Arati Rao
Nov 03, 2011

AdAsia 2011: “Don’t follow the ‘Dude we should do’ philosophy”: Will Sansom

A report and all the case study videos we could find from the Contagious presentation at AdAsia 2011

AdAsia 2011: “Don’t follow the ‘Dude we should do’ philosophy”: Will Sansom

It’s always an enjoyable session when it’s by Contagious Magazine.

Will Sansom, a writer and consultant with Contagious, began by saying that brands still aren’t focusing enough on engagement. “People don't need advertising; they’re craving education, entertainment, and meaningful experiences,” he said.

But advertising has to be smart and subtle, he emphasised, because the marketing language places barriers between “us and them”.

Calling his presentation “Marketing for people, not robots (less killer app, more killer experience)”, Sansom titled his first point “Experience over innovation: Making the wires disappear”. He warned delegates against the ‘Dude, we should do’ philosophy, whereby companies decided to do something with technology just because other people were doing it. “The best application for technology is where the technology bit of it is invisible, and it reduces friction. There is an endless market for simplicity,” he said, further making his point with the following video by Google Analytics.

He also spoke about the following examples as good ones of creating an experience with technology.

Tesco Home Plus

Starhub Musical Fitting Rooms

Pedigree Doggelganger

Bandsports Parental Control (Sansom added the idea of shaping internet content is “awesome”)

“If it’s something personal and relevant, people will want to talk about it,” said Sansom.

The second point the Contagious writer made was about the emotional power of response, highlighted by the Burberry tweetwalk at LFW this year, which “kept people at a distance since it was an exclusive event but used real time media to still get people closer to the brand.”

James Ready Blank Cap Recall

Pizzas and the art of war - Domino's digital billboard

The third point Sansom made was about marketing as a service design. He quoted from a Deloitte study, “80 per of branded mobile apps are downloaded less than 1000 times.”

Wespac Bank Impulse Saver (a good example of “soft paternalism”)

Heineken Star Player

Sansom said, “Heineken Star Player contradicted the way traditional media says people watch football, where it’s a group activity. Often it’s a solitary experience, but almost always people do have another gadget with them, and will tweet or Facebook or text about the results. When you're watching the knockout stage of Champion’s League, and your team isn’t there, there is no great emotional inv, and this was a way to bring that in. It wasn’t done because of ‘Dude, we should do’ philosophy but because it leveraged a proper service.”

He also advocated the “5 percent club”: “Take 5 percent of your budget to experiment and see how far it can go, as long as it has a genuine human need and solid idea at centre.”

Footlocker Sneakerpedia

In conclusion, Sansom said, “It’s about convergence in a meaningful way – interactivity of the internet, the audio visual experience of TV, and the personalisation and localisation of mobile, and the real world. Then you have a proper chance of engaging people and being useful, relevant or entertaining.”


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