Love him (does anybody?) or despise him you can’t deny that wild-haired US Presendital wannabe Donald Trump is the talk of the office watercooler. And, according to MediaCom’s executive creative director Gemma Hunter, it’s clever brands that’ll hitch their conversation – albeit carefully – around the ‘Human Hairline’ over 2016.
Hunter says it’s not about endorsing or advocating or promoting Trump, it’s about brands understanding that he’s a conversation starter – rightly or wrongly – and then tapping into that.
“I was having a conversation with a CMO the other day and his eyebrows almost shot of his head when the Presidental elections were mentioned and I said you need to get your content strategy ready,” Hunter regaled to B&T.
“And they’re like, ‘What do you mean? That has nothing to do with our business.’ But that’s the thing, that’s what everybody is talking about. It’s about turning that into something relatable to your product and that’s what I think the opportunity is. Take the free-to-air networks going forward, they need to stop obsessing about MKR and that one BIG show at 7pm and understand the converatiosn their audiences are having and when, where and how,” she said.
Hunter argues that audiences don’t really know what they want – “Ask a Channel Seven viewer what they want and they’ll say more My Kitchen Rules,” she said – and cites shows like Netflix’s Making A Murderer that had zero ad spend and promotion but became a global hit thanks to a small band of fans raving about it on social media.
“For brands it’s not about the show, it’s about the conversation around the show,” she said and adds that what Ten has done with the Big Bash – making it far more than just about a cricket game – is a prime example.
“It gets back to Donald Trump, it’s not about his politics, it’s about the fact that everybody is talking about him.
“What’s really interesting is that the TV channels are saying this is going to be an amazing year for us. There’s the Olympics, the election; but my advice would be aren’t you worried that you’re relying on these one-off global properties? Have you thought about what your social strategy is around it will be? You can guarantee there’ll be more people looking at the things around social than anything else.”
Hunter, too, remains slightly skeptical about data, understanding its value but regarding it as pointless if it doesn’t translate back to a human audience.
“Data has made lots of agencies scared and they shouldn’t be. When it comes to data it’s only useful if you remember its humans that you are talking to. It’s all very well everybody jumping on the programmatic bandwagon, and this is the route we are going to go down, but you have remember to your audience are people and not machines,” she said.