In a session at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, Malcolm Hunter, Chief Strategy Officer, Aegis Media, pointed out that consumers were more interested in brands today than ever before. They were engaging with brands at different levels. But this was not to say that they were interested in the brand’s advertising, and one way of looking at the new age conversations with consumers was by starting in a different place.
Hunter spoke on how brands should be thinking of different approaches to the creation of idea. He said, “The future has already arrived. A traditional advertising approach was not the right answer and today we know for a fact that consumers are much more interested in their own lives than they are in brands, and they are much more interested in brands than they are in its advertising.”
Consumers’ engagement with brands has continued to rise, and the disengagement of advertising has been a parallel development. Consumers are spending more time in gauging media than anything else. Hunter pointed out that it was not just the new media that was growing. He said, “We are watching more TV than before. We are much more active and engaged than before, but we have to remember that brands that have been able to do that have understood that ideas are born out of life, rather than ideas forced into life.”
Ideas need to increasingly leverage consumer relationship with media. When you have that right idea that can allow better consumer relationship with the media they are consuming, you help build the brand and move forward in the future. So, the big question is where do ideas come from?
Hunter explained that at the centre of the action was ‘My Brands’ and surrounding it were aspects like Product, Benefits, Corporate and Values. While brands are on the one side of the coin, people are on the other side. When you put ‘consumers’ lives’ at the centre, the four key aspects surrounding it are Time, Space, Like and Place. “Media space is the glue. For teens, for instance, it is the mobile device,” said Hunter.
Overlaying all this is media culture, and how it can be leveraged. All these activities intersect and engage with the media.
Hunter explained a simple process that brands could follow to allow that intersection and engagement with media. Some of the questions a brand needed to ask are: Who is the most valuable consumer? How do they lead their lives? Where can my brand fit in? What idea can brands have to enhance live, and how can the idea spread and grow - how can media do it?