The post-lunch session – ‘The Pursuit of Big Ideas in the Age of Now’ – had speaker Robert Senior, Creative Chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi, holding centre-stage as he confessed, “This is the most difficult session… I’ve just been introduced by a Ms World!”
Tracing his experiences through the day, he recalled, “I arrived with an empty cup, which is filling up.” He added, “From the time I arrived, I saw optimism and momentum… the difference is palpable. It’s so energising to be here.”
Coming that the title is a “slightly odd title” he stated that it “starts and ends with our audiences, who live in the now. He referred to a research in the US (North America) in the 1960s, which asked 12 to 16 year olds the question – “Who are you?”. The answer was unanimous – “I am a rebel”. The same study was repeated last year and the answer was – “I am creative”. He elaborated, “The generation now is film literate, much better than the older generation. They edit, they are sound engineers, send it to friends.”
“In marketing, a revolution is going on. The language ‘new’ doesn’t exist, it’s been replaced by ‘now’. It’s time to give the power to the people. People are coming together to exercise power, it’s democracy coming good, people demand action, as opposed to strategy,” he said.
He expressed the fact that, “There are 4 billion ‘screenagers’ demanding, there’s Google Instant launched –all demonstrating the essence of now. And smart brands are those that deliver it.” He demonstrated how the Era of New has transitioned to the Age of Now, where the key words are – participate, inspire and interact. The I of ROI he pointed out is not Investment by Involvement. The 3 questions that should be asked now are : Do I want to see it again? Do I want to share it? Do I want to improve it? He recalled that “there was a brilliant brief from a brilliant client – I want people to feel my end line, not read it!”
He advised, “Open up the window to the soul of the brand.” He gave examples of ads that they created, one of which they approached through an event when they had hidden cameras and filmed people capturing the moment. It was an instant hit on Youtube. “Ideas need to be there to get it going,” he said and went to say, “ideas are the prism of hope.”
“In a way, creativity is a science to be experimented through various forms,” he described like their ad on the royal wedding of Prince William. Finally questioning “Where the hell is the Big Idea? “, he arrived at the conclusion that “all ideas are not born big, they become big.” He gently reminded us, “Remember, appeal to the heart. JFK had a dream, Martin Luther King had a dream, so did Steve Jobs, what is your dream?”
“I would suggest you as a community, have a moral responsibility on the one hand and fiscal opportunities on the other; have ideas that dare to move people for if nothing else, your children would be proud,” were his parting lines.