For those in advertising, missing a talk by the industry legend, Jean-Marie Dru, chairman of TBWA Worldwide, would be an opportunity of a lifetime lost. No surprise then that several hundred people packed in to hear him speak, choosing this 3 p.m. panel over the enticements of an open bar and the warm, sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Sea.
Basing the presentation on TBWA’s success stories, Dru guided the audience through various campaigns that reiterated the concept of ‘Disruption’.
“Disruption is about breaking the rules and challenging the way we are doing things,” said Dru. “For us at TBWA, disruption is a way of life.”
That said, Dru warned that before challenging the present, one should have a clear vision of the future.
“If you change nothing within a company you are sure to fail. As you also will if you try to change everything. The key to success lies within your ability to determine the fine line between what must change and what must not,” he added.
Dru kept the audience interested with a presentation replete with close to 25 commercials, all about ‘Big brand Ideas’ TBWA created. Starting with Adidas’s “Impossible is Nothing” campaign, Dru explained how the entire brand message became a driving force for not just the consumers but also had an incredible influence inside the company. Erich Stamminger, head of Adidas, commented on TBWA’s campaign, “The ‘impossible’ is our legacy, our mission and our challenge.”
Dru went on to explaining how various brand ideas go beyond advertising. “Pedigree wanted to shift its brand perception from being just a dog food company to a dog company,” he added. “Besides changing their manifesto, we initiated an annual event in February called the Pedigree Adoption Drive.”
Dru laid a lot of stress on ‘how the company should behave’.
“A brand is judged not only by the products and services it offers but also initiatives it undertakes, said the chairman of TBWA Worldwide.
To elucidate his statement, Dru explained how McDonald’s took a quality-of-goods positioning in France; how P&G promoted its ‘Pampers’ vaccine initiative and how Danone re-instated its health positioning in France.
Not one to just laud his own laurels, to elaborate on the importance of multiple touch-points and create opportunities to create conversations, Dru showed a recent activity done by Saatchi & Saatchi for T Mobile on the Liverpool Station where they had dancers jig to a lively tune taking everyone by surprise and then joining in.
“While 360-degree integration is very important, we at TBWA have moved from 360 (degree) to 365 (days),” he said while wrapping up. “We need to start conversations between brands and consumers every day, every week and at every moment.”
“We should stop interrupting what people are interested in and become what people are interested in,” he added.
WATCH John Marie Dru in a conversation with Campaign India here.