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We’re Living In An Event-Centric Content Created World
A very long time ago there was a tested, tried and true, formulaic approach to creating fresh marketing content that could be multi-mediated across the proliferation of new media channels popping up daily. Then, after that archaic process had been completed, if there was any money left the brand experience, BTL, event and field marketing companies would rightfully get tasked to do something by the lead agency. Unfortunately, what the ATL agency passed down was usually off-message, off-strategy, ridiculously stupid and a waste of the remaining clients’ money - live was just thought of as an afterthought.
This process, that was so long ago, was run by the ATL agencies - which ironically are all now running to brand themselves as brand experience shops - apparently didn’t understand how their “big ideas” translated correctly into the brand experience in the live space and on the newer media platforms. Therefore, what they’d do is simply find ridiculous ways to drain the rest of the clients’ retainers. Sorry, sometimes the truth hurts.
Those days are thankfully over - how do i know? I’ve always prided myself on being a social scientist that absorbs and retains all of the happenings in my surrounding area. Sometimes this information is useful for my profession, while other times it’s simple extraneous information so I then unlearn it. Yes, I have perfected the art of unlearning things - I feel it’s just as important as learning.
The strongest trend that’s emerged over the past 2 years? Brands have finally seemed to acknowledge that creating monologue styled pieces with their “big ideas” isn’t working. Finally brands understood that continuing their archaic, formulaic approach and then painfully finding a way to multi-mediate their monologue campaign isn’t the correct formula. It may have have taken awhile, but experiential methodology has rightfully hopped into the drivers seat, and with that transition of the new driver has come bigger, bolder, higher perceived value ideas that are more thought provoking and are being brought to life on every media, both new and old, in the new dialogue, interactive fashion. The result of this massive paradigm shift has left consumers feeling more important, higher valued and given them many engaging brand sponsored activities to participate in.
Take a moment to reflect on a typical ad campaign of 5 years ago, and now take a moment to give a good think to the advertising campaigns of today. No bigger spotlight can be shown on this trend better then through the eyes of judging the elite advertising awards such as the Effies. I have had the privilege of sitting on the Grand Jury and serving as a final round judge over the course of the last 6 years. Being afforded this opportunity really allows one to see the massive shift of which I am speaking of. But, even if I hadn’t been fortunate enough to judge - I still noticed it with my own eyes.
Let me show you some examples. Please let me make it 100% clear that these aren’t simply campaigns that are being submitted to the award shows, but rather the campaigns that I’ve noticed on my own. And, to make sure that I don’t violate anything that I’ve signed - I’ll simply point out the category - OK? - perfect - let’s take a look at the “new normal”.
1. A major air scent freshener - In this campaign you see content pulled directly from the live executions and multi-mediated in meaningful and relevant ways across the entire media spectrum
2. Several major car companies - Are doing a magnificent job of aggregating their abundance of various content from their live activations and using it as the core of the campaign as they too take their live content across the media spectrum
3. The beauty and hygiene space - I know that I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but you’re also starting to see that a new formulaic approach to win the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers’ has taken hold
4. CPG - I’ll save myself from wash, rinse and repeating on this one, but you should get the idea by now.
Live interactions at the center of the content creation channel is the new formula.
As a creative, as a strategist and as a consumer - nothing makes me happier to see this new formula taking hold and getting extreme traction in the marketplace. No longer are single minded creatives developing their monologues of what they have to say and calling it a day.
We’re seeing the rise of a batch of a more adaptive, multi-talented creatives that are acutely more aware of the world around them. They’re taking their lenses from which they see the world and building effective campaigns that are not just making people laugh, but are propelling them towards the register while insuring the consumers don’t stray. The new creative thinks in terms of the entire consumer journey until the consumers make it to the cash register, and imbedded in that thinking is a level of smarts that wasn’t seen before.
Today’s excellent campaigns are spending their clients’ money where their intended audiences spend their time and they are delivering such high perceived value brand experiences that they insure the consumers make it all the way to the register.
Sometimes this new world causes creatives and strategists to think from the shelf or point of purchase outward, and sometimes it causes creatives and strategists to think from the moment that the consumers wake early in the morning. Either way, what they are creating are high perceived value brand experiences that are taking all parts of the consumers’ lives into account to deliver meaningful and relevant experiences when and where the consumers’ will be most receptive to it.
As the live interactions take the center of the stage in advertising campaigns - along with that trend comes an unbelievable wit of the new creative that doesn’t think in terms of burning eyeball impressions or simple 30 second spots.
These are interesting times indeed. And with each brand having to battle harder for the same discretionary dollar - the advertising battles are getting smarter and seem to be employing the art of war along with a lot of intellectual firepower. In any case, it’s exciting to see the live content become the epicenter of it all