Ad Conclave Takeout #1: Technology is the new tool for creativity!

20 Apr,2012


By Robin Thomas


‘Ideas that impact the full circle’ is the theme for Goafest Advertising Conclave 2012, expected to be attended by over 3,000 members of the media, advertising and marketing fraternity from not just India, but various south Asian countries as well. Yes, this year’s edition of Goafest is billed as the biggest ever in the history of the event and will include delegates from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.


The Goafest Advertising Conclave 2012 held on Thursday highlighted the fact that the next few years are going to be transformational as far as creativity in the industry is concerned. We live in an era where young people are growing up in a digital era, they spend more time on social network and brands are targeting their consumers on social networking sites. India is restless and what the country needs is not traditional creativity, but radical creativity. Technology is the new tool for creativity and India must immerse into it.


Tim Love, CEO, APIMA, Vice Chairman, Omnicom Group spoke about how the world has become not only interconnected but also inter-dependent due to digitization and globalisation. He was also quick to point out living in an era of digitization, there is plenty of information available, but there is a need to know how to use that data effectively.


Jonathan Mildenhall, VP, Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, Coca-Cola pointed out that there are two types of creativity – traditional creativity and radical creativity. What India needs today is not traditional creativity but, radical creativity. “We need to develop ideas and hence we need to integrate technology with creatives. We need to move away from 30 minute television storytelling to dynamic storytelling,” he clarified.


Mr Mildenhall also explained that brand stories must add values and significance to the consumers’ life. The stories must engage the consumers and make them feel connected to the brand. “We need bigger creative thinking in our heart and we need online dialogue as well as engagement with our consumers. Nevertheless, we need to iterate our content and not replicate them.”


While speaking on ‘Building brands in an era of multiple degrees of freedom’, Jayant Murty, Director of Strategy, Media and Integrated Marketing, Asia Pacific Region, Intel Corp  observed that most often brands bribe their consumers to get involved, but they fail to understand that the consumers do not want to be bribed. He added that brands must be remarkable and different. “Immerse in technology because technology is the new tool to creativity and find partners that understand the use of technology,” he further added.


Keeping in line with the theme of ‘Ideas That Impact The Full Circle’, a panel discussion moderated by Anuradha Sengupta, Features Editor, CNBC TV18 and including panellists Tim Love of Omnicom Group, Jonathan Mildenhall of Coca-Cola, Jayant Murty of Intel Corp and Jean-Yves Naouri, COO, Publicis Group focussed on the need to present their agencies differently; the loss of long-term relation between the clients and the agencies and the need for multiple agencies to build a brand.


Mr Love observed that advertising is actually an education, also noting that while the advertising industry is all about ideas and thus the need for young rebellious minds, there is also a need for the old and the wise to guide and direct the youth.


Mr Jean-Yves Naouri, on the other hand, highlighted that creative agencies are here to respond to business and gain the trust, mind and presence in their client’s life. “Keep the dialogue between brand and consumer alive. Engage consumers as there will be people who will be inspired b the brands and this is what matters the most,” he counselled.


Speaking on the agency-client relationship, Mr Mildenhall said that it is easy to maintain one relationship better that ten different ones, and therefore he would reluctantly look outside his roster agencies for creativity. However, he felt that brands may scout for multiple creative agencies if they find the need for specialist agencies that could help them reach out to their clients more effectively. He was also quick to point that although digital is showing robust growth inIndia, it needs to boost its creativity in this space. “Majority of the UK spends on digital, however the internet reality is bigger than the creative ambition inIndia.”


KV Sridhar aka Pops, NCD, Leo Burnett talked about how advertisements look in a world of censorship. He was of the view that though advertising is a serious subject, it is nothing less than entertainment. Therefore, if one puts restrictions on advertisements, it may lose its enjoyment. Pops highlighted that there are two types of people in advertising, the ones that care and the ones that don’t care and therefore the industry must be sensitive to the sentiment of various people. He also said that while the industry should be governed by creativity and not regulations, there is also a need to keep a check of the contents as it is in our hands.


Industry expectations are high, especially after the conclave on Thursday as was summed up by a variety of delegates. Said Niloufer Dundh, Head- Integrated Media, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd: “The advertising conclave was fabulous. Great speaker line-up and the points raised finally focused on digital. The international speakers don’t treat digital as an extra or add-on; it is part of their communication strategy. Jonathan Mildenhall’s speech on Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence was awesome!”


Another delegate who did not wish to be named said he was looking forward to getting the ”real” lessons from marketers. “I am glad Goafest is giving us this opportunity.” But, he said, the only problem is the “awful” heat. Now you can’t get all things in the world your way, can you?


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