Results tagged “Brands” from IABlog

A Conversation with Nick Law, Global Chief Creative Officer, R/GA, and IAB MIXX Awards Judge

This past May at the What Works & Why in Digital Advertising: Insights from the IAB MIXX Awards event, Nick Law described his thinking on the alchemy needed in today’s digital world to achieve creative success. Although he took just five minutes to lay out his thesis, it crystallized for me the answer to a question I had been furiously pondering over the past four years: what is the right creative model to achieve the level of brilliance in the digital world that marketers have come to expect of the best agencies in the analog one?  I wasn’t the only one who found his thinking revelatoryNL2.jpg; I saw dozens of pens busily scribbling during his short talk. 

While Nick was at the IAB Ad Lab in New York to judge the 2014 IAB MIXX Awards, I asked him for a chat about this notion so we could share his thoughts with the industry. Our conversation is captured below and in the accompanying video.

Peter Minnium (PM), IAB: R/GA has a unique model of deploying talent in teams to get the best results; can you tell us the genesis of this thinking?

Nick Law (NL), R/GA: About a decade ago, I looked at the creative skill sets that we had at what was then a very different R/GA, and it occurred to me that if you were to be brutal in your division of skill sets, you would cleave the world into storytelling and systematic thinking. The important point about this realization, as much as understanding that these two ways of thinking exist, was to recognize that  are both creative ways of thinking. So if you’re from Madison Avenue, over the last 50 years, what has been considered creative is storytelling, because the mediums that we’ve used are narrative mediums. And since the advent of digital, this type of architectural and spatial way of thinking has become very important. In the advertising world, I think the problem is that this hasn’t been considered creative. It’s been relegated to a sort of an executional or technical path.

So when people talk about the “big idea” in advertising, they still really refer to the ability to tell a story and to distill a brand down to a little narrative. And when they think about this sort of interactive, they think about it from a technical point of view. So then, having come up with the big idea, they wonder how to push that down into this new set of formats and channels. But what I realized was that the sort of creativity associated with systematic thinking was very powerful and very different. 


PM:
Why is the distinction between the different skills sets important?

NL: This is an important thing to recognize, because if you don’t recognize the difference between storytelling and systematic thinking as sort of categorically different ways of thinking, then creators—because they’re all vain and because there’s this sort of hubris associated with creative people—will say that because they’re creative, they should be doing it all, right? So I would have an instance where someone who grew up designing interfaces and was a systematic thinker couldn’t wait to get over to the content studio and do a film, even though for 10 years, that wasn’t the way they thought. And vice-versa. I think that early on in this sort of emergent digital world, there were many creative executions that came from an art director/copywriter type of narrative team, which in a systematic world, failed dismally, right? I won’t mention any big platforms, but there’s quite a few. And a lot of money was wasted. 

PM: Are people born Systemic or Narrative Thinkers?

NL: So if you look at a human brain—and I sort of found out later that we don’t know a lot about neuroscience—we do know that the left-hand brain processes things sequentially and that the right-hand brain processes things simultaneously. So it’s this play between time and space, between the temporal way of thinking and the spatial way of thinking. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you’ve been doing something and you’ve gotten good at something from a creative point of view, the paths in your brain are in a very specific place. So for me, that explains why it’s very difficult for a narrative thinker to connect and design a systematic piece of work, and vice versa because they’re in a habit. 

PM: Bill Bernbach revolutionized creative teams in the 1960’s by pairing art directors and copywriters. Is the model different now?

NL: So at R/GA at least, we think that the atomic team is not an art director and a copywriter, but rather a storyteller and a systematic thinker. Another way of looking at this is as a tension. Storytelling is the act of simplifying, because it’s about the revealed moment and good storytelling, good brand storytelling, is really about that distilled moment and how it’s revealed. And there’s this tension between that simplicity and the possibility provided by systematic thinking. So systematic thinkers are good, very good at possibility because they understand how each node plays with each other and can look at all these relationships simultaneously and generate many ideas. 

So when you have a systematic thinker and a narrative thinker, you get this lovely tension between simplicity and possibility. When that is absent, when all you have is simplicity, you just have simple brand storytellers, really just a lucid brand but without innovation. And when you just have systematic thinkers’ input of possibility, then you get really interesting and multiple tactics that don’t ladder up to a simple brand idea. So that’s how I can tell whether or not we have the balance right—whether things are simple but not innovative, or innovative but not lucid. That balance becomes very important, that interplay. This doesn’t mean that underneath that organizing principle, we don’t have all sorts of different combinations: art directors, copywriters, data scientists, and strategists, and all sorts of other combinations, but that’s the sort of balance we’re trying to achieve, between storytelling and systematic thinking.

PM: Thanks, Nick; I now better understand the magic behind the award winning work at R/GA.

To learn more about creativity in digital advertising download the IAB MIXX Awards 2013 Insights Report: What Works & Why, which showcases examples of award winning digital advertising campaigns and the genius behind the creative work from thought leaders across the industry.

About the Author
peter-minnium-headshot.jpgPeter Minnium 

As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

TV in the Digital Age

| | Comments
Perhaps the thing I love most about the digital advertising industry is the continuous evolution and emergence of new trends and sectors to develop and discover. The latest area to pique the interest of IAB members, and also top agencies like Zenith and Maxus, is Connected Device Advertising. We’ve all cast our bet on this being one of the next needle movers and many are heavily investing. From an IAB perspective, we know what it takes to create an efficient, smooth value chain - and that’s a sound set of standards, forums for innovation, and industry-wide education. With our soon-to-be rolled out Advanced TV initiatives, covering the spectrum of digital TV platforms ranging from Connected TVs and game consoles to capable set-top-boxes, we’ll be starting work groups to create cross-screen video ad delivery standards iterated from IAB Digital Video-Suite, address the convergence of measurement and metrics for TV and Digital Video, discuss standards for OEMs, the role of data and targeting in AdvancedTV, and much, much more.

As a kickoff to greater focus in this arena, IAB held a Town Hall in May, sponsored by member, Delivery Agent, titled “TV in the Digital Age: How Big Brands are Harnessing the Power of Connected Devices.” The program was packed with stellar contributors to the evolution of the TV space, ranging from buy side to sell side to the tech sector. We brought in one of the few analysts who covers and knows this space inside and out, Heather Way of Parks Associates. Heather grounded us on what is included in the the Connected Device footprint and gave insights on projected marketplace distribution growth.

A panel of buying and technology experts gave us perspective on the unique value of the products residing on connected device platforms that play well together like targeting capabilities and on-screen conversion features. A case study was covered which used first screen embedded ACR technology in Samsung Smart TVs to deliver a T-commerce experience during the Super Bowl. How long have we been talking about buying Jennifer Aniston’s sweater from TV? The item for purchase in this campaign was not her sweater, rather, it was David Beckham’s underwear, sold by H&M. This campaign is proof that if we dream it we can achieve it. It’s those notions and thoughts, like Jennifer’s sweater, that give the industry an idea to rally around and in-part fuel the innovation of companies like Delivery Agent and Samsung to innovate.

I’d like to extend an invitation to you and your company to get involved in IAB’s Advanced TV efforts as they begin to emerge. It’s in the Digital Video Committee and AdvancedTV Work Groups that we will conceive the notions that lead to the next best thing in TV. If you are interested in participating, please email [email protected] for more info. 

As I close, I’d like to leave you with a highlight reel and full coverage of Delivery Agent’s TV in the Digital Age Town Hall. As you review, buyers, think of ways you can include functionality like this in campaign proposals and technologists, think of ways you can build off of the IP feature set to build new experiences for the viewer and client. Let’s all bring our ideas to the table and make some serious strides toward addressable, cross-screen video experiences. 



About the Author

F_0370xxx.jpg

Julie Van Ullen

Julie Van Ullen is the Vice President of Member Services at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Julie oversees a number of IAB’s elite Committees and Councils, charged with putting industry best practices and thought leadership into the marketplace. Those focal areas include Native, Programmatic, Digital Video, Advanced TV, Digital Audio, Social Media, Games and more.

 

The advertising ecosystem today is inventing smart, unique campaigns that use the latest interactive advances to engage consumers. The results are powerful.  With audiences bombarded by marketing messages in every medium, advertisers are pushing the envelope to get attention and creating a truly dynamic marketplace as they surprise, delight, and win followers.

In response, we’ve added seven new categories to this year’s IAB MIXX Awards to make sure the best, most forward-thinking work gets noticed. Through the global IAB MIXX Awards, the IAB recognizes the talent that crafts this innovative, leading edge and high impact creative. The new categories give the digital industry more opportunities to showcase how brands and agencies move their business - and the advertising industry - forward.

Iab-mixx-awards-2013-logo.jpgBranded Utility
A successful branded utility campaign has the power to embed the use of the brand into consumers’ everyday behavior—Nike+ FuelBand, the 2013 IAB MIXX Awards Gold winner in Digital Integration—is the perfect example.  David’s Bridal recently got media attention for its app that lets brides make wish lists, interact with bridesmaids, keep track of their bridal purchases, plan the wedding party, show her current mood through an icon, upload images, log-in via Facebook and send invites to friends through the social network.  Those newlyweds might then move on to using the Chip It! app from 2012 IAB MIXX Awards’ “Best in Show” winners Sherwin Williams and McKinney that lets you match real world colors with paint colors. 

Content Marketing
Content marketing is increasingly recognized as a new channel for brand marketers.  At least two major agencies recently announced new units devoted to helping clients with content marketing development.  American Express is well known for its “OPEN” Forum dispensing advice of all kinds to small businesses.  Lincoln Motor Company’s “Lincoln Now” site features content that celebrates design, technology and art, and in the process, the company’s 90-year history of making cars.

Augmented Reality
Augmented reality campaigns take advantage of consumers’ addictive smartphone behavior by creating often game-like apps that communicate brand messages in clever ways.  How do you get an adult audience to rekindle their love of Lucky Charms cereal?  This year Lucky Charms agency Saatchi and Saatchi created an augmented reality app that sent customers on a “Chase for the Charms,” complete with a $10,000 “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow.

Custom Mobile Rich Media Display  AND IAB Standard Mobile Rich Media Display

With mobile advertising skyrocketing by 111% in 2012 as reported in our recent study, brands are out to take advantage of the landslide shift of eyeballs to mobile. Major publishers like USA Today, New York Times, ESPN and more are hosting rich media ads on their mobile apps, and platforms like Google, Twitter, Facebook and Pandora are drawing huge mobile audiences.  Last year the IAB established its first-ever mobile ad standards — the Mobile Rising Stars.  Agencies are expressing great creative ideas through these new formats with great consumer and business effect.  For example, Dunkin’ Donuts and Celtra used Facebook for a mobile ad using rich media and HTML5 to let users customize their perfect drink.

Clicks-to-Bricks
Retail brand marketers are using interactive in significant ways to drive traffic to their brick and mortar stores.  Macy’s created an all-purpose Black Friday app last November that enabled shoppers to preview and get push notification on Black Friday specials, create lists to share with friends and family, direct shoppers toward local store specials and preview exclusive items.  The app’s debut coincided with Macy’s holiday broadcast campaign featuring spots with Justin Bieber, Carlos Santana, Martha Stewart and Taylor Swift.  The IAB MIXX Awards honor not just creativity but impact and nowhere is ROI felt more immediately than in a retail environment

What’s next? We’ve added one final category to find out:

Can’t be Contained!  - Any execution so experimental and innovative that it defies categorization in the IAB MIXX Awards!
Technology is moving fast, and cutting edge agencies and brand marketers are keeping up with it.  “Can’t be Contained” offers agencies and brand marketers the chance to submit their campaigns using the latest most experimental, groundbreaking technology.  No doubt there are even more forward thinking digitally savvy campaigns on the horizon.

Learn more about the global IAB MIXX Awards at iab.net/mixxawards.

About the Author 
peterminnium-headshot.jpg

Peter Minnium
As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Content Marketing: Who's The Boss?

| | Comments
Leading publishers and technology providers discuss innovative, collaborative content sharing efforts

While it is the year of data, mobile, and the snake, 2013 also continues to revitalize the age-old trend of content marketing and syndication. It seems these ideas are so old they’re new again.

John Deere has been doing it since 1895 with “The Furrow,” so what is making content marketing so attractive now to the modern marketer? While there is no clear cut definition of content marketing, I would put forth that it is content created by a brand, that even if the branding were removed, that the content would still be valuable and engaging to a reader. If done well, it creates positive brand connotation. And if we work with that definition, it makes sense that the modern marketer (much like the modern publisher) wants to get the attention of content-ravenous consumers, most of whom have one or more devices attached to them at any given moment with which to consume.

iabcmaudience.jpg

CM Town Hall Kontera.jpgiabcmjoepanel.jpgLast week, the IAB held a Content Marketing Town Hall to foster a discussion around both the concerns and opportunities publishers have in the content marketing and syndication space. The IAB AdLab was packed to the brim. Publishers came with some fears about brands honing in on the content business. To open the day, Andrew Susman, President & CEO of StudioOne and ICSC Board Chairman, reminded us with calming voice that,iabcmforbes.jpgiabcmMinniumMartini.jpg“Currently the industry sees branded content as a type of media buy, but actually it’s a type of content. If you bring audience to branded content - you get content marketing.” 

Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, delivered the opening keynote of the day, outlining the opportunity for publishers and brands to work together to deliver relevant content to consumers, whether branded or editorial, because, as Jonathan Perelman, VP Agency Strategy and Industry Development at BuzzFeed later noted, “Great content finds its audience.” So it seems that the name of the game is getting engaging content in a place where your readers will consume it, whether you’re a publisher embracing branded content on your site, or you’re looking to syndicate out your editorial content to brands. 

One concern did resound in the room around advertorial content. Should there be guidelines that clearly denote advertorial content? Do ethical standards need to be set for branded content and along with it, best practices on transparency and disclosure? Do we need to create sponsored content labeling conventions? And especially as automated platforms serve up content, how can we ensure that we’re seamlessly integrating advertorial content but not duping readers? The need to ensure will undoubtedly be an ongoing conversation within the IAB, among our membership, and in the industry as a whole.

Download Content Marketing Insights from IAB’s January 2013 Town Hall 

The IAB Content Marketing Town Hall was held on January 24, 2013. Moderated by Susan Borst, Director, Industry Initiatives, IAB, the following industry leaders presented at this IAB member-exclusive event:

Amy Hyde, Product Strategy & Business Development R&D Ventures, New York Times Company

Andrew Susman, President and CEO, StudioOne; Board Chairman, ICSC

Asli Hamamci, Director, Digital, Mindshare

Bill Powers, EVP - Corporate Development, Swoop

Brett Curtis, Global Business Director, Thomson Reuters

Greg Cypes, Director of Product, AddThis

Hal Muchnick, President, Kontera

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

John LoGioco, SVP & GM, Outbrain

Jonathan Perelman, VP Agency Strategy & Industry Development, Buzzfeed

Ken Zinn, DVP of Marketing - Online Business Unit, Sears Holding

Mark Howard, SVP - Digital Advertising Strategy, Forbes Media

Michael Goefron, Director of Operations, Unruly Media

Peter Minnium, Head of Digital Brand Initiatives, IAB

Shafqat Islam, Co-Founder & CEO, Newscred

Skip Brand, CEO, Martini Media

Tim Clark, Corporate Blogs Editor-in-Chief & Social Media Strategist, SAP


 About the Author

julievanullen.jpg

Julie Van Ullen

Julie Van Ullen is the Vice President of Member Services at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Ms. Van Ullen oversees member acquisition, participation, and retention programs. In addition, she works with designated member leaders to develop strategic, market-marking initiatives for execution within IAB’s Committees and Councils.

Enhanced by Zemanta