Advertising: Science or art?
Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc
Is advertising success achieved through incremental research, careful checking of data and sound planning – or is it more to do with the creative "eureka moment"? This "science vs art" question has troubled advertising's biggest brains for decades. Remember that famous Bill Bernbach quote? "Advertising is fundamentally persuasion and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art."
The industry's latest attempt at settling the matter came with a lively debate at the Edinburgh International Marketing Festival earlier this week. Arguing for the scientists were O&M's global effectiveness director Tim Broadbent and Heineken's Tom Gill; for the artists, Marketing Society CEO Hugh Burkitt and The Leith Agency's Gerry Farrell. Perhaps unsurprisingly, in the final vote the motion – "This house believes advertising should be more about science and less about art" – was defeated fairly comfortably.
Publishing's stages of digital grief
Andrew Curry, Director, The Futures Company
My colleague Andy Stubbings went to hear Taschen Books' Julius Wiedemann
talking about publishing's rocky road to a digital future recently, and
it turns out that the industry has something to learn from Elizabeth
Kubler-Ross's five-stage model of grief: (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance).
As he writes, "It wasn't exactly clear from the talk where publishing is on the DABDA
journey (inevitably, the projector was malfunctioning), but it appears
we have gone past Denial ("Of course the traditional newspaper model is
viable!") through Anger ("How dare people find information for free that
they used to have to pay for!"), and is now somewhere into Bargaining
("OK, you can read all our magazines as much as you want online, but
only by subscribing to our 'digital newstand' via your iPad").
We discussed these transitions in our Technology 2020 report (which has been excellently summarised
by our sister company Digit). Digital technology is following the same
foreseeable 50-70 year cycle that other big technology developments have
gone through since the Industrial Revolution. A
period of 20-35 years of technological innovation without radical
application – "old things in new ways", followed by a second period of
major social and economic change as the technology is applied to do "new
things in new ways" (new applications, new behaviours, new
organisations etc). There is necessarily a period of fragmentation,
messiness and even "bargaining" as industries transition from the first phase to the second.
It always takes years to bridge this gap, and publishing will be no different. It's not just a question
of publishing markets taking time to reach an new equilibrium where both buyers
and sellers benefit, or the development of new business models to let this happen. It's not just about infrastructure, and the time
that will take for new standards, new distribution mechanisms and new
systems to be put in place. With the introduction of every great
technology, whether it is digital technology supplanting print, or cars
replacing the horse, the last
thing to change is usually people's values and assumptions about how we
do things, which are a legacy from the technologies that preceded it.
With technological disruption, as with grief, the hardest part is
The full post by Andy Stubbings is on The Futures Company's blog.
Ambush marketing: An Olympic competition. And Nike goes for gold
Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc
Would you be surprised to hear that children lining the athletes parade route through Olympic Park in London were advised to wear "comfortable, unbranded or adidas shoes"? A bit biased, you say? Okay, lots of sporting events are used to promote brands. The Olympics, perhaps, more than most. But brand advisories?
So no surprise that the publicly funded Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is hard at work to ensure that brands that are not "official sponsors" of the games do not gain financially – or otherwise – by an association with the games. And the ODA is ready for some imaginative ambush marketing forays. The regulations allow them to police areas up to 200 meters around a venue. Oh and skies above these venues too. Talk about "air rights"! And any water, like the sailing events at Weymouth.
Learning to win from British Cycling
Andrew Curry, Director, The Futures Company
Bradley Wiggins keeps on winning – in a way never seen before by a British cyclist. And for those of us who have been following cycling for years, it's still a surprise. But it reminds us that winning is a team business.
When British Cycling's Performance Director Dave Brailsford launched the Sky road racing team in 2009 and announced that it would produce a British winner of the Tour de France within five years, most long-standing cycling fans were disbelieving. For all of Brailsford's success in track cycling, le Tour was a very different proposition.
New on Warc: Managing digital on a global scale
James Aitchison, Director, Warc
Recent highlights on warc.com include global brand owners' use of social and digital media, the hunt for growth in developing markets and the latest insights in our new trends section. We also look ahead to some upcoming conferences on media, market and advertising research..
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