Learning From The Pros at Ad Week 2011

28 Jan

Today I had the pleasure of attending Advertising Week Canada 2011, and participating in the MDC Partners 5 for 5 panel discussion. It was absolutely fantastic for a young marketer like me to get an insider’s opinion on what is going on right now in the world of advertising. The panel was made up of five of Canada’s most influential and renowned ad-men: Tony Chapman (CEO of Capital C), Scott Prindle (VP Creative of Crispin Porter + Bogusky), Aaron Starkman (Chief Creative at CP+B), Cameron Wykes (President of Innovation at Baby Robot) and Ryan Wolman (Creative Director at Henderson Bas).

Tony opened his monologue by describing today’s consumers as promiscuous buyers, driven by price and with very little brand loyalty. In addition to being unchaste, consumers are now more participative than ever, having a creative input into the marketing campaigns almost as important as those designing them.

Scott dove right into mobile marketing, stating that 1/4 of the money in marketing is spent on the digital medium — a large part being strictly mobile. He explained that now everything has to happen with greater interconnectivity of media and that a campaign that is not adapted to multiple screens (TV, PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, BB) is one lacking serious competitive advantage. This new way to reach consumers is highly interactive and bridges the physical and digital worlds. He showed us a brilliant mobile campaign he worked on for Best Buy, in which Iphones were used to interact with movies. Totally worth checking out!

Aaron stressed that ideas have never been this important in the industry; if the campaign is not GREAT (innovative, eye-catching, participative, etc.) it has no chance in the super competitive marketplace. Companies cannot afford to advertise in an unattractive or average way- the consumer will disconnect the minute he or she loses interest. The best measure of success is the buzz created by the public through the various social media networks, which add exposure at no cost. He showed us a hilarious approach to Earth Day made for AXE:

Cameron used his time to give us his perspective on the future — grim in many ways. He concluded that more and more we are going to be seeing geo-located advertising and augmented reality marketing. He recommended agencies to focus on ideas that create ongoing revenue rather than campaigns that launch once and then require no maintenance. Agencies have to be the owners of ideas rather than just the producers of them.

Ryan finished up the panel discussion with a very interesting observation. He explained that the world is basically driven by games and war, and advertising has to trigger this instinct. He reminded us that Foursquare only became successful because people saw it as a competition, that there is a sense of gratification that accompanies the title of mayor of your neighborhood coffee shop. Now there is value added to the game with reviews and coupons, but before it was purely a psychological reward. Ryan wrapped up the event by saying that advertising is only great if you get in people’s minds, thus increasing the quality of the communication. He also showed us a great game created by Nissan that lets you compete with other friends (if they drive also drive the new Nissan Leaf). Below is the iAd created for the new Nissan Leaf, which I think is pretty brilliant as well:

I hope my small review of the event conveyed how amazing and valuable it was! Can’t wait for Social Media Week in 2 weeks!

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