It was a final day morning session between Wain Choi, VP and global ECD, Cheil Worldwide and Atifa Hargrave-Silk, brand director for Haymarket Media Asia that threw light on something that everyone agrees but few follow. The progress of technology has led to a rapid increase in the innovation cycle.
But technology has to lead to meaningful innovations. That thought led to an innovation that Choi said has been “one of the most meaningful things in 25 years of my career”. The innovation, an app called “Look at me” led to Samsung being seen as a humane company and not a tech or durable maker that was cold without a soul. The perception was that the Korean giant was just another technology company that was missing its heart. “When you get consumer insight plus technology something amazing happens. This app brings loved ones together and is not only about long lasting batteries,” said Choi. Watch the film here.
The app was later adopted in 10 other countries. The second point of discussion was about the advent of virtual reality (VR). The point was that while most of the VR activations look at fun, entertainment and gaming, there was a need to go beyond that. The insight came after looking at the top ten fears of human beings. Fear of heights topped the list. Stage fright came at number two.
Choi’s advice to the AdAsia 2017 audience – “Be bold and forceful with ideas. Push the envelope and make technology an enabler.” To a question by Silk on how has creative process evolved to keep pace with technology, Choi said that the creative team should try new products so that they can be comfortable while communicating it. He cited that the challenge is in humanizing technology. The case in point was of fashion brand Uniqlo that had launched a hi-tech inner wear. Instead of focusing on the hi-tech attributes of the brand, Uniqlo chose to create a heat tech window. Products sales apparently grew by 203 percent. The insight was in South Korea where consumers used bubble wrap to insulate windows in their apartments.
Choi re-emphasised the point that marketing and advertising should get close to creators even before the product is created. There should be a strong rationale on why the consumer needs that feature. “A lot of consumer features are not necessary,” he said. He said that advertising agencies should focus on the best solutions rather than making money from the client. Burger King in Korea uncovered the consumer insight that Koreans had less sleep than the average citizen globally. That was because of the punishing travel schedule to work that was on an average about two-three hours. In a direct marketing campaign, brand promoters distributed sleep masks to commuters. On the mask was written the words “Please wake me up at ABC station”. The co-passenger who woke up the commuter wearing the mask got one of the two free coffee coupons that were hidden within the mask. The other coupon went to the commuter who wore the mask and fell asleep. Needless to say, the campaign went viral and many South Koreans got their much needed sleep.