, the quality of creative is what breaks through the noise. This environment rewards those who understand their audience deeply and engage with them authentically.

A Nice Mango Gummies case study

To illustrate the impact of well-crafted social media content, Vaynerchuk recounted the story of Nice Mango Gummies. A simple post about this candy went viral, leading to a nationwide sellout and a secondary market boom on eBay.

“After six minutes of research, you’ll realize that a single post on TikTok by a human being about a private label mango gummy candy sold out the product nationwide.”

This wasn’t just a fluke but a testament to the power of organic reach and precisely targeted creative efforts.

Algorithms favor the creative

Vaynerchuk also highlighted how today’s social media algorithms are finely tuned to consumer behavior, favoring content that engages and entices.

“The algorithms on TikTok and all the other platforms have a better sense of consumer interest than our collective wisdom in a boardroom.”

This shift prioritizes creative quality over quantity or even budget, changing the game for advertisers of all sizes.

A call for industry transformation

Throughout his presentation, Vaynerchuk stressed the immediate need for the advertising industry to evolve, and that this transformation is currently underway, not just in the future or for younger demographics.

In other words, the old models of advertising are fading and a new paradigm, driven by creativity and efficiency in social media, is taking hold.

The creative challenge ahead

As the session wrapped up, the challenge was clear: the advertising industry must embrace this new era of creativity. Vaynerchuk’s parting words were a blend of motivation and warning: “We need to understand this craft ... Every brand on Earth is capable of being good at this. But it is hard. It is not six smart creative people getting together and coming up with an idea and then selling it through. It’s merit-based. You have to be great at actual advertising.”

Brand Strategy Vaynermedia The Drum Live Events

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