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A Danish philosopher once said that it&#x2019;s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. So I decided to do something a little different; I decided to ask everyone what they thought and crowdsource the content of my presentation.
So I wrote this on various platforms and figured if nothing else, it&#x2019;d be a fun experiment to see, what came back and if it made any sense.
In fact, I was pretty confident that I&#x2019;d get over-whelmed with content. And that the problem would probably be mostly to filter out the best nuggets to use. I even considered whether I&#x2019;d need to put together a Survey Monkey to let the crowd decide which ones were the best predictions.
I have a little over 2300 followers on twitter, a touch above 1000 friends on Facebook w/o all that much overlap. Twitter seems to be mostly industry peeps and Facebook mostly social friends and acquaintances. And LinkedIn is all business and no fun. I got somewhere btw 50-60 replies. Some serious, some flippant, some truly intriguing.
Some were hopeful, like this thought that experimentation will become more accepted and that clients will become less risk averse in a future where not everything rides on a $1 million TV spot but on many smaller things done well.
Some were more summary in their approach, looking mostly at combining the current trends & tools into one uber-solution that could solve any creative challenge.
Trust might have been the most used term. Or lack of trust in marketing and marketers in general. Because advertising spent so many years lying for a living and because the truth is now just a tweet away. No one trusts brands. Everyone trusts their friends to have their best interests at heart.
Value was another word that came up a lot. Future marketing looks likely to become much more of a quid pro quo. I think a lot of people have forgotten that advertising has always been an exchange of content for attention - ads for TV show etc. Ask not what you can do for a brand, but what a brand can do for you!
Not campaigns, but experiences. One of the noted trends from Cannes this year was that most of the winning campaigns were rooted in reality and not some cooked up issue; think of the Obama campaign, but also things like Best Job in the World.
Sometimes thinking about the future can lead to poetic statements like this. And it&#x2019;s true, you know!
About 10 minutes after receiving this tweet, I got another one that said that Twitter had reached an agreement with Google to make tweets appear in their searches. Google has historically been great for information, but twitter and facebook are great for opinion, something that matters more and more.
This is the real challenge for brands. How do you become one of the trusted advisors on topics relevant to your products and to the consumers? At Ogilvy we work not with the Big Idea, but the Big Ideal for brands, where we ask every brand to complete the sentence: Brand X believes the world would be a better place if...
The statement speaks for itself. Surely people will opt out of all this engagement at some point, if there isn&#x2019;t a constant infusion of value. There&#x2019;s that word again! Currently it&#x2019;s almost suspicious, if you&#x2019;re not on Facebook. I mean, what are you hiding? Were you really that scary looking in high school?
To gain trust brands may have to sometimes show that they are not infallible and let it all hang out. And not be afraid to make mistakes. And admit to their mistakes when they make them. Brands cannot live on pedestals anymore. If they want to be treated like friends, they have to behave like friends and be human!
Talk about being human and honest. This is a billboard that I saw in Tokyo. It may be the best and most truthful ad for Coke that I&#x2019;ve ever seen in my life!
When you cast a wide net for answers, you&#x2019;ll get all kinds of stuff back. Some more valuable than others. But it&#x2019;s a great example of how most regular folks have no clue what the hell we&#x2019;re talking about most of the time, which needs to change too, if we want to be friends.
This was one of the few times that advertising was mentioned at all. And I guess a picture truly says more than a 1000 words in this case. Notice how everything that&#x2019;s gone before in this presentation is almost the opposite of advertising. No yelling of messages or establishing of fake values. It&#x2019;s all about being real. Which will be a struggle for some brands.
This photo was tweeted at a recent conference like this one about midway through the day. I don&#x2019;t think it&#x2019;s quite as bad as all that. I do think, however, that the agency reconfiguration to different ways of thinking and acting is daunting for many agencies and not all will make the transition.
To end on a positive note, we&#x2019;re all in this together and anybody who claims they have all the answers are either deluding themselves or lying. Thanks!