A mobile app. A Facebook page. A Twitter interaction. Familiar? That is exactly what Willi Sansom of ‘Contagious’ magazine would not have any of us do or think. And for the right reasons. By far the most evocative talk of Day 2 at AdAsia 2011 for me. And I guess for many others in the audience.
Willi Sansom makes a powerful point. Let it not be technology for technology’s sake. Let it rather be with the simple overriding intention to engage and entertain people. To allow them to do things they could not do before. The example of the “Musical fitting rooms”, where RFID in clothing tags are detected to play music fitting to one’s taste in the trial room is such a simple, great idea. Responding to consumers because they do not expect to be able to talk back to companies and brands, and even lesser that they would get a response to anything they say. A powerful, simple session with lovely ideas any advertising professional would end up saying “I wish I had done that”. As Willi Sansom puts it, “Make the wires disappear”.
I think the biggest actionable point one should take home is the “5 per cent Club”. Willi and Contagious exhort us – brands, agencies big and small – to spend just 5 per cent of budgets, time and resources to try something new. To play around. To peep beyond the corner and take that one step forward from where the beaten path ends.
TED-INK opened up new possibilities for innovation – to me, it’s the opening of a new forum in advertising. “Ads Worth Sharing” promises to be a recognition of a very different pedigree. Intalks.com from INK promises to be a rich source of insights into innovators and champions of change in different strata of Indian society. A source of many “untold stories” and a unique opportunity for us to collaborate with for furthering our own understanding and knowledge as well as for our brands. Because the truth about innovation is that today, it no longer happens in silos or single disciplines. It happens at the confluence of disciplines and coming together of different people, who mostly have nothing to do with our world and our business.
A lot of excellent work that makes you feel restive. Hopefully that feeling stays once one gets back to the beckoning grind. To innovate and experiment. To make the wires disappear. I say, Dude, we should do…
(Anirban Mozumdar is National Planning Director at Publicis Capital.)