OMD head of strategy Dan Bye takes a look at how, as an industry, we must operate moving forward – the difference between creating ideas and creating innovations.
Whether you work within the creative or media side of our industry we are at an interesting crossroads, where the competition for consumers’ attention has never been greater.
In response to these challenges agencies of all disciplines are increasingly needing to look for more creative ways to connect with these audiences, some of which have seen agencies working on projects that are outside of what was typically considered the domain of the advertising industry.
In recognition of this shift at Cannes this year we saw the inaugural Innovations Lion’s being awarded (their definition of innovation being data x technology x ideas), providing the opportunity for work that might not have fit neatly into other judging categories the opportunity to be recognised and celebrated by our industry, not that by any means Cannes or any awards show should ever be the be-all and end-all of course.
This type of innovation is not new and some brands/agencies have been playing in this space for some time, a notable example of which would be R/GA & Nike+ which was launched as far back as 2006.
Post Cannes I have read a fair amount of debate and conjecture about the merits of some of the projects that were awarded by the innovations jury (for the sake of fair disclosure, I was involved early-on in the Optus Clever Buoy project in a previous role, and so have a natural bias towards it); a lot of this time and effort being spent debating the validity of the projects recognised by the jury and also what impact they may/or may not have had on the businesses of the clients that funded them – the last point is true of many creative/media awards, and is after all why we have effectiveness categories.
Regardless of your feelings to the particular projects in question, it is my belief that the reality here is a difference in how, as an industry, we must operate moving forward, the difference between creating ideas to creating innovations.
The advertising industry has always been an industry of ideas. However, we have been required to be an industry of the definitive, with the expectations being that the solution we come-up with be achievable within certain parameters – be that within a time frame, budget and/or to achieve specific marketing/business objectives.
Unfortunately, the simplicity of what once was is no longer the case, and brands now more than ever, are having to work much harder to create relevance and fulfil a meaningful role in the lives of the audience they are trying to connect with; to ensure that their brand/product/service is top-of-mind when the consumer comes to part with a dollar or two (whether today, tomorrow or at some undefined point in the future).
In order to foster this meaningful connection between brand and audience some agencies are choosing to go down a less trodden path, one which is less definitive at the outset and arguably involves more risk for both client and agency. A path that if successful can deliver far more return for longer, than a traditional advertising campaign could.
As an industry we are supposed to be a bunch of dreamers – looking to the future and coming up with new ideas – and at the moment entrepreneurs and tech companies are kicking our arses, this is why we need to celebrate the innovators.
Innovation isn’t a type of brief, or a check-box, and it is not something that fits neatly into a traditional agency model nor something that can be confined to a 30 second ad, a MREC or an out-of-home special build.
Innovation is a commitment and a process – we still need an insight, a human need or a problem to solve, but we then need a multi-disciplinary team of thinkers that the traditional agency model isn’t designed to accommodate – this is when the innovation starts – the process that realises a brand new way of solving that problem and makes it a reality, and doing things for the first time will always be fraught with risks.
It is a commitment and a labour of love that requires patience, open minds and a group of people that are prepared to venture into the unknown and have the tenacity to overcome the obstacles and probably some failures along the way, at times maybe even questioning if what they have dreamt up is possible to achieve.
That is what leads us to the step changes and leaps forward that create some new-news and point of difference and cut through for the brave brand involved.
So whilst at times these projects can feel farfetched, that is kind of the point.
We need to celebrate the bravery and tenacity of both the agencies and the clients that have the balls to embrace innovation and make these new ideas become a reality, and if some fail along the way then we should take a leaf out of the book of the technology industry and make sure we have learned something new.
At least we gave it a go.
Winning a gold medal at the Olympics is pretty glorious (we imagine), but it’s not quite as special as sharing an Instagram post about the win. So take a moment to feel for Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was unceremoniously dumped from her Instagram account this week after she won two gold medals. Shortly after […]
With ARN announcing its official ditch of the ‘Australian Radio Network’ name earlier this week, B&T spoke to CEO of HT&E (ARN’s owner) about what the change means for the brand’s future. For Davis, the shift from Australian Radio Network to just ARN was a “natural progression” which reflected the business’s ongoing development. “About three years ago, […]
Even as it celebrates its 200th birthday, legendary fashion brand Louis Vuitton is showing it still has some new tricks. August 4 marks the 200th birthday of French fashion designer Louis Vuitton. And while Mr Vuitton sadly passed away in 1892, as we know, the company he created lives on today as one of the […]
Musician, Rihanna, has officially become a billionaire and card payment provider, Dojo thinks it knows how. Earlier this week, Forbes, reported that Rihanna is now worth $1.7 billion, making the 33-year-old the world’s richest musician. Rihanna’s net worth doesn’t just come from her music career, sadly, smashes like Umbrella and Disturbia aren’t enough to get you into […]
Last night’s night games (try saying that three times quickly) peaked at 1,791,000 viewers – just shy of the 1.8 million mark, but impressive none the less. The Wednesday games had some big moves for Australia: Peter Bol, our first contestant in the men’s 800m in 50 years, had an incredible run (literally), nabbing fourth, […]
News Corp journalist Sharri Markson has lashed out over Google’s decision to suspend the Sky News YouTube account for seven days, labelling it a violation of free speech. Speaking on Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight, Markson discussed the ban. “Sky News, the entire news network in Australia, has been censored by YouTube for an entire […]
Barbie has released a range of COVID-19’s female heroes, celebrating the women that have helped the world during the pandemic. In recent years Mattel has moved away from just immortalising Barbie and her slew of glamorous celebrity friends. Could we ever forget Cher Barbie? Seemingly, in an attempt for the toymaker to become ‘woke’, it […]
Commercial DAB+ hip hop and RnB station, THE EDGE has appointed Emily Copeland, to the newly created role of General Manager. Copeland brings an awesome mix of skills and experience to THE EDGE, including cross-platform media content experience, partnerships and events (including music festivals – remember those?). Copeland also has a stack of achievements to […]
Iconic manufacturer SPC will mandate that all of its staff must be fully vaccinated by the end of November to gain entry to any Company location. The measure will ensure the health and well-being of all staff and the broader community. SPC’s senior leadership team and board recognise the significant threat the COVID-19 Delta variant […]
Brianne West is the founder and CEO of Ethique, a New Zealand-based sustainable, plastic free and cruelty free skin and hair care range. West sat down with B&T to explore what genuine environmental sustainability looks like, and how brands can better respond to eco-conscious consumers. B&T: Why are we seeing a rise in eco-conscious consumption? BW: […]
Blis has today revealed its new Consumer Confidence Pulse — the most comprehensive tracker of its kind — this interactive dashboard builds on its existing trend data around consumer mood to analyse behaviour during the COVID pandemic. The dashboard also now tracks consumer movement over a rolling 13-month period, across 18 retail and lifestyle sectors […]
Following the success of Series One: Grey Nomads, Australian Seniors has launched the second series of the Life’s Booming podcast – Dare to Date. Hosted by James Valentine (pictured with guests Liz and Barry), Life’s Booming explores the incredible stories and addresses topics important to Australians over 50. Series two titled Dare to Date is a six-part series that covers real-life love, […]
The evolution of app technology has radically changed the way that marketing and advertising agencies work. Tech is king, with the average business now using 88 apps per customer according to research from the identity platform, Okta. So if your agency is running a software app stack, why are you not managing your agency expenses […]
Zenith Brisbane has announced two newly-created digital roles, with Stephanie Plunkett (pictured below) joining as digital director and Louise Marks (main photo) as senior digital manager. Plunkett will work in partnership with performance director, Carla Whitehouse, leading Zenith Brisbane’s digital product. Her responsibilities will include driving strategic solutions to deliver marketing-led growth for clients, digital […]
World-leading conversational agency VERSA has bolstered its team with two senior appointments in response to growing uptake in conversational AI technology across various sectors. Vanessa Tout has been appointed global head of client partnerships and growth, while Michael Oso-Hughes comes on board as design director. Tout joins VERSA CEO Kath Blackham and managing director Michael […]
Engagement marketing agency, Banter, has hired Patrick Rutkowski as Creative Technologist, to further bolster the digital and innovation side of the business. Rutkowski joins Banter after having spent the last five and a half years at independent creative agency, The Hallway where he was most recently creative technologist working with the likes of Rheem, Tourism […]
Havas Media Group Australia and New Zealand chairman Mike Wilson will step down after eight years with the agency at the end of August. Wilson will continue to act as a consultant to the business on key projects. Wilson launched Havas Media Australia as founding CEO in 2013, before stepping into the newly-created role of […]
Kargo has today announced several major growth milestones across the APAC region for the first half of 2021, more than doubling H1 revenue year-over-year with 115 per cent growth. Kargo also ran 41 per cent more campaigns in the region than in H1 2020 and the average campaign size increased by 32 per cent over […]
Hootsuite has today announced its acquisition of Heyday, a Montreal-based conversational AI platform that enables brands to deliver personalised customer experiences through 1:1 messaging conversations. Commerce is rapidly moving onto social and messaging platforms. Hootsuite, a pioneer in the social media management category, has the largest customer base in the industry and with this acquisition […]
Moira Geddes, founder and director of independent food publication EATIVITY has been handpicked by IAB Australia to become the first ever micro-publisher to take part in its Mentorship Program, highlighting the important role that specialised custom digital sites play within the country’s media landscape. EATIVITY aims to keep consumers in the know and help small […]
Hivestack, the global ad tech leader in programmatic digital out of home (DOOH) advertising, today announced the appointment of Ichiro Jinnai as president, Hivestack Japan. Jinnai will be responsible for driving the regional strategy, direction and expansion of the Hivestack platform in Japan. “I am beyond thrilled to welcome Ichiro Jinnai to the Hivestack family,” […]