No issue divides the creative community quite like the contribution of data to the creative process. The term 'Big Data' is apt to foment fits of apoplexy in some, who view data as the enemy at the gates, a dagger to the heart of creativity. Others see data as a panacea for all marketing's ills, in a Holy Grail quest to form one-to-one relationships with customers, eliminating all marketing wastage.
Somewhere between these extremes there is a consensus view that the mass of data now being generated from consumer activity can be a positive if channelled appropriately. Data can assist the creative process, if it isn't allowed to suppress human instinct and ingenuity. It can help develop the big idea, or the little idea, as long as it doesn't frustrate the advent of a 'eureka light bulb moment'. Data can finesse the media strategy, as long as the human skill in media selection is not overridden by the attraction of the algorithmic efficiencies inherent in programmatic media buying.
But there is a tension between data and creativity. This tension is identified in the entries to this year's Admap Prize, which posed the question 'Does Big Data Inspire or Hinder Creative Thinking?' I think the question gets to the heart of the debate and anxiety around data.
There are myriad ways of building brands today. Fortunately, for those of us who work in what we still call the 'advertising industry' there remains a multitude of brands who communicate with their audience largely through advertising. From FMCG to Ferraris, to fashion, great creative ads still influence choice and shift product.
Yet the digital era has opened up lots of new ways of building brands. Reference to Millward Brown's recently released BrandZ list of 2014's Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands shows Google in first place and Amazon in tenth, with a combined brand value of $223bn, built almost entirely sans advertising. If you have a desirable product offer and good customer service, word of mouth and social media can spread your message widely and efficiently without recourse to the talents of an ad agency. A noteworthy aside on BrandZ is that the top four places are occupied by technology companies, emphasising how the digital era has revolutionised the world of brands.
The merger of the computer and the TV set has long been heralded as an epoch with the same potential for changing life as we know it as the first lunar landings. Bill Gates was banking on its arrival twenty years ago. Unfortunately for Bill, it didn’t come soon enough, now Google is set to be the principal beneficiary of the Connected TV Age.
That Age is starting to dawn, as was ably demonstrated at yesterday’s The Changing Face of TV Advertising seminar, one of a series of ‘Antenna’ Programming Events organised by London’s Decipher agency, specialists in TV technology and its commercial implications.
'The Truth about Youth: TV and Young People' was the theme of a seminar hosted in London today by Thinkbox, the marketing body for the UK’s commercial television industry.
Thinkbox MD Lindsey Clay kicked it off with a startling (to me) statistic: In digital PVR homes, only 14% of TV viewing is time-shifted. Does that mean I’m one of few people in Britain who doesn’t press the pause button as a matter of course? Are most people still waiting for the ad break to visit the loo, put the kettle on? Strange.
The Admap March issue is out now. The Focus theme this month is devoted to one of today's most emotive and challenging marketing issues: personalised targeting.
The ability to target individuals efficiently with personalised messages has long been the Holy Grail for advertisers. And with the advent of online, where consumer journeys to purchase can be traced, and where ad networks can serve messages to users based on their browsing history, this dream has become a reality. But significant barriers to growth for this nascent industry remain - not least consumers' privacy concerns. We have a variety of perspectives on personalised targeting taking in behavioural, contextual and predictive techniques through developments in social targeting.
So, Twitter is bringing its new ad platform to the UK, with Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends – sounds like the commercial strategy of a certain leading search engine.
I’ve just got back from the TBG Breakfast Club Seminar where Twitter’s director of sales Amanda Levy unveiled the ad platform to Europe. It will be rolled out over the remainder of 2010 in tandem with a redesigned Twitter site that will have two new features: Embedded media, allowing video to be incorporated into tweets for the first time from YouTube, Ustream and 14 other partners; and Contextual tweets that will enable linking to related tweets.
Last night saw the staging of a hugely important and stimulating debate - no, not Round Two of The Three Stooges in Bristol - but the Admap Roundtable on The Future of Research.
This follows a similar event that Admap held recently on The Future of Planning, summarised here in the February issue.
"I have never knowingly consumed the brand (Stella Artois), " confessed Paul Feldwick, but it didn't stop him scoring a knockout and title-winning blow for the "wifebeater" lager at last night's IPA Convenors' Fight Club contest.
Delivering a passionate patronage of Lowe's 2002 IPA Effectiveness Awards paper "Stella Artois: The Returning Hero", Feldwick knocked out all contenders - O2 (2004), Orange (1996), BMW (1994), Tesco (2000) and PG Tips (1990).
I was interested to read Tracey Follows' blog on here on "Crowdsourcing ad ideas". I'm planning to devote an upcoming issue of Admap to the related areas of crowdsourcing, co-creation and other forms of engaging consumers or suppliers in participation with brands. But what is the accepted label to describe this activity? Is it Participation? Engagement? Is it just a form of Social Media? I can't seem to find a consensus view on what it actually is or any accepted definition. Can anyone help?
It’s here, it’s out... The redesigned Admap has just arrived in the Warc offices, resplendent in its lime green jacket and accompanied by enthusiastic whoops. Yours should be with you within the week, subject to the vagaries of postal systems.
As you can see below the February issue of Admap has taken on a whole new look, created by the award-winning designer David Hillman.