Day two of the festival didn't start too well. The breakfast area which had around 1,000 people on day one, had hardly a few people. I guess the reason for this was the fact that everyone partied all night. The lack of attendance saw the first session, scheduled to begin at 10.45 am, getting cancelled.
The first event was for the young attendees. They were asked to come up with an idea, create an ad and display it to the ECDs. A few of them would get a job with an agency. But, I was slightly disappointed. Everyone was looking at technology instead of pure creativity. This made me remember one experience when I was working in new York. A youngster mailed me: "I am 'abc', I am very good looking. I am not kidding about my looks. When I meet women, they take me home." He ended the mail by saying, "I know where you live. You can hire me. You don't spend too much time with your family, but I can help you do that by working." I hired him. It was creative. Such creativity was lacking here.
Then came the Hakuhodo session. This was pretty interesting. It was a slick presentation where the speaker made a point of calling the consumer the hero instead of the target. He made a point that heroes in movies are always in the spotlight. Similarly consumers should be in the spotlight. You need to ask the consumers to do something you'd ask a hero to do. Earlier people would just tell the consumer a story, now you need to make them participate.
The next one was splendid. The presentation from 'Moth' labelling storytelling is the new black, was extremely interesting. He said that just like black is always in fashion, storytelling will remain in fashion. People have labelled it differently calling it content, now that it is about the long format ads, and other names, but essentially it's all storytelling. He showed two ads -- one for Continental Airlines and the other for British Airways. Both used similar taglines about people coming home. But, British Airways had the recollect because it was more engaging. It was a tear-jerker. One was a real ad, the other looked like a piece of content. The long format of storytelling, has been there for a while though. David Lubars' films for BMW done more than 10 years ago is an example. That was real branded content.
One takeout from the event was that 3D camera glasses are going to be the next big thing. You’re going to see millions of ideas like that. In 2016, you’ll be watching ads in your face.
The awards function at the end of the day was okay. India surprised everybody and won a Gold. But the crowd was cold.
One more thing to strike my attention was the theme -- 'Be Bad'. It was extremely surprising, because people here tend to be just the opposite!
They're far from 'bad'! They're so emotional!
(The author is founder and CCO of Famous Innovations)
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