The rise of the real ad

01/27/2023 in

Brands are increasing trying to replicate the cultural authenticity of social media in their ad camapigns. While this is a good idea in theory, it is not what consumers are actually looking for, says Curtis Hougland, CEO of Crossmedia partner agency People First. It’s time for brands to get real.

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CEO People First

Curtis is the founder of People First, an agency specializing in peer-to-peer marketing and campaigning and along with Crossmedia, is a member of independent agency collective Dawn. Curtis works within Crossmedia to pioneer ads from micro-influencers. People First built the capability to source content from any community on any channel in any language at scale. He believes that real people – patients, customers, employees, neighbors – sharing lived experiences is the most powerful marketing today. He applies this relational marketing to support advocacy campaigns on climate change, public health, political disinformation, and social justice, among others. Curtis understands how consumers increasingly trust voices in their communities over the institutions of media, corporations, and government. He wishes marketers would awake to this reality. He is tremendously proud of his company’s track record of promoting from within, his roots within Crossmedia, his origin story in the public good, and his championing of the people.