AdAsia | Day 2 – Exec Summary: Food for thought, and plenty

03 Nov,2011

By Tuhina Anand

Conversation, exchange of ideas, networking and business as usual was the order of the day at AdAsia. Day 2 of Congress at AdAsia 2011 started with a session by Frederika Meijer, Representative UNPF, India and Country Director UNFPA, Bhutan. The session was on `The Female Equation: Communicating with conscience. The session was an attempt to bring to attention, provoke debate, and challenge the minds present to think of providing creative solutions to one of the critical issue on ‘The girl child’.

The next session on Marketing 3.0-New Rules of Engagement was an interesting session where Joseph Tripodi, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, The Coca Cola Company discussed how marketing is dead and engagement is in. He talked about balancing the notion of Brand Love and Brand Value. As consumer engagement is rapidly changing he pointed that the challenge is to navigate in this new universe. He talked about the `Liquid and Linked’ philosophy that the company embarked on last year. It’s this philosophy which has helped in creating the FIFA World Cup campaign celebration campaign. Tripodi introduced the newly launched campaign on Arctic Home that Coca Cola has taken to give homes to polar bears. Then he gave a peek into what the company has planned for London Olympics 2012 which again is truly a Liquid and Linked philosophy. It’s basically about unlocking the social side of Olympic and dubbed it as `integrated and ambitious’ plan. Prasoon Joshi, Chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup India and ECD McCann Erickson was the session anchor who threw some tricky questions to Tripodi who answered them all with ease.

There is business uncertainty, market uncertainty and media uncertainty and that’s what the next session delved on. Kelly Clark, Worldwide CEO, Maxus, Mainardo De Nardis, CEO, OMD Worldwide discussed Media Fragmentation: How to navigate through traffic? The session was moderated by Bob O’Leary, MD, Head of Global Marketing, Consumer, Citi. The panel discussed the explosion of media in the market along with changing human behaviour and the need to find a way through this. Mainardo about the changing Asian market where the role has reversed and other countries are borrowing from best practices from Asia while the scenario was completely different few years ago.

It was a change to see finally young blood take to stage with the next session on `Ideas that are Contagious’ by Will Sansom, Writer and Consultant, Contagious Communications. HE showed works that were truly innovative uncovering new opportunities and collaborative cultures. An interesting example was that of luxury brand Burberry which used Tweetwalk to engage consumers while managing to retain the exclusivity that only front row gets during its fashion show. Through the use of social media it engaged people to follow the brand online by putting a shot of model just before the walk thus getting its fans to follow the brand online and not disturbing the dynamics offline.

There was also a session by TED/INK-The New Age of Advertising. Lakshmi Pratury, Host, The INK and Ronda Carnegie, Head of Global Partnerships, TED talked about the movement that provokes people to think and challenge the consumer consciousness.

Times have change and with that has changed strategies of communication from brand to consumers. For much of its history, the art of advertising revolved around the creation of the ad: an expertly crafted message conveyed through traditional media and consumed by end audiences. But the audiences today have changed, they way the consume media today has changed. The session ‘Acts. Not ads’ deconstructed how, in today’s multidimensional media landscape, advertising messages are evolving into true social movements and acts that can affect and drive positive change. The panelists gave several examples to drive home their point of how acts are much more efficacious as compared to merely advertising. Today, the consumer wants to be a part of an ad and engage with the brand, making it an act.

There are several brands in the market and with the cacophony emanating from brand declarations, trying to out-shine other brands, results in only a ‘trust-famine’ in the mind of the consumer. Trust becomes very important and that is what the session in adasia discussed ‘Building brands in a trust deficit world’. For the panelists, the essence of building trust was to talk and engage customer and be ethical and responsible as a brand. Consumers like to associate themselves with responsible brands. The latent psychological element of how people buy things at the first place is also important. It is essential for brands to have consistency in the messaging over time and across all touch point to create trust. The key is to keep the old and add the new… In the urge of doing new one should not discard the old value systems for the new. Moreover, for brands to be trustworthy, they have to be modest, even when they are doing very well because one never knows where the next problem is coming from.

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