SYDNEY: Brands must be relevant and create influence in order to succeed in today's business climate, the chief creative officer of DDB Worldwide has said.

Speaking at the Mumbrella360 conference in Sydney, Amir Kassaei told delegates that the very best advertising doesn't look like advertising and brands should seek to create relevance rather than just selling.

"People are not interested in advertising," he said. "They are interested in things that are much more relevant to their life, so the best advertising does not look like advertising.

"I'm not talking about the whole content marketing stuff, I'm talking about the way you are approaching people, the way you are interacting with people."

As an example, Kassaei cited a technology platform by Johnson & Johnson baby oil that allowed parents to search the designation of baby names while also providing extra information, such as common professions for each name and whether certain names could be said to be happier based on a search of emoticons across the internet.

Parents conducted 25m searches and spent an average of six minutes on its website. "Why not use this digital infrastructure we have to help these parents? Not selling them something, but giving them a very powerful tool?" he asked.

In the same vein, charged with the task of enticing Generation Y to use Glad rubbish bags, DDB Miami created a Glad-branded tent that could be used at music festivals and turned into a rubbish bag so campers could dispose of their waste.

Kassaei said fewer and fewer brands and categories will be successful by relying on marketing communications. “You have to go deeper,” he advised.

By striving for what Kassaei called "relevant truth", brands will be able to connect with people on an emotional level. "If we do that, consumers will do the job of communication by themselves via the internet," he said.

But in this age of connectivity, brands also must ensure they're relevant. "You have to deliver substantial and relevant experience at every single possible touchpoint," he said, adding that this is because people, for the first time in history, now know "everything in real time".

Only influential brands can achieve relevance at every touchpoint, Kassaei added. "Influence means that no matter what you are doing as a company, the people will not remember what you are saying and what you are doing, they will remember how you made them feel."

More detail about Amir Kassaei's presentation will be covered shortly on

Data sourced from Warc