Why Brand Activations That ‘Kill The Agenda’ Deliver The Best ROI

Why Brand Activations That ‘Kill The Agenda’ Deliver The Best ROI
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, INVNT’s executive creative director Adam Harriden (main photo and below), argues a lot of brands are like that person handing out flyers in the street – we’re intrigued but fear the interaction in equal measure…

What do you think of when the word ‘agenda’ comes to mind? For me it’s one of uniformity, scheduling, routine… There’s not a lot of room for movement, creativity or self-expression.

Adam Harriden

But what’s interesting is, we’re living in an era that shies away from this – an era of hyper personalisation. We can notify Uber to pick us up whenever and wherever we like, ask Alexa which music to play, and pick the movies we want to watch with the flick of a switch.

So, how do we balance consumers’ desire for customisation with a brand’s objectives for their live experiences, which are pretty much always focused around a set plan, routine, timeline or fixed footprint?

The agenda, personified

Let’s humanise the agenda for a second. You know those people that you see on the street with a pen and note pad when you’re on your way to work?

You see them in the distance, they see you coming, and out of the corner of your eye you can tell they are getting ready to hand you a sample of a new sugar-free, low fat, low carb wellness drink, or a flyer with a special gym membership offer.

You know they are going to approach you and it’s uncomfortable. Do you take what they are handing out, say no thanks, or ignore them altogether?! We’ve all been there. We’ve all done the awkward, look the other way, subtle cross of the road.

A lot of brand experiences – or any campaign really – can give off the same feeling. You see them, you’re asked to participate, and you tend to know what’s coming.

Brands: they need to be our best friend

Imagine if brands could add value to your life seamlessly so that you don’t feel the need to figuratively cross the road to avoid them? They are like a best friend – they recognise and celebrate your uniqueness, act transparently, and while sometimes silent, you know they are always there when you need them.

So, how can we achieve this?

  • Instead of telling audiences exactly where to go, what to see, when to see it, and what to buy, why not offer up several variations or experience configurations? Let’s hand some of that control over to our audiences.
  • Step away from the ‘we’ve always done it this way,’ mentality. We need to be flexible, adaptable and change our approach up depending on the audience. Swanky annual dinner for a few hundred c-suiters not producing ROI? Kill the agenda. Tear it apart and re-work your strategy and personalise, personalise, personalise the experience.
  • Create bespoke canvasses for people to network in. A brand experience for 3,000 people is filled with different micro communities who will naturally gravitate to each another, so devise a few different activations around the event. Events like SXSW lead the way here – brands relax, let go a little and host experiences in places we’d all normally hang out.
  • Focus on telling stories that draw attention to the social, cultural, political and environmental issues we’re facing. There was an influx of this type of work at Cannes Lions this year, where almost every brand placed a goodwill layer over the top of their traditional campaigns. These won big – proof that success is possible when we veer away from the typical agenda and take a more humanised approach.

Stay true to the craft. Do work that does good 

 

I am a passionate believer that we should all do good work, work that we’re proud of and work that adds value. This is achievable when we kill the agenda and allow consumers to create their own path and make their own decisions.

So, don’t dictate and focus on the sell – most people don’t care about our brands, products or campaign tag lines, instead consider the ways you can create environments and opportunities that enable people to genuinely connect, talk, learn and discover. Isn’t that what we all want?

Please login with linkedin to comment

INVNT

Latest News

The Turning Tide Against Surveillance Capitalism
  • Opinion

The Turning Tide Against Surveillance Capitalism

In this guest post, CTO of Wiise, Hamish Browne (pictured below), says tech’s new focus on privacy will lead to new rules and new ways of doing business for marketers… With the delicate balance between customer data and privacy in the spotlight like never before, the potential emergence of new standards and business models, is […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kim Kardashian Spruiks Cryptocurrency In Instagram Ad
  • Media
  • Technology

Kim Kardashian Spruiks Cryptocurrency In Instagram Ad

Businesswoman, reality TV star, and social media personality Kim Kardashian has posted an ad for mysterious cryptocurrency Ethereum MAX [EMAX]. In a post on her Instagram story – where she has 228 million followers – Kardashian wrote: “Are you guys into crypto????” “This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends just told me […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Great Southern Bank Rebrands With ‘Happily Clever After’ Via Indie Agency Richard Rose
  • Campaigns

Great Southern Bank Rebrands With ‘Happily Clever After’ Via Indie Agency Richard Rose

Great Southern Bank has launched a brand campaign this week, ‘Happily Clever After’, coinciding with its name change from Credit Union Australia, bringing to life its purpose of helping all Australians own their own home. The journey to changing from Credit Union to Great Southern Bank began back in 2020. When Australia’s largest customer-owned bank, […]

Nine Promotes Jo Clasby To Commercial Director, Publishing
  • Marketing

Nine Promotes Jo Clasby To Commercial Director, Publishing

Nine has promoted Jo Clasby to the role of commercial director – publishing, where she will report to Nick Young. She was previously director of client partnerships – publishing. Her new role establishes her at the same level of seniority as Anthony Smyth, commercial director – radio. Smyth was promoted at the start of this […]

Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., listens as Narendra Modi, India's prime minister, not pictured, speaks during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S., on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. Prime Minister Modi plans on connecting 600,000 villages across India using fiber optic cable as part of his
  • Technology

“No F*cking Way!”: Pink Floyd Frontman Refused To Give Mark Zuckerberg Rights To Song

Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, said he refused to give Mark Zuckerberg the rights to use hit song Another Brick in the Wall (Part Two). Waters was speaking at a pro-Julian Assange event when he said that he had been offered a “huge, huge amount of money” for the use of the 1979 hit […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Accor Celebrates Aussie & NZ Cities With New ‘Go ALL Out’ Campaign
  • Campaigns

Accor Celebrates Aussie & NZ Cities With New ‘Go ALL Out’ Campaign

Hospitality giant Accor is shining a light on the joy of cities through its newest campaign, ‘Go ALL Out’, which launches in Australia and New Zealand today. The gateway to the ‘Go ALL Out’ campaign is ALL – Accor Live Limitless, a lifestyle loyalty program that integrates rewards, services and experiences throughout the Accor portfolio […]

Marketing Firm Silverbean Set To Double Headcount To Support New Client Wins
  • Marketing

Marketing Firm Silverbean Set To Double Headcount To Support New Client Wins

Global affiliate and partner marketing firm Silverbean has secured new contracts with 13 major Australian brands and is now working to double the size of its Asia-Pacific team. Silverbean launched in Australia in 2019 and has seen steady growth through its work with retailers. Now, with 15 new brands joining the Silverbean portfolio, the agency […]

Xandr Launches New Guide Exploring The Future Of Identity
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Xandr Launches New Guide Exploring The Future Of Identity

Xandr, AT&T’s advanced advertising company, today released “Shaping the Future of Identity,” an industry guide exploring the approaches for buyers and sellers, as well as market participants, as they evaluate identity solutions in preparation for a future without third-party cookies.

GTI Appoints New GM Of Marketing & Strategy, Snares Fresh Client
  • Marketing

GTI Appoints New GM Of Marketing & Strategy, Snares Fresh Client

Tourism PR and marketing agency GTI has announced the appointment of longtime media executive Jenny Pham as its new general manager of marketing and strategy. Pham (pictured above) will lead the agency’s marketing division with responsibility for strategy, media and consumer marketing, while GTI founder and managing director Sarah Anderson remains as the day-to-day lead […]

Hospitality Networking Platform Clipboard Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Hospitality Networking Platform Clipboard Launches Equity Crowdfunding Campaign

Clipboard, a free professional networking platform for the hospitality industry, has announced it will seek to raise its next round of funding via equity crowdfunding platform Birchal. This will power its vision to transform the way the fragmented hospitality industry connects, shares experiences, markets and recruits. With a growing member database of over 24,000 hospitality […]