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Gary Vaynerchuk: Stop Storytelling Like It’s 2007

About this talk

In a world with Vine, Snapchat, and Twitter, how can creatives capture attention to make their voices heard?

In this 99U talk, best-selling author and founder of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk breaks down how our work can cut through our current “A.D.D. Culture” — one where we binge-watch entire television seasons in one sitting and prefer texting to phone calls.

“We’ve gotten to a point where everything is on our time,” says Vaynerchuk, “So why is everyone storytelling like it’s 2007 in a 2014 world?” The best digital storytellers, he says, use the social media to “hook” audiences in for the deeper stuff. We should give, give again, and give some more before ever asking for anything from our community. “We have to start respecting the nuances of every platform.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, Founder, VaynerMedia

Already considered a quintessential maven of modern-day marketing, Gary Vaynerchuk is the founder of VaynerMedia and is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author as well as a self-trained wine and social media expert.

Gary has appeared on countless programs from Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Ellen to MSNBC, CNBC, CNN and NPR. He was also notably featured in Decanter Magazine’s 2009 Power List which lists the 50 most influential people in wine. In 2009, Gary was named Innovator of the Year at Wine Enthusiast’s Wine Star Awards as well as one of’s 49 Most Influential Men of 2009.

Gary’s ultimate goal is to own the New York Jets. Although his various businesses obviously play an enormous role in his life, he always puts his family first.

Comments (36)
  • Jared Krauss

    Dear Gary Vaynerchuk & 99u,

    I want to bring to your attention how I have felt, twice now, upon reading one of your headlines: belittled. Why?, you might ask. Because in this headline, and in a previous one, which I was going to comment on but thought I was being sensitive, you’ve referenced creativity in an ‘ADD world’.

    Logical points and questions aside (e.g., what is ADD medically, and does it fit with your usage; what is an ‘ADD world’), I wanted to let you know that while your headline won’t ruin my day, or my mood, it doesn’t make me angry or sad, and there is no existential dread created in me by 99u which will keep me from coming back here because you’ve used a medical diagnosis insensitively, I feel slighted. I get it—ADD as an adjective—it’s become common parlance, an easy way to say: The world is moving fast, and we’ve got to work harder to keep their attention.

    The problem here, for me, though, is how your usage, and other instances in my life where I encounter this attitude towards ADD, affects the mindset of the public towards ADD, and, more personally, towards me. The public is falling into this trap that tells them ADD is a problem of attention, and that, if they have problems with their attention, they most likely have ADD. I realize you’re not stating this explicitly, but it’s not hard to extrapolate what you mean by ‘ADD world’ here, and it’s not a far stretch to think others will begin to use the same adjectival references, and that’s one short step from the same epidemic we (our society) suffers from in our daily references to ‘our OCD’ that we do not actually have.

    All of this is to say: The way you’re using a medical diagnosis (as an easy—quite frankly: lazy—cliche for ‘busy’, or ‘fast-paced’) narrows the public’s understanding of what ADD is and is not, it marginalizes the more powerful symptoms we (those of us with ADD) feel.

    So, I ask you, kindly, please refrain from utilizing diagnostic terms as adjectives: You can do better, you are, after all, explaining how to capture people’s attention, and cliches are old hat (as is that phrase).


    • missdk

      Thank you for saying this. I clicked on this article because I thought it was actually for ADD people. Instead I was just being used as a cliche. Thoughtless and inappropriate.

    • Sean Blanda

      @jaredkrauss:disqus Really appreciate the thoughtful response. For sure, Gary was referencing the fast-paced nature of social media and not the medical condition. To reflect this, I’ve changed the headline. Thanks for reading (and watching)!

    • Kim Plude

      Totally agree with the content of this, but where is the respect in your own storytelling? The delivery was entirely crass and disruptive. I had to finally turn it off at 13:23 as I found myself not compelled by your story, but entirely turned off and borderline stressed! Confusing to me that you would be so passionate about storytelling yet somehow not that great at it.

      • bkrudy

        Kim – listen to yourself, haha. He got you to listen for 13 minutes 23 seconds. The industry average for time spent on a page is between 30-45 seconds! Perhaps his story is better than you think!

      • Kim Plude

        haha i totally agree! wanted to stick it out til the end because i’m really interested in the topic, but just couldn’t make it. oh well!

  • Bob Frump

    Adult language? How about needlessly crude juvenile language. Aside from that, enjoyed it. Profanity and the use of the word “fuck” is actually pretty cliched these days.

    • garyvaynerchuk

      i apologize if you feel that way Bob 🙁

      I hate that, that turned u off a tad, but appreciate the feedback and the kind words of njoying it

      • Calvin Yu

        this is one of the best talks i have heard in awhile and inspired! for all the people offended by the language… maybe they are stuck in the dark ages.

  • JLogre9182

    мʏ ƈօ-աօʀĸ­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀ’ѕ ѕт­­­­­­e­­­­­­ք-мօтн­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀ мαĸ­­­­­­e­­­­­­ѕ $82/нʀ օɴ тн­­­­­­e­­­­­­ ιɴт­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀɴ­­­­­­e­­­­­­т. ѕн­­­­­­e­­­­­­ нαѕ в­­­­­­e­­­­­­­­­­­­e­­­­­­ɴ աιтнօυт α ʝօв ғօʀ 8 мօɴтнѕ вυт ʟαѕт мօɴтн н­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀ ιɴƈօм­­­­­­e­­­­­­ աαѕ $15515 ʝυѕт աօʀĸιɴɢ օɴ тн­­­­­­e­­­­­­ ιɴт­­­­­­e­­­­­­ʀɴ­­­­­­e­­­­­­т ғօʀ α ғ­­­­­­e­­­­­­ա нօυʀѕ. ʋιѕιт ʏօυʀ υʀʟ fox800&#46com

  • Nate

    Gary, not sure why you’re so angry. Your vernacular and continence drip with a pain you haven’t worked through — I’d encourage you to work through whatever it is.

  • Nate

    Gary, not sure why you’re so angry. Your vernacular and countenance drip with a pain you haven’t worked through — I’d encourage you to work through whatever it is.

  • Acksios

    That’s very true I didn’t realise it how I treat social media. I feel like you are going to looking at me like the one of people who watching fucking video. 😉 But I am appreciate your input. Thanks Gary.

  • Nelson

    To self proclaim that you have ADD seems to be the cool thing. Every great “leader” claims to have it. I would have to agree with previous commentators about the misuse of the term.

  • Krmlks

    The world today is moving as fast as Mr. Vaynerchuk is talking I have realized… I would feel better if we all try to calm down a little bit and don’t try to embrace this phenomenon of acceleration.

    • Calvin Yu

      so you think you can stop a freight train?

      • Krmlks

        No, I wouldn’t go against it, we should use that force to our own advantage. But is it safe to accelerate if we don’t know what our final destination is?

  • PJ Smith

    Wow, never thought I would be the one saying this: Get over it, people. I’m a generally conservative person, but frowning on this presentation just because it had a couple of “naughty words” in it is… well, childish. I find it refreshing that someone is sharing these kinds of ideas and is obviously extremely passionate about it. I would only feel offended if I hadn’t learned something or if Gary has started using the word “synergy”… that would have really pissed me off!

    To you, Gary: That fired me up! Two thumbs up! Excellent!

  • Jeff Schmidt

    I kinda feel sorry for the people for whom the momentary annoyance of being offended by a few words blinds them to Gary’s insightful observations about the world of communication in 2014.

    Actually, scratch that. I don’t feel sorry for them.

    I’ll happily use Gary’s observations and advice to deepen my understanding of today’s chaotic media world while my competitors whine about being offended by potty mouthed language.

  • Kiri Ø. Leonard

    Great video and very thought provoking. I didn’t think the language was all that bad.

  • Andrei

    What’s the name of the song in the beginning of the video?

  • Ehsan Noroozi

    I liked it and I agree with Mr Vaynerchuck. But how does his point play in communications in other languages and other cultures. Are the numbers he relies on for his conclusions universal or only for the American market?

    btw: I rather enjoyed the language and his rough rhetorics. I find that honset roughness is better than fake smoothness.

  • Steve Kercher

    Good stuff. But why potentially offend a lot of people (and for teachers, not be able to use in the classroom) with the use of trash language. I never understood this. I’ve chosen not to do business with many people because they didn’t respect this basic manner.

    • Lianda Ludwig

      Just a question Steve: perhaps he’s talking to a specific audience – a niche, and not trying to appeal to everyone? His niche group feels more comfortable with his “language” and may be more likely to “buy” his ideas because they speak to them. You can’t please everyone, and he’s selecting who he wants to please.
      What do you think?

  • Bryan Chapel

    Good video Gary. I’m not offended by the use of adult
    language partly because I’m not easily offended, and also because I’m familiar
    enough with Gary V. to know his style of delivery. I actually thought, “Wow. I
    wonder if 99U had to rein Gary in to make a ‘safe’ video for this site.”

    Nope. And that’s okay with me.

    What surprised me was that Gary talked about knowing and
    understanding the context of the channel you’re in, but he failed to adapt his
    delivery to the stage he was on. He actually muddled his own message by
    committing essentially the same foul he’s preaching against in the video.

    Still, love the videos. Keep ‘em coming Gary!

  • TJ Villamil

    This is brilliant Gary!!! So true can’t wait to apply this to my clients

  • Musica

    I stopped at ‘fucking human beings’. No thank you.

  • susanrits

    That was awesome. So damn true.

  • Bobbo

    I don’t mind the f words all the time but he would be fifty per cent more credible to me without this much swearing. If he did that once only I would consider him an honest person.

    • a_pos

      Definitely grabbed your attention though, right?

  • Bryan Barnes


  • Bleh

    “my clients are spending 100’s of millions of dollars on billboards…” blah blah it’s bad. Interestingly, as such a polarizing figure the clients either don’t listen to him or he just is about the money and let the clients run with weak strategies. Pushing advertising like he claims he’s against. FU meng… let me sells books and tickets to my talks right? let me swear to show how real I am and back it with nothing…

  • Don The Idea Guy

    I really appreciate 99u letting Gary be “real” and not try to edit or censor him. Anything less than full-speed, impassioned, @GaryVee is like drinking decaf coffee. What’s the point?

  • Matteo C

    Thanks for sharing this post. I got inspired by your words, but found that some areas needed more work. I actually worked on my take on “Presentation tips from the pros: Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee on storytelling” and would love to know what you think about it. Here’s the link

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