Campaign India Team
Apr 07, 2008

Goafest, Day Two: Davis on generosity, free love and good karma

Craig Davis’ career chart, peppered with jobs as varied as biscuit maker, barman, law student, fashion show producer and truck driver among plenty others, is often mentioned by the media. Perhaps fittingly then, the worldwide creative chief of JWT, during the second day of Goafest chose to begin his session with a chat about generosity, free love and good karma. Nothing to do with advertising, on the face of it but as Davis explained, what that meant for advertising people in India was to understand that the advertising community was not as generous as it should ideally be.

Goafest, Day Two: Davis on generosity, free love and good karma

Craig Davis’ career chart, peppered with jobs as varied as biscuit maker, barman, law student, fashion show producer and truck driver among plenty others, is often mentioned by the media. Perhaps fittingly then, the worldwide creative chief of JWT, during the second day of Goafest chose to begin his session with a chat about generosity, free love and good karma. Nothing to do with advertising, on the face of it but as Davis explained, what that meant for advertising people in India was to understand that the advertising community was not as generous as it should ideally be. Davis was of the view that creatives were too comfortable with others creating entertaining content for consumers while advertising chose to merely piggy back on the content. He felt that instead, today, when advertising serves more as an interruption, what was critical was to create content that is entertaining and appealed to consumers on an emotional level.  
He pointed out that good media content made consumers want to watch it again and in this way, build an emotional connect with them. Talking about the youth, Davis pointed out that although research says music was the most valuable property for them today, they were not ready to pay anything for it, being used to the idea of free downloadable music. This, as Davis pointed out, was where one needed to understand the dynamics of generosity. According to Davis, giving music files for even 99 cents undermined the value of the content while giving it away free restored its value. This, he felt, held true for good advertising content. Davis also touched upon how critical it was for brands to build transparency with their consumers. Citing Ford’s example in USA, which after seeing plummeting sales and negative media coverage about its job cuts and employee morale, Davis revealed how they commissioned JWT to create a documentary titled Bold Moves. Set at Ford’s office, the documentary sought to show the upheavals within the company and how Ford was trying to overcome them, including interviews with employees and dealers. The documentary was made available in episodes on Ford’s website. As Davis pointed out, what was exceptional here was not just the fact that this managed to open up a conversation between consumers and a brand that had been in danger of being written off, but also showcased a radical transparency that’s taking place today, as Ford opened the door to company critics.

Source:
Campaign India

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