It’s really interesting to me to be talking at a business leadership forum and not an ad industry event. I started out believing that I would be the warm-up pop-cultural element before Richard Florida - the light reading to get you through to lunch. But listening to Jim (CEO of RIM) and Elyse (CEO of GE Canada) this morning I think that perhaps we’re talking about some of the same things: Change management, competitive advantage, operating within uncertainty. “skating with our heads up” as Jim said earlier. But really, what’s interesting to me is that most of my fellow speakers today, and I’m hopefully here, spent a lot of time worrying about how they buy and manage advertising for their businesses. My fellow speakers are all SO smart at what they do. But when it comes to advertising you’re all still stuck using the tools MY industry gives you. They are far from perfect. What I’d like to do today is do a really fast fly-over of what’s going on: What technology means to marketing. What about social media? What you should do in a downturn when you can’t stop advertising but you don’t know if it’s doing anything? What do my own industries challenges with change management mean to your ad spending?
You all read Business Journals. In fact, if you read at all, I don’t need to do more than a quick recap of what the excepted wisdom around marketing is these days.
... the fact that it is easier for people to ignore messages today is the shifting element. The way people digest media today has shifted fundamentally.
If you don‘t entertain and engage the people, they will simply ignore you.
So the take away of the last 24 months is three basic ideas.
Don‘t hunt down TARGET GROUPS. This is old marketing talk. Don‘t act like a sniper ... your target has multiple personalities because technology and the speed/volume of life has enabled them to play out many facets of who they are.
Start to engage your audience, so people choose to spend time with you. Brands need to go on stage, expose themselves. Brands always wanted to have a conversation with their consumers, there is no better time than today to use creativity to fuel the dialogues and to create a real brand loyalty.
Channel strategy is becoming a essential part of the creative process again. The split of the media budgets needs to accommodate the new flexible reality better than it used to. Brand behaviors are as important, or more important, than brand beliefs.
BUT, recent times have introduced some new truths...they are calls to action for the industry based on what we’ve learned.
It’s all about the thousand micro-interactions not the one big deep experience. Old media suffer from ADD, break big stories andthen abandon them. New media are OCD, obsessive compulsive.
o There are 10 hrs. of user generated content being uploaded to YouTube every minute…you’re losing the battle. It’s one of our greatest challenges in the battle for share of voice.
21 Billion is currently being spent online. HALF of that is in search (70% of that goes to Google). The remaining half is divided between online media , online ad unit production fees (at a maximum of 10% of media placement cost as the budget), and microsites (which many agencies outsource). o A big part of your agencies job is not to create properties but to be ingenious with the distribution of our content.
o The winning model will connect world class creatives with world class technologists who will create new ad expressions to engage the audience.
Don’t pit your mediums against each other.
LOTS of acquisitions. Last year smelled a bit like highschool sex. Lot’s of people were talking about it….but not a lot were doing anything.
One day a well-meaning account planner said this to me in a meeting about how we were going to integrate digital and traditional planning functions - each group with a set of behaviours and approaches unique to their task. In frustration, he blurted out the following.
This was the day I realized that embedding “digital helpers” into the traditional structures of agencies wasn’t really helping. We were trying to answer and old question in a new way instead of asking a new question. Because, true collaboration occurs when someone is asked a question they can’t answer and they look around themselves for help.
In truth, we were more willing to talk about digital than make the inherent changes necessary to be deliver solutions in a digital world.
Which meant that our clients were left having to engage MANY agencies in order to cover the field. In truth, no one knew how to calculate the value of all these activities to their business...and no one was ready to let go of traditional advertising....so they tried to get everyone to play together under the watchful eye of “the brand agency”. So you know...when a brand agency looks at your roster of agencies...this is what REALLY goes through their heads. It’s a bit like putting Wylie Coyote in charge of the flock.
Because everyone is still trying to answer the wrong question.
We were heading for a strange Cyber Cannes even before I was asked to take the helm of this year’s jury. On the tail of the Nike+ and Dove “Evolution” wins the prior year, 2007/8 had been a bit of an agency aphorism pissing match with lots of “we’re on it’s” being thrown down and just-around-the-corner successes prophesized. It seemed clear to me that “digital” as a category was keeping us away from our true craft - communicating a message - and confusing it with delivering a platform.
This left agencies fighting over ownership of “the big idea”.
and left our clients looking for “models” instead of craftsmanship.
SO, my juries Grand Prix winners became statements from us --thought-starters on where to look for the future. The first Grand Prix, for “Uniqlock,” spoke to brand as utility. It lived the holy triumvirate of the interactive world: design, functionality, humanity and every single second it worked to sell the product.
The first Grand Prix, for “Uniqlock,” spoke to brand as utility. It lived the holy triumvirate of the interactive world: design, function, humanity and every single second it worked to sell the product.
“ sol comments,” for Scandinavia Online was our online advertising Grand Prix favorite. In the battle of key-word buying and online display units driven by algorithms vs. heavy, flash-rich narratives that feel more like broadcast spots than TVCs, “sol comments” represented online advertising in real time that was driven not by budgets, not by servers, not by sizes, but by spontaneous creativity.
To promote their new website, SOL , one of Norway’s largest news and entertainment portals developed a campaign in which its banners become notepads for a triplet of copywriters, taking turns to comment on the news displayed.
The dedicated publishing tool developed specifically for this campaign allowed to produce 150 hours of content on the homepage, generating a bit more than 1,000 different ads. This is seriously genius.
For our final Grand Prix we deliberated and debated and eventually chose Trent Reznor’s “Year Zero” as our viral winner. It used all of our industry’s collective skills to a deep degree of craft; it was supported and inspired by interactivity using people as its medium; and it seemed to us that if there was a message we wanted to send about where we should be going, together, this was it. The message was not that ARGs are the future. The message was that there is no either/or,”that we live in a time of “and.” “Year Zero” was a play-land of great design, incredible outdoor and promo, immersive film; and hinged on a pact with its followers that this was something that would be done in partnership. Playing out over 10 weeks, the Year Zero ARG engaged over 2.5M participants. ... (film) It seemed a prescient choice, given the post-Cannes debate over ownership of ideas across mediums. “Year Zero” wasn’t made by an interactive agency or an advertising agency. It was made by an opportunistic creative company that developed something an audience cared about and gave them all the credit for its success.
And yet, after all that debate, at the end of 3 weeks of judging, 10 days of plenary sessions, 6 award shows…and too many press releases. In the final moments of the last award on the last night of the biggest ad festival in the world…3,000 agency creatives clapped their hands in time to a monkey. ...and at the end of the festival….the big ideas were: A live banner ad An ARG An application and... a monkey!? the monkey got 6 million views, got Phil Collin’s song re-issued and at #17 on the charts upped sales 7% but it failed to put up a net to capture that buzz and connect it to an experience that ultimately let to purchase.
And why is that? Because it’s a different market with a different battle for attention now.
Since June, I have been spending a lot of time, back on a studio floor. The open concept means I’m privy to ALL of their conversations. And as I brainstorm and concept with them, I realize that their idea of what “creative” is, is completely different than mine. They spend hours concepting millions of one off ideas and hooks for consumers…games, applications, small films, weird widgits, cell phone apps. They talk more about the value of the application than they do the story. Their brief is the needs of the person receiving their creation. This isn’t a comment on “those weird kids nowadays”. It’s a comment on what attention and attraction are in this market. They’re all mini-entrepreneurs, as excited by the business ramifications of what their creating as they are by the tech and the design. It’s kinda like the 60’s again but not the way they show it in madmen. Every creative has a new business, a new “rap” they’re going to get into. They remind me a little of the wall street kids. Relentless and fast. There is an old saying about stock brokers and traders. The gentlemen become stock brokers. The street kids become traders. It’s a trader’s world right now.
for ourselves and our clients.
changing our model of delivery to accomodate nimble movement in a social environment.
The audience doesn’t recognize communication channels, only the complete brand behavior.
The audience is looking for a continuing conversation.
It’s about proximity and timeliness to what matters Our goal should be to use technology to affect, influence and become part of consumer conversations and effectively weave our brands into their lives.
These are our new channel planning structures.
180/TBWA and Omnicom created a new delivery unit for adidas to test this theory
designing communications at the intersection of Product, culture, news and events. This type of calendar based scenario planning is the trigger for the creation of briefs.
Because it’s not about whether it’s digital or analog now. It’s about how fast you can move. How relevant you are. What you can offer.
IT’s not just MySpace. It’s not only viral films. It’s mash-ups of personal netoworks, GPS, RSS, information and data points.
The CONSTANT COMMUNCATIONS agency structure.
Speed and technology change everything we do. It’s not the same cultural universal truth anymore. I’m not sure that the world, as Muriel Ruykeyser said, “is made up of stories”. I think it’s made up of ideas.
MORE PLATFORMS, MORE CONTENT , MORE SPEED. It’s all about the thousand micro-interactions not the one big deep experience. Old media suffer from ADD, break big stories and then abandon them. New media are OCD, obsessive compulsive.
<ul><ul><li>FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS, “DIGITAL” HAS BEEN A HUGE DISTRACTION </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acquisitions, mergers, talent wars. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The advertising industry started heading into a tailspin. Masses of money were being spent to try and stay on top of this disruptive and rapid switch in social behaviours </li></ul></ul>
“ I WISH WE COULD JUST CRACK OPEN YOUR HEAD AND TAKE OUT WHAT WE NEED”
UNIQLOCK‘S appeal is hard to convey in a three minute case study video. Its unending delight is best experienced as digital snack food over the course of weeks. Prior to the show I had glimpsed it over the shoulder of so-called “digital natives”, those with a taste for Japanese whimsy and beautility. They all seemed to have a real affection for it. Apparently it also makes you want to buy clothes.
AD UNITS BECOME NOTEPADS: REAL TIME COMMENTARY ON CULTURE
CONSTANT COMMUNICATIONS is a fleet of small initiatives adding together to create an ongoing communications program with YOUR CONSUMERS, about YOUR PRODUCTS, IN RESPONSE TO CULTURE, 365 days per year.
CONSTANT COMMUNICATIONS is an ongoing re-contact strategy. It’s the new CRM.
IN THIS ECONOMY , we need to do more with our investments. To leverage relevant key moments ...and own them. To generate faster and more frequent INFORMATION POINTS - not just ads.
CONSTANT COMMUNICATIONS is our catalyst to change.
TO PROVE THAT CONSTANT COMMUNICATION AND MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS WITH CONSUMERS DRIVES CONVERSION
IMPROVISATION WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA, REALLY? PLANNING AGILE CR EATIVITY (thought courtesy of David Armano - Critical Mass)
SOCIAL MEDIA ISN’T JUST A BLOG OR A FACEBOOK PAGE.
IT’S A MINUTE BY MINUTE WORLD. WHAT’S NEW IS OLD IMMEDIATELY. EVERYONE IS CONTENT SNACKING. NOTHING IS SAVED. NOTHING IS LOST. THERE IS NEVER A MOMENT OF DISCONNECTION. FROM THE WEB, FROM YOUR PHONE, FROM THE WORLD.
YOUR ADVERTISING AND YOUR AUDIENCE AREN’T IN SYNCH
AS THE MARKETPLACE SHIFTS SO SHOULD YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF YOUR AGENCY from heavily resourced to highly resourceful from executing the plan to capitalizing on the unplanned from defender of the brand to delivery of the behaviour from creative as king to the end of “the king”
CONTENT BRAND ACTIVATION STRATEGIC CHANNEL PLANNING SOCIAL MEDIA & ENGAGEMENT MODULAR & PORTABLE AD PACKAGES UNIFIED PROJECT MANAGMENT/DELIVERY OFFICE TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE BLOGS/FACEBOOK YOUTUBE DISCUSSION GROUPS VIDEO MUSIC EDITORIAL & DESIGN MOBILE ONLINE PLATFORMS APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS DISTRIBUTION & MEDIA CREATION CONTENT CREATION & PARTNERSHIPS
Ideas are put out much earlier and less completely formed, so others can than finish them in their own ways.
I think this makes CULTURE a broader conversation, a host of untraceable contributions knitting together to produce new things, And it‘s almost impossible to know which grain of sand is going to start the avalanche.... BRIAN ENO
<ul><li>MOVE AT THE SPEED OF CULTURE AND YOU’LL MOVE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE. </li></ul>