The session on ‘Acts, not Ads’ took highlighted how in today’s evolving media landscape, ad messages have led to big social acts or movements that again can bring about and drive social changes.
In contrast to the earlier scenario when advertising revolved around the creation of an ad and the crafted message, today marketing messages are participatory.
Brands’ roles and meanings in consumers’ lives have more exposure, are discussed more and many a time challenged too.
Chris said, “To spark conversations about your brand is the fundamental change that has happened in the last 30 years. Understand how people think. We make decisions using ‘why’ which has huge implications. Deliver the ‘why of brands otherwise you miss.” Carrying this thought further, Simon explained, “When you buy a product you are buying into a lifestyle.” Then they explained ‘Giant Acts of We’ with the example of their Starbucks ad, which got people to switch from paper cups to reusable mugs.
Chris pointed out the difference between “accountability and effectiveness” and elaborated, “We must spend more attention on effectiveness to get more return for investment.” Simon added, “This is a cluttered world we live in and we must truly engage the audience. At BBDO we engage audience while we give information on experiences that change the way we think, feel and act.” He summarized, “ We are in the business of creating acts, not ads; to ignite people to drive behavioral change that lead to social movements.”
An act as a way of creating content. We were exposed to many of their acts. An Act (of breaking inertia) was seen in the Gilette ad which was based on the insight that “women were against lazy stubble”; an Act as a way of changing behavior was the Pepsico ad that helped rural communities in building schools; Acts as a way of shaping the future was seen in the Volkswagen ad that mobilised markets in China with ‘The People’s Car Project’.