The first presentation of the day was from Kevin Roberts – CEO Saatchi and Saatchi worldwide; discussing the topic of Sisomo (Sight Sound and Motion).
Here are the main points of his talk:
Retailer and consumers are now the boss, power has shifted away from the brands.
Consumers are ahead of the industry, they know what they want; the only people confused are clients, who are terrified of this new world, as they cant quantify it. But everything that has gone before is irrelevant.
TV is not going to vanish, and mediums will not replace each other, but we will live in an “and” environment, where all mediums exist side by side.
People are driven by emotion, and we need to use stories and storytelling to create ‘Love and Respect’ and ‘Loyalty Beyond Reason”.
Return on Investment no longer matters, things are now about Return on Involvement.
The world and media is changing so fast that the latest trends have come and gone before research figures them out.
The second event of the day was a discussion panel on the topic of Reality Check, featuring among others; John Shaw (Planning Director at Ogilvy UK) and Russell Davies.
The main topics here were:
Have consumers always owned the brand, with a great example about how Camra (The Campaign for Real Ale) stopped Watneys brewery from limiting the choice of beers in their pubs.
A quote from Russell on the topic of the 80/20 rule (80 percent of everything is crap): “The Business Model for Crap is Going Away”
There was a lot of talk on User Generated Content, while much of the things on there may be ‘rubbish’, they are usually all good to the circle of three or four friends who they are made for.
Are customers recognising that brands are evolving in terms of their ethics and responsibilities? The seeming disappearance of the anti-brand movement of a few years ago seems to show that. But also, many brands have started to place much more importance on ethics.
The next discussion was on Design, including Ben of the Design Conspiracy.
They spoke about how design should be important through everything, that designers often have difficulty talking and explaining things to clients, and those who can move between disciplines will be the winners of the future.
A good topic was how most agencies fail to understand how to take the feeling of ads into a 3d space, with the example of the Hersheys store in Manhattan.
Finally, a good comment; if Jonathan Ives was announced as the new design head of GM (General Motors) their shares would rocket.
The two afternoon panels were on Technology and Delivery. The first being chaired by Richard Huntingdon, and the latter by George Bryant, head of planning at AMV BBDO.
After managing to bring old pictures of Donald Rumsfeld into the talk, and not being able to resist talking about Dirt is Good again; the panel spoke:
Future proofing brands was a major topic, especially about brands in places like myspace. How these communities have rules and etiquette, and to be accepted brands need to remember that.
Interaction by its very nature is 2 way, and brands need to remember that the viral model is not about selling. Its not the same as making a tv ad.
The time has come to abandon demographics, most people agrees that they are outdated and do not represent people in a relevant way anymore.
Also, there was the battle between the “BIG idea” vs “An ideal with lots of little ideas under it”. This topic was touched on again later…
The Delivery panel spoke again about how useless demographics now are, how they don’t show any understanding of people.
We listen, but do we understand?
Honesty is now a pre-requisite. If you are not honest you will be found out, with communication so quick and simple, you can no longer hide behind falsehoods.
People don’t trust big brands anymore. With Innocent Drinks growing as such a big rate, are they risking being seen as a big brand, and then end up facing a backlash?
There was also an interesting talk by Justin Bovington of Rivers Run Red about how brands are getting involved in virtual worlds, particularly Second Life.
Its not something I know a great deal about, but with some big clients like Vodafone and Adidas/Reebok, the online virtual world appears to be the next big thing (which sadly usually means its about to be replaced with something else).
The use of Second Life areas to encourage brand communication between brand and consumer is also a very interesting area, with some good examples, such as being able to choose the shoe colour of your avatar, then buy the shoes in real life through the virtual world.
[I will update with videos and pictures once I return home after day 2]
Im highly enjoying this event so far, please let me know what you think of the topics discussed. Is this the way marketing should be heading, and are these the right topics?