We have reached that part of the year—just post the key global creative awards, and pre our own local creative awards season—and it feels like a good time for me to share some personal thoughts and insights on this industry we all work within; an industry defined by creativity and technology. I found The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity inspiring and challenging, and I was hugely enthused about our industry’s giant leaps into the future.
These are some of the themes capturing both my imagination and decision-making at the moment;
The Changing Media World in a Single Image
The media landscape is evolving at the fastest rate in history.
In the past, one giant leap, like the arrival of commercial television in the United States in the 1940’s or the harnessing of the internet in the 1990’s, would disrupt the landscape and then re-define the decades which followed but now we face constant shifts – some seismic, some minor, some in-between – which together change platforms, content and consumer habits everyday.
Some of you will have seen the image below which juxtaposes the crowd in Rome awaiting the announcement of Pope Benedict’s appointment in 2005 with that of Pope Francis four months ago, but, for those of you who haven’t, it truly captures these rapidly changing times, and I cannot think of a better image currently that is the truest sign of our times…
Creativity vs. Data: A Phony War
In my last Sharing Insights update, I wrote about the subject of Data which is very much the marketing obsession of the world. How do brands effectively use the overwhelming wealth of digital personalised data which is now available to them in a way that delivers a competitive advantage? It is overwhelming – best estimates are that every second there are 684,478 pieces of content shared on Facebook, 2 Million searches on Google, 48 hrs of video uploaded on YouTube and 175,000 Tweets sent.
There’s plenty of good writing on all of this at the moment, my current favourite is Sexy Little Numbers by Dimitri Maex, the Managing Director of OgilvyOne Worldwide in New York, which demystifies data and CRM
The rapid rise of data in the conversation has sparked another of those distracting binary debates that the advertising industry, frustratingly, specialises in. Supposedly there is now conflict between being data-driven in your marketing or relying on creativity. This fork in the road is every bit as imaginary as that often postulated between effectiveness and creativity.
Creativity has long been proven to drive effectiveness. In his book, The Case for Creativity, well-known planner James Hurman demonstrates that the company which has won the most Cannes Awards has outperformed its competitors on the stock market eight out of ten times in the past ten years and the same applies to data.While agencies now need to up their game in terms of data awareness and analysis (that’s exactly what OgilvyOne is doing for us), very few campaigns will work for brands in this space solely on a blunt volume base. Impact will only be achieved when the correctly crunched numbers are aligned with an insightful strategy on how best to use them and the kind of creativity which produces cut-through and triggers the desired response.
Great Creative Data Campaigns
Here are three campaigns that have leveraged the power of rich social data and hot creative ideas to create truly breakthrough celebrated work.
A campaign from Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town and a Bronze Cannes Lion winner this year, combines an online and mobile game with Google Street View and Facebook technology. Participants were prompted to find as many VW’s as possible on Google street view and pin then and share their pins on Facebook. It generated over 400,000 pins and a 700% increase in consumer engagement on VW’s Facebook page and has been recognised at the New York One Show, and is featured in Google’s Creative Sandbox as a digital case study.
Case Study »
Oreo “Daily Twist”
The centenary campaign from Draftfcb in New York which posted quirky daily calendar content onto social media platforms, that leveraged real life events through the lens of the iconic Oreo cookie. The entries were then voted on and shared by millions of engaged people.
Case Study »
Pepsi “We Inspire”
Campaign from 6FD in New York which facilitated the building of an online community of women around causes they had in common. It leveraged the power of social media and the ability of women to create networks around themselves and amplified it through relevant celebrity endorsement.
A Useful Media Channel Tool
At one end of the continuum, brands must deliver more mass media broadcast messages about what it is they stand for, a lighthouse identity if you like, and, on the other end of the continuum, more one-to-one engagement which adds more utility to consumers who actively engage with them. Be careful not to be exclusively one or the other, brands must engage on both ends in a seamless, coherent way.
The agencies and marketing teams of the future will be configured to deliver to this model.
Any way that you look at all of the above, it’s undeniably an exhilarating time to be in marketing today. We are at the forefront of all this change and have to be prepared to learn and unlearn a at pace, and almost inevitably, make some mistakes along the way.