At this year’s New York Advertising Festival Adam Harriden wanted to find out from the industry’s leaders what’s next for brands and advertising.
Over the last 12 months it’s been impossible to go to client meeting or pitch without a having discussion around the importance of social and digital.
Clients either wanted to know how they can be assured these media elements are addressed or owned by all brand activity they plan on doing.
Likes, shares, tweets, have all become the modern day currency for success in the eyes of any brand manager. But what will be the buzz medium for 2015? Will it be more of the same but doing it better or something else entirely?
In New York, I sat down with five of the globe’s leading CCO’s and CEO’s including Jimmy smith CEO and chief creative officer at Amusement Park Entertainment, Martin Spillmann, chief creative officer at Leo Burnett continental Western Europe and Ben Coulson, chief creative officer at GPY&R.
During my interview with Jimmy Smith something he said really resonated with me personally. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that I work in brand experiences, no matter what I read or see on TV, it’s not until I hear it face to face that concepts really stick in my mind. Jimmy said something that really excited me, he said, “It’s not about social, digital, content, ABTL or BTL, it’s about brand memory.” Delivered in his uber-cool mellow tone, that one statement made more sense than the hours of round-table discussion prior to our interview.
Smith went on to say: “People don’t want to be told shit, they want to experience it!” For me, this is the very essence of what I try to create. When you look at the work this year that’s won awards, they were brand experiences using traditional forms of media. We saw some great examples of outdoor media becoming interactive in a way that gave the consumer a very personal and rewarding experience. From a static print ad, to online content were consumers determine the outcome in chose-your-own-adventure type advertising, the challenge I’ve often found is that while the delivery can be groundbreaking, the core question still remains – why would I take time out to participate? How can we convince consumers that a brand really can stand for more than some sales tactic that’s just trying to boost the bottom line? How can we convince consumers that brands really can ‘do good’ and ignore years of brand bias. When will brands start to take on the ethos, “it’s not about me. It’s about you”?
Nevertheless, it was truly inspiring to hear the leading agencies around the world and their leaders with one common goal, to create for the better in every campaign – not just on the charity briefs we all see as award platforms. Even traditional brand briefs are now being seen as a starting point to make the world a better place.
Finally we’re thinking outside of print, TV, digital and from a much broader creative perspective.
What’s for 2015 and beyond? Brand Memory, and in order to deliver it you’ll need to be media neutral.
Adam Harriden is the Creative Lead at Traffik Marketing.