Thursday, February 24, 2011

keynote day round-up #circusfest part 2

So after an action packed first session where would it go from here?

Enter Marvin Chow from Google.
The bulk of his hour was rather predictably a creds/pitch for Google Chrome.

Why did Google make Chrome?
According to their research people didn't recognize the difference between browser and search engine, and despite the rapid changes in the type of content being delivered down the pipe, browsers were essentially unchanged in 10 years.
You had to feel for him when all his technology went tits-up in mid pitch (laptop not plugged in, Chrome crashed)

He did have a few good soundbites.
- Ideas can come from anywhere - check.
- Focus on the problem you are trying to solve - check.
- Iterate, test, fail, launch fast, repeat - check.
- Get to market fast then iterate on the fly and react fast - check.

Next up Erik Vervroegen.
The worlds most awarded Creative Director, currently at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners in San Francisco.

Another creds pitch, really.

While his examples were all beautifully crafted ads, after the early sessions forward looking focus this really seemed like a step back in time.

In almost total opposite extreme, was token social media brat, Josh Spear.

An opening half hour consisting of Cat videos, LOLcats, Rick-rolling and the economy of virtual facebook goods and Farmville was not a great start.

I started to come around when he dropped a Henry Jenkins-ism on why we share.
The old holy trinity of Bond + identity + status.

Always goes down well.

He pulled it together in the end with the thought around 'what if' everyone who is mobilised and motivated to share pointless, if amusing, shite online could be mobilised to share stuff with value and meaning.

Wikileaks is just the same as 4chan but with purpose? - agreed.

Next up, Charles Wigley, Chairman of BBH Asia, but a planner by trade.
His pres, titled Anti-wind tunnel marketing summised that much of the insdustry talk differentiation but produce sameness.

In the trifecta of True + Relevant + Different - he argued that as an industry are we only doing relevant - hence the sameness.

Question number one should be 'Is it different?'.

He also had some good soundbites..

Brand leadership rather than followship - [me - yep, like it]
Look for brand, product, category as well as 'c*nsumer' insights - [me - for sure]
Take ownership of a point of view - [me - most important]
Look at the customers - there's leaders, followers and the rest. Focus on the leaders.

By this part of the day there were some tired eyes and ears, so it was probably the ideal time to wheel out the indefatigable, Rob Campbell.

I've already forgiven him for dissing a bit of our work in almost his first sentence.
If he bothers to look a bit deeper he'll realise this was both rash and WRONG ;)

In between pimping of WK, the nuggets were sprayed round the room scattergun style, all of them repeatworthy.
Here's the one's I managed to collect

- Our job is to attract people to brands
- Not everything about digital is positive
- Make products not just communication
- You can't solve business problems if you just do ads
- Dream bigger than campaigns
- Create culture not category
- Focus on prize not the medium
- Be culturally provocative
- Collaborate
- Take responsiblity for stuff
- It's not just about awareness
- Be brilliant
- Aim for the highest common denominator.
- People know what they want they just don't know how to say sometimes.
- Create fate not ads.

That was it for me. I missed most of Jose Cabaco of Nike who finished the day.

The key takeaways for me were around this notion of the middle way that seems to be emerging.
New media is not replacing old media, they are all transforming.
There's a place for all types of media in the advertising future, as long as each does what it does best.
By media I mean film, pictures, words.

On the question of ROI, it was a commercial creativity conference after all, I'll leave it to Agnello Dias, from Taproot to explain.

Did The Times of India sell more newspapers because they took a stand for something that mattered?

Maybe, maybe not.


Doing what they did gave them the credibility to ensure they always would be the first invited into the room when something of importance needed reporting.

That's worth something.

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