Day 1: Melting pot of creativity

22 May,2015

 

By Dyanne Coelho

 

It was meant to be a melting pot of talent, which indeed it was. The first edition of Zee Melt 2015 saw some 1338 registered delegates in attendance on Day One with speakers hailing from diverse backgrounds and continents.

 

The two-day festival of creativity in advertising and marketing organised by not-for-profit firm Kyoorius in partnership with Zee Entertainment, GroupM and D&AD, opened in Mumbai with a mix of events.

 

HT Osmosis, the anchor event for the day – hosted by Campaign India Managing Editor Gokul Krishnamoorthy, and Suresh Venkat – saw speakers from creative agencies across the globe shedding light on innovation, creativity, uncluttering advertising and zooming out from the billboard trend. It began with a presentation by Chris Sanderson, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, followed by Daniele Fiandaca of Creative Social talking about the several advantages of breaking out of the clutter and innovating. Christian Behrendt of Razorfish followed with atake on why we should shift from ‘award-winning’ to ‘world-changing’ creativity. Bo Hellberg of Brave and HeyHumanspoke about the possibility that human creativity will soon be replaced by artificial intellect aka machines that dish out creative ideas and storylines. The sessions continued with talks by Jason Harrison of Gain Theory, Huib van Bockel of The Social Brand, Dylan Berg of 72andSunny, Daniel Hirschmann of Hirsch & Mann, Hugh MacLeod of Gapingvoid and Takahiro Hosoda and  Kazuaki Hashida  of Hakuhodo.

 

Concurrently, a seminar entitled Kinetic Future Citizens was focusedon understanding the consumers of the future; their interests, needs, wants and behaviour. Speakers including Lightbox’s Sid Talwar, YouTube India’s Satya Raghavan, Digital data strategist Subhendu Mukherjee, Facebook’s Fergus O’Hare and Happy Finish’s Simon Gosling talked about how brands can connect and entertain their audiences.

 

A series of workshops were conducted through the day. These hands-on sessions with experts include interactivity with AR/VR, photography, branding and technology.

 

GroupM’s showcase space was a crowded spot at Melt.  Participants were given guided tours of Mindshare’s The Loop Room and The Purple Box, Moribus; the Behavioral Economics Lab by Maxus, global work by Mediacom and MECFresh by MEC Global.Happy Finish’s showcase displayed the latest in augmented and virtual reality. A particular favorite among visitors was the Smash it! Cricket VR experience.

 

The recurring themes and topics that emerged from the talks and workshops through the day was innovation and breaking the rules in advertising and the concept of smart data to understand your end consumer and attend to their specific needs. Some speakers also talked about the importance of engaging directly with the consumer through on-field advertising and marketing campaigns rather than mere print or television advertisements. “You have to make sure you’re touching people and you have a relationship with them. Print won’t go away, but it is no longer the primary medium,” said Daniele Fiandaca of Creative Social.

 

Another recurring theme was the need for agencies and brands to explore ways in which advertising and technology can help improve the lives of those with fewer resources. Sessions such as the 90% talks with Anu Sridharan of NextDrop, Upasana Makati of White Print and Angad Daryani showed how social entrepreneurs can make a difference to the lives of ‘the other 90 percent’. Unny Radhakrishnan and Alex Jaspers of Maxus delved deep into the topic of creativity plus technology to solve problems. Both have to go hand in hand they emphasized. “Sometimes the solution may not be mere advertising, but to combine advertising with electronics, architecture, engineering and biotechnology as well,” said Jaspers.

 

One of the most untapped areas in advertising is mobile, and delegates were able to find some answers about how to unlock the potential of mobile marketing and experiences with Tomi Ahonen, Fergus O’Hare from Facebook, and others.

 

Talking about the common fight between digital versus other forms of media, Prasanth Kumar, CEO, Mindshare South Asia said: “The approach shouldn’t be between digital and/or television or print, rather in advertising and marketing the content is important. The key is to pass on the message effectively and engage with the audience irrespective of the medium. The idea is to get all media together.”

 

Day One concluded with a debated organised by the India chapter of the International Advertising Association IAA Debates battling out on the issue of whether the mobile is likely to become the primary screen for news and entertainment in the next three to four years. Vikram Sakhuja and Raghav Bahl spoke for the motion and Arnab Goswami and Rajiv Lochan were against the motion. While the team for the motion argued that an increasing number of people are using mobile phones each day, the team against retorted saying that three to four years is too short for this to be a reality as mobile internet especially 3G networks is still a luxury enjoyed by a few and buffering videos are a downer. The team against the motion were declared winners of the debate.

 

Said Rajesh Kejriwal, Founder CEO of Kyoorius, said, “We were delighted and encouraged to see delegates participate so actively in sessions at MELT. Day One went off brilliant. What was particularly heartening to note was when people told me that they profited from attending the proceedings.”

 

Day Two of the event will see a continuation of the conference and culminate with the Kyoorius Awards with over 1500 members of the fraternity in attendance.

 

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