Vaynerchuk: 'We have to reinvent what advertising means'

Why is Uber valuable? Because it saves users time. Marketers could learn a lesson from that.

NEW YORK: Gary Vaynerchuk realized he was looking at the next big thing when his brother took New York City’s inaugural Uber ride.
 
"Uber doesn’t sell transportation; Uber sells time," he explained on Wednesday at the PRWeek Conference.

While the CEO of VaynerMedia can recall an era when the workday ended at dusk, he knows no one is now ever truly detached from work. That means people have little time for 30-second ads or even pop-ups.  

Vaynerchuk said he twice turned down the opportunity to invest in Uber, even after the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, "begged" him to do it. He estimated that had he gone in when the ride-sharing company had a $4 million valuation, his check would have multiplied into a value of about $196 million.  

Vaynerchuk, the founder and CEO of VaynerMedia, emphasized the value Uber provides by saving riders time.
 
"Advertising as a structure now steals your time," he said, adding the concept of skipping ads dates back to the invention of the remote control. "We have to reinvent what advertising means. It needs to bring you value, and value comes in the form of entertainment."

The job for PR is identifying how to "really get value" from the Internet, which is jam-packed with content, he said, calling social media "a slang term for the current state of the Internet."

"[Twitter has] such a fire-hose problem that no one’s consuming anything," he explained. "Time matters so much to us that we’d rather scroll through [a tweet] than unfollow somebody."

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