So, saw Cindy Gallop speak on the Future of Advertising courtesy of Girls Club and Made by Many on Wednesday night. The precis is that the agency model is dead and needs a kick up the bum. Some random quotes and thoughts from the night (a lot of paraphrasing):
The greatest untapped pool of resource is human good intentions that never translate into actions, and also the intention of brands and corporates
Rather than look at micro actions such as tweets (which are so easy, you might as well) look at actions which actually make a difference.
All current social networks are based on dating. If current attractiveness is about how much you post/upload/etc can IWRTW change the model to make how much you do the measure of attractiveness.
On working with brands to do good:
Looking at a return on action that is defined by quality of action, i.e. donating an item to Braddock versus donating a Like.
Brands are currently at Level 1, which is co-creation. What they need to be moving to is co-action, i.e. helping customers to do meaningful things which in turn makes their brand interactions more meaningful.
"The future belongs to people who make stuff". I.e. the death of the big idea and the future of production. After all it's the execution that makes an idea fly.
Trying to get the magic back into advertising. In the Mad Men era clients didn't believe that they could do the job that agencies did but now its the reverse. Apparently in India the Unilever client has suggested that agencies should be on the roster without fee as the prestige of being on that roster will get them more work. Just had a chat to Anika at BBH Labs, and we discussed the fact that the creative brief is now always approved by the client. Would a small step by the agency be to stop this process. They buy the strategy and define the commercial problem, why get involved (limit?) the initial creative process?
Being overly attached to business/an idea/etc generates fear, which leads to taking the safe path
Remember the power of mystery and intrigue
"Institutions perpetuate the problems for which the provide solutions" Clay Shirky
"People hate advertising in general, but love advertising in particular" Mark Bernstein
Thanks Sara et al for putting on the show, and Cindy for erm, performing.
Nike advertising is usually based on a simple and true insight, which is why Kill the Nil stuck out like a sore thumb for me when I walked past NikeTown. A nil-nil game isn't necessarily boring or an unwanted result. I'll concede that there are a lot of boring 0-0s, but as a neutral a hotly contested 0-0 with lots of chances is often more fun to watch than a 7-0 thrashing where one team just rolls over and doesn't put up a fight. Obviously goals are exciting, but they aren't the only thing that makes football good and skillful moments can happen anywhere on the pitch.
Anyway, I don't usually moan about ads I don't like, but I was surprised at this from Nike because I expected more. Maybe I'm old and wrong and the kids do only care about goals...
I went to an APG talk on Wednesday about how 'best to understand consumer behaviour'. Five ad people argued the case for different ideas in a school debate stylee. There was nothings said that changed the game for me massively - although it is always a pleasure to hear Rory Sutherland speak - and mainly stayed because I spotted people I wanted to have a drink with after, but there were a couple of points worth noting (for me):
John Kearon: Arguing the case for consumer research
Basic emotions can be boiled down to 7: contempt, sadness, surprise, anger, happiness, fear, disgust (and neutral). It's sad that they are mostly negative emotions
Creating a project to track the 'social life of research', i.e. what happens with it and how it's used after the debrief. Erm, just sits in a folder?
Gemma Calvert: Arguing the case for neuro science
Quite interesting that split brain tests found that different sides of the brain have different intentions, but it's not like that's a scenario that ever
Rory Sutherland: Obviously arguing the case for behavioural economics
The case of 1-800-MATTRES in NYC, which controls most of the mattress trade in the city because it removes old mattresses. A nod to sequential decision making
Mark Earls: Again, obviously championing the Herd
Interesting to find that the only purchase decision made outside herd influence is deodrant
Nick Southgate: Championing empathy
Apparently anthropologists write down a list of their prejudices before conducting research. Given some of the conversations I've had and heard, this is probably good practise for ad people
I liked the idea of finding comparative scenarios in your own life to draw upon, i.e. to get inside the mind of a woman buying a £4k bag, think about the most expensive purchase for you (a laptop, for example) and what it means - status, etc
Imagining + your own experience = Real?
While this isn't a robust method to put infront of clients, I like the idea of your mind as a 'free lab where you can conduct cheap experiments'
The problem with visiting Mumbai for me is that I am constantly in a car heading from one area to another, so don't really get to enjoy the city that much. I harbour dreams of turning up 4 days early and spending time in the city before seeing my wonderful family. One day, one day. Anyway I drove past an ambient ad for a charity featuring a street kid in a giant glass. Luckily it turned up in the paper the next day, so I have a grainy image to show you: My memory is failing in my old age, but it was an ad for a charity, and had a slogan like 'help children like this break out of poverty', but I can't remember and I'm sure there was a glass pun involved.
Anyway, it did the job, I noticed, but I have to say I was a little upset and shocked by a real kid being used. I'm sure he was being paid, but it felt a bit exploitative. On the other hand, if the stunt urged people to donate to the charity then it was for a good cause. A weird one.
I get disturbed/upset by a lot of things that happen in India, because my 'rules' are from a country that doesn't have to factor in the world's second largest population. Interestingly though, my family, I suppose the target market for this communication, didn't really feel either way by this stunt. They're not shocked by poverty because they see it all the time and they're used to it.
"Cinescent has successfully tested its scented-ad technology in German theatres for Nivea, with 60-second ads showing a sunny beach scene while the aroma of Nivea sun cream permeated the theatre. Exit polls showed a 515% rise in recall for the Nivea ad when compared to moviegoers who saw the spot without the scent.
Smells are pumped through the cinema's air conditioning system in a way that minimizes the allergy and irritation problems associated with previous attempts to dispense aromas via boxes places among the audience."
I walked past this shop window this morning. It could just be me (it often is), but I thought it was a Boots poster (it's a Dollond& Aitchison btw).
Assuming that I'm not being weird and D&A are indeed using Boots look and feel, then is that genius or stupidity? On the genius angle, do people just walk in because they think its Boots and in terms of stupidity, well where do you start?
One part truth, two parts mixer is a digital notebook for Priyanka/@pristyles. Yes, you've reached another planner's blog - but it's mainly full of random thoughts and pretty pictures.
If you're reading, hello - it's nice to meet you.