Gokul Krishnamurthy
Jun 16, 2014

Cannes Lions 2014: #HofforNot kicks off festival underlining importance of relevance

'Trust and love are significant, but they are built over many moments of relevance'

Cannes Lions 2014: #HofforNot kicks off festival underlining importance of relevance

Befitting, some would say. The first seminar in the Grand Auditorium of the Palais de Festivals that kicked off proceedings at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2014 saw a celebrity, a social campaign and a live experiment.

Underlining the significance of brand relevance were Matt Neil, president - international, Golin, and and Caroline Dettman, chief creative and community officer, Golin. 

"Creativity is effective in today's world if you can master the art of relevance," said Neale. He explained, "Relevance is about anticipating what people are looking for. Technology companies have been doing it for sometime now. In today's real time world, trust and love are significant, but they are built over many moments of relevance. In today's digital world, understanding the dynamic significance of relevance is more important than the static importance of trust."

Dettman underlined that relevance relates to how marketers manage overload (of information), by saying that the audience turns a blind eye to messaging when brands become irrelevant. Stating that many brands that were 'loved' are 'no longer with us', Golin presented a video paying tribute to such brands. Featured therein were: Pontiac, Atari, HMV, Tower Records, Polaroid, Borders, Pan Am and Blockbusters. 

She said, "This should all make us obsessed with relevance." This led to the introduction of Golin's Relevance Finger Points, which captured brand relevance based on 11 dimensions. While stating that no brand could be perfect on all dimensions, she introduced celebrity actor, and musician David Hasselhoff. His circle of relevance mapped through the tool, covering a sample of 6,000 across markets showed, said Dettman, that he scored high on the dimensions of 'classic' and 'entertaining' with reference to his peers, but fell short on 'engagement'. Another finding was the geographies in which his relevance was far higher than other celebrities covered.

This led to the live experiment. A site www.HofforNot.com went live on 14 June, inviting users to play a game where they had to guess whether the person pictured was indeed Hasselhoff or a lookalike. Around 200 people at the Cannes Festival 2014 were 'photo-bombed' to kick off the activity. The campaign had attracted 60 million people (using #HofforNot) since going live 24 hours ago, and the audience was invited to play the game live in the auditorium. From the beginning of the session, it had added on 24 million users. 

"The campaign builds on his relevant strength of 'entertaining'. There are far more likely chances of success with relevance being the driver," surmised Neale. And yes, a contest is on for a week, inviting users to try their hand at the game, to win a date with 'The Hoff'.

Campaign India

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