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We need a new idea about ideas

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Presentation at New Denver Ad Club July 23 2009

Published in: Business
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We need a new idea about ideas

  1. 2. We need to have a better idea about our ideas
  2. 3. Advertising isn’t working isn’t working
  3. 4. Source: TGI “ I enjoy the ads as much as the TV programmes” %
  4. 5. Source: OMD Proprietary DVR Study 2006 % “ I don’t recall seeing any commercials while watching the programme” ( American Idol or Desperate Housewives )
  5. 8. Images courtesy of Russell Davies
  6. 9. Images courtesy of Russell Davies (above) and Wooster Collective (right)
  7. 10. Hugh MacLeod – gapingvoid.org
  8. 11. What we do in totality as marketers does very little to change consumer behavior
  9. 12. Some inconvenient truths <ul><li>“In most categories a brand’s market share is stationary” </li></ul><ul><li>4 out of 5 categories seen as increasingly homogeneous </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 1 in 10 ads seen as different </li></ul><ul><li>4% response rate successful in DM; 0.5% average click-thru rate for banners </li></ul><ul><li>3x $ spent on price cutting as on ‘brand building’ in packaged goods </li></ul>Sources: Andrew Ehrenberg; Copernicus Consulting; McKinsey
  10. 13. I think we’re using the wrong map; a map that does a poor job at describing the reality of contemporary culture the wrong map; a map that does a poor job at describing the reality of contemporary culture
  11. 14. We celebrate ‘big‘ messages rather than rich or generous ideas
  12. 16.
  13. 18. Stop looking for the loud giant stuff. The small marvels surround us. Warren Ellis
  14. 20. Frank Chimero
  15. 21. Nobody comes out of a movie saying, “that was a really good film. I really enjoyed it. It was really clear.” Russell Davies
  16. 23. We celebrate ‘big‘ messages rather than rich or generous ideas We are obsessed by what things do, not what people do with them
  17. 24. Text “ Our focus should not be on emerging technologies but emerging cultural practices” “ A revolution doesn't happen when a society adopts new tools. it happens when society adopts new behaviors”
  18. 25.
  19. 27.
  20. 28. Our frame of cultural reference is movies. Yet more Americans played a video game in the last six months than went to the movies. Yet more Americans played a video game in the last six months than went to the movies. Yet more Americans played a video game in the last six months than went to the movies.
  21. 29. As agencies we are very good at producing finite, complete products. We’re not very good at creating an open process and designing for gaps. We’re not very good at creating an open process and designing for gaps. We’re not very good at creating an open process and designing for gaps.
  22. 30. It’s not digital that’s important. It’s participation. It’s participation. It’s participation.
  23. 33.
  24. 34. We celebrate ‘big‘ messages rather than rich or generous ideas We are obsessed by what things do, not what people do with them We have got our grammar all wrong
  25. 36. It’s not about social media, it’s about social ideas
  26. 37. Sociability lies at the heart of what makes great ideas today different today different today different
  27. 38. Great ideas today are different. <ul><li>Have a point of view on the world, not a position in the category. </li></ul>
  28. 39. Have a social mission, not just a commercial proposition.
  29. 41. “ Like any company we require a profit to stay in business. But it is not the reason we are in business. The thing that has not changed from day one is the desire to make people think about the world we live in. This is, and always will be, why we are in business.”
  30. 45. Photo: Andrew Hovells (aka Northern Planner)
  31. 46. Photo: Andrew Hovells (aka Northern Planner)
  32. 47.
  33. 48. <ul><li>Have a point of view on the world, not a position in the category. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand what people are interested in and work back from there. </li></ul>Great ideas today are different.
  34. 49. “ Nobody reads advertising. People read what they want to read and sometimes it's an ad .” Howard Gossage “ Often our biggest mistake as managers is believing that, in general, customers care a lot about your brand. They do not.” Patrick Barwise
  35. 50. Not sure a gorilla playing a Phil Collins drum solo wins us the Dairy Milk account A text message from Laurence Green to Richard Flintham
  36. 51. 5 million views in 8 weeks Sales up 7%, 30% greater than industry average
  37. 55. <ul><li>Have a point of view on the world, not a position in the category. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand what people are interested in and work back from there. </li></ul><ul><li>Do stuff, don’t just say stuff. </li></ul>Great ideas today are different.
  38. 58. It’s about ideas that can be advertised, not advertising ideas not advertising ideas
  39. 66. <ul><li>Have a point of view on the world, not a position in the category. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand what people are interested in and work back from there. </li></ul><ul><li>Do stuff, don’t just say stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>Do lots of things, not one thing. </li></ul>Great ideas today are different.
  40. 67. “Any idea is dangerous if it’s a person’s only idea”* <ul><li>A culture full of depth and complexity </li></ul><ul><li>The rule of the 5% requires lots of matches to start a fire </li></ul><ul><li>Why not when the economics have changed? </li></ul>* George Will’s take on the American idea, Atlantic Monthly, November 2007
  41. 68. DO. Learn.
  42. 72. Coherency not consistency. Source: John Grant, ‘The Brand Innovation Manifesto’ Provide an uplifting experience that enriches people’s lives language, eg ‘skinny’ specials eg frappucino habits formation range and options ordering system starbucks company barista culture ‘ my sister’ book africa 05 social responsibility used grounds for gardeners fair trade coffee cause publicity in store sofas and ambience hearmusic Xm burn your own cd music cd in store performance and art book reading starbucks salon akelah and the bee
  43. 73. It’s about understanding distributed identity. Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google Search Google 411 Google Docs Google labs Google Shopping Google Scholar Google Books Google Maps Google sketch Google.Org Fossil fuel Challenge Youtube Chrome Browser Blogspot
  44. 74. High frequency. Low value. Semi-unpredictable rewards.
  45. 75. The only big idea today is not to forget the little ones along the way.
  46. 77. Thank you Ed and Influx Insights for spotting this
  47. 79. All this means how you design, create and evaluate ideas has to change.
  48. 80. <ul><li>Does it communicate? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it clear? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it likeable? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it engaging? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it replicable? </li></ul>Is it magnetic? Has it got depth? Is it slippy and spreadable? Is it participatory? Is it generative?
  49. 81. Thanks. <ul><li>http://www.garethkay.com </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.twitter.com/garethk </li></ul>

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