‘The industry has been lying to itself for 20 years about reach’

In a session at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, founder of VaynerX and Vaynermedia, Gary Vaynerchuk put the wider advertising industry on blast for lying to clients about reach for the past two decades.

Vaynerchuk was joined by Paris Hilton on stage for a session titled ‘The NFT Revolution’, speaking about the opportunities blockchain technology can offer marketers in the future, and breaking down some of the barriers and entry points it has faced so far.

Gary Vaynerchuk and Paris Hilton on stage at Cannes Lions 2022

“I think the biggest thing that Web3 will do, is expose pre-internet and even internet realities that I think this industry has been built in, which is this industry has for far too long, over the last 30-plus years has been obsessed with reach,” Vaynerchuk said. “It is the currency, and a lot of the executives here know exactly what I am talking about.


“The problem with that, is that for the last 20 years this industry’s been lying to itself and to its clients on the actual consumption of the reach. There’s nothing more full of shit on earth than GRPs and internet impressions.”

He continued that the market has been cynical in its approach to NFTs, and the market is beginning to correct that, as he compared the present situation to the pre-internet boom in early 2000.

“I’m sure at this event in that summer of 2000, people were snickering of the hyperbole that everybody had over the last three years about the internet, and they couldn’t wait to come to Cannes and shit on it because we love fucking television in this industry, and everybody sat and shit on the internet in June of 2000 at Cannes, yet the internet went on to become the internet,” Vaynerchuk said. “And what’s gonna happen is in NFT land, it’s going to help brands go to depth instead of width.”

He went on to say that until the industry cares about relevance that’s actually consumed, and not potential reach, it will continue to push out “vanilla bullshit creative”.

“This industry has forced remarkably creative people to make fucking vanilla bullshit.”

Web3 is going to allow “a vast impulsive explosion of depth”, because “we’re gonna need to verify it”, he said.

Vaynerchuck added: “We’re gonna see what people are gonna be able to do. We’re gonna have clear data. This industry is in for a real reshape in the last 25 years in the next 25 years … because of the NFTs and it’s healthy, because it’s going to unleash the creativity of many – including many of the people sitting in this room right now (who) are gonna quit their creative agency, do their own art and make as much money as they make now working on shit. They don’t want to work for people they don’t wanna work for, and instead be able to sell NFTs and express themselves. And I’m fucking happy for all of you.

“I think that this is the best time to get it – now – because the hysteria of the gold rushing breed has finally corrected. This is a much safer time for a lot of brands in this room to actually enter this. I think they need to understand the underlying tech.”

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