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AdFest 2008: ‘We should encourage our clients to experiment’

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AdFest 2008: ‘We should encourage our clients to experiment’

“We have to find ways of creating content and ideas that would allow consumers to engage and play with our brands so that we can enter into genuinely participatory conversation with the consumers in this digital age,” said Chris Thomas, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Asia, BBDO Asia Pacific, Singapore, and Simon Bond, Regional MD, Asia Pacific, Proximity, Singapore.

Addressing the session on ‘Exploring new avenues for creativity in the digital age: What is changing? And what still remain constant?’, on the third day of the AdFest in Pattaya, Thailand, the duo stressed on the need for creating powerful ideas that would allow the consumers to play and work with the brands. “Nothing has changed, everything is still the same, but technology has magnified our behaviour and enhanced the way people communicate,” the duo said.

“There are opportunities around us because of rising technology, but it is about creating destination content. The phase that the industry is in currently would be remain the same for a long time, and as an industry, we have to create inclusion based ideas on behalf of our clients,” Thomas said.

Both Thomas and Bond gave examples of how the digital platform was driving the shift and said that the biggest change visible was the shift in consumer power and how consumers createed content, shared ideas and played with brands.

“Never before did creative people have a more exciting time in this industry,” Thomas said, adding that individual talent was still more important in the industry. At the same time, he also emphasised the importance of working more collaboratively and said, “We should work more collaboratively with the clients and within the agency. We have to partner with other content creators in order to come up with inclusion based ideas and find new business models. I passionately believe that we should be encouraging our clients to experiment,” Thomas said.

He further said that the total spend on television globally was $222 billion, and with a 16 per cent growth rate for the medium in Asia, television would be still around for a long time. “So, the reality is that interruption based television commercial is going to stay for years and years to come,” Thomas noted.

The duo concluded the session with a quote from 1960: “'Tell them, and they will forget. Show them, and they will remember. Involve them, and they will understand.”

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