Alan Moseley, president and CCO, 180 Amsterdam, began his speech at the Knowledge Seminar on Goafest 2015 presented by Star India, with an anecdote that involved croissants.
He said, “When you walk in to our office, we always have a basket of croissants lying on the table. We would frequently consume these for breakfast. But, when we had a breakfast meeting with our clients, these weren’t consumed. Our chef would come and ask me, ‘Did the meeting not go well?’ I would tell him it did go well. He would then wonder why the croissants were not consumed. He made an effort to improve the croissants by stepping out and getting better quality ones.”
“Next week, we had another meeting and it still wasn’t consumed. The meeting went fine too. Then, we went to improve the look and feel by getting the best quality pastries. These weren’t consumed either. The best minds in our office got together and no solutions were found as to why clients weren’t consuming these. We were having disaster after disaster. Then, an intern got a knife and cut the croissants in to half. That changed everything. Clients weren’t eating a croissant because they didn’t want to look like hogs. This way they were eating about two to three croissants. This tells us that it’s not the problem, it’s the way we look at it.”
The speaker urged advertisers to ‘jump in’ when looking at solutions for their client, followed by his agency’s work for Sony, for the launch of the Playstation 4. “I anger my wife and numb my thumbs. I immerse myself in it. We created this campaign (above) as a result of it and we’ve outsold the Xbox by three times,” he revealed.
The need for passion
Moseley, who has worked on sports brands Nike and Adidas in the past and now works on Asics, then spoke about advertising for these brands and underlined the need for passion in doing that. He said, “We do our research by visiting marathons and speaking with runners during their run. We realised running wasn’t a solitary sport as you would imagine. We realised runners have their tribes too and created this TVC for Asics.”
He added, “We need passion, but with a fresh perspective. We get this by having a bigger ambition and bigger solutions.” In one of his several references to Francis Ford Coppola, the director of Apocalypse Now, he pointed to how the director wanted a Nobel Prize and not an
Oscar. He urged the advertising industry to do the same, and said, “If you do something similar, you may end up winning at Goafest.” Here to change human behaviour
Moseley said advertising needs to change human behaviour. He explained, “One of those changes was done by a company in London. People have a tendency to lie, especially when it comes to filling insurance or mortgage forms. That firm took a leaf out of the court room book. Court rooms make people take an oath before they speak, while insurance forms would have people signing at the bottom. This company changed it.”
The other example he referenced was from Italy. “There are signboards everywhere that urge people to not urinate on walls. But, men are animals and they would look at an opportunity to do so. One person from Italy, who owned a hotel, put a signboard that said ‘If you urinate we’ll shame you by uploading it on YouTube’. This was successful. It’s hard to shift perspective when everyone feels safe with the obvious. But this needs to be done as the world is changing rapidly.”
He surmised, “Use the Apocalypse to create energy, don’t look for easy client solutions and always cut the pastries in half.”