Seriously, if you can get away without any innovative technology in your marketing, by all means do so. Marketers should use it as a last resort. This may sounds like heresy when we hear so much about it, but no one acknowledges the dark underbelly of innovation.
To understand just how abhorrent innovation really is, you need to consider the two different ways you can do it – the easy way and the hard way.
With the easy way, you take something that exists somewhere else, and repurpose it for marketing.
There are two catches with this. First, you need to be looking well outside the usual ‘research sphere’ to find an emerging technology to repurpose. This means spending a lot of time hanging around bio-technology trade shows and digital art conferences.
Then, when you find some fantastic novelty, you need to engage non-advertising partners to make it happen. That means companies that often don’t understand the timelines of ad campaigns or the foibles of CMOs.
That may sound problematic, but it pales in comparison to the hard way. This is the real deal, where a truly new invention is born, within a piece of marketing.
Recent Australian examples would include Finch’s ‘Donation Glasses’ for the Pedigree Adoption Drive and Snepo’s ‘Fundawear’ for Durex. We saw something we’d never seen before, and we saw it in a piece of advertising. So just how bad is this ‘real’ innovation?
Think about it like this. First you have to invest significant resources well ahead of the curve. Second, this investment is high risk with no guarantee you’ll actually develop something viable. Third, there’s the struggle to protect your IP from knock-off happy competition. And finally, while most innovation pays off through scale, you’ll have difficulty getting much re-use out of your innovation in the novelty-obsessed world of advertising.
With all this doom and gloom is there ever a time when innovation is justified? Absolutely.
There are many reasons to push the limits of creative marketing through technological innovation. From invigorating a stale category to breaking through as a new entrant, from forcing brand re-evaluation to simply differentiating yourself in a cluttered market.
If you do find yourself going down this road, here’s three simple tips to minimise the pain:
– Innovate the product, not the communication. Nike+ (and Nike Fuel) is a great example of a technology innovation that has created ongoing business value.
– Make your agency do the hard work. Someone has to invest resources and take on risk. Surely that’s the kind of reckless behaviour you pay your agency for?
– Acknowledge that technology innovation isn’t the same as everyday marketing, nor is it the same as product development (unless you’re a technology company).
So getting it right probably means treating it differently – breaking with the traditional process to create Skunkworks-style operations where innovative magic can happen.
It can be done, the proof is there for all to see. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Brett Rolfe is director of technology and innovation at Naked Communications.
Please login with linkedin to comment
Independent brand and digital agency, Archibald Williams (AW) has been appointed to lead the NBA account across the APAC region. The NBA is one of the most prestigious sporting leagues in the world and basketball is one of the fastest-growing sports in Australia. Effective immediately, AW said it was “excited” to work across all digital, […]
B&T's shining a light on industry folk prior to adland. Preference given to anyone purporting actual UFO abduction.
Leading digital outdoor company QMS has announced it is the first-ever inaugural partner for Most Contagious APAC, the landmark London event by creative and strategic intelligence company Contagious, which will be showcased in Australia on Tuesday, 12 December in Sydney and Wednesday, 13 December in Melbourne. Most Contagious is an event that delivers key advertising […]
Omnicom’s data and analytics division Annalect has partnered with Meta, giving it access to Advanced Analytics (AA) – one of Meta’s privacy-focused measurement solutions – to provide Omnicom’s clients with future-proof, next-level measurement. Omnicom is the first holding company to have access to AA. AA allows advertisers to combine their first-party data with Meta’s ads […]
WPP’s AKQA has launched Fixmas.gift, an environmentally conscious AI-powered DIY assistant, affectionately known as Fixie, for a one-stop solution for all things repair. Fixmas.gift hosts an array of guides and inspiration to empower people to prolong the lives of their belongings or purchase pre-owned items that need a little love and care. Fixie can: Help […]
Marc Collister (pictured) of P2 Content Creators spills the beans on his 2024 predictions drawing from two decades of experience in the advertising, film and television industry. I’m certain it will come as no surprise that in 2024, we can expect our industry to move at breakneck speed again. With even more rapid shifts in […]
Zeno Australia has announced expanded creative design capabilities and the appointment of Jim Michell (lead image) to its senior leadership team. The new moves support strong growth in the region. Zeno Australia’s clients, including Abano Healthcare, Motorola and Yorkshire Tea, can now tap into a suite of creative design services to augment the agency’s work […]
Assembled Media, is drawing upon the creative power of TikTok Creator Marketplace to help generate unique, impactful content for iconic stationery brand, BIC. The social activation campaign titled ‘A Pen for Every Side of You’ promotes the flexibility of BIC’s 4 Colours pen and is active nationwide on the BIC Stationery TikTok account. The campaign […]
Pinterest reckons jellyfish & moody cowboys will be big in 2024. Refused to be drawn on the return of shoulder pads.
IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]
Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising, announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]
NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]