Advertising professionals were privy to many award winning ads at the GoaFest 2006. Where on the first day, Lee Gluckman Jr of Mobius Advertising Awards took the audience through a whole range of awards across categories, on day two Neeraj Nayar, President of FAB Awards London discussed some of the unique works that had been seen in the Foods and Beverages (FAB) category internationally. Nayar stressed on looking at unconventional ways, which was highlighted again in the presentation of Paul Kemp-Robertson, Managing Editor, Contagious Magazines.
Nayar began by explaining to the crowd the reason why he chose on the FAB category when he set out to institute a new set of awards. He said, “This is one category where there are too many clauses on what can be said and what cannot be said or done. The category itself becomes very challenging and despite constraints, there are commendable works that are seen in different categories.”
Nayar’s aim was to present cases that stood out for the strategy or thought process or at times sheer genius in the FAB communication segment and to do so, he collated a set of 90 ads. Whatever doubts the crowd may have had on knowing the figure were soon forgotten when ad followed by ad, engaging pieces of communication were presented.
In the Press and Poster category for FAB, Nayar took the audience through examples like Coop Vegetables, which highlighted the magic of great art direction. Interestingly, works from Chennai’s 1Point Size, Leo Burnett and McCann Erickson from India were also included in the collection of award winning ads.
Nayar took the audience through some of the works done in Germany and Scandinavia, amongst other countries, to show that many a times the uniqueness of a country and its generic thought process could also play a part in getting a great ad. Citing examples like McCann Erickson India’s Sweetex campaign, he pointed out the intriguing ways of differentiating the brand.
Nayar then moved on to Outdoor Innovations with examples like John West, Heinz Spiderman Tinned Pasta and Pepsi Light, pointing out that in cases like these, the P&G mantra of visualising the end benefit had a totally different meaning. In the case of print innovations, he cited examples like tea labels to show that at times an idea as simple as placing a label in the centrespread staple could also make a great impact. He showed ads of Carat and Lipton Tea before moving on to the Packaging and Design category, which, according to Nayar, was a very important ingredient, especially in the FAB segment.
Nayar narrated a story of his partner, Simon Carpenter, when Carpenter was in Saatchi in the 80s to accentuate the presence and pressure that conventions play and in the case of FAB, it was the ‘happy eating sequence’. To emphasise this further, he brought out examples like Marmite. Some other issues that Nayar delved into were, whether principles like ‘Is the product a hero?’ still existed and how differently could wisdom lines like ‘the purpose of advertising is to show the benefits of the product’ be presented.
He said, “You can communicate brand benefits, but that again can be presented in different ways.” The next ads to feature in his presentation were that of John West and Tango.
Concluding his presentation, Nayar said, “Outstanding work isn’t defined by convention but big ideas, which may or may not be based on conventions.”
Speaking on similar lines, Paul Kemp-Robertson, Managing Editor, Contagious Magazines, began with a shock note when he quoted Fast Company research stating that six jobs, including advertising, wouldn’t exist in 2016 due to the increase in consumer generated content.
Kemp-Robertson’s presentation was also dotted with various examples of the kind of work that consumers had put on the digital space. He explained that the trend wasn’t a new one, but with digitisation gathering pace and enabling he consumer to be expressive and share it with like-minded people, it was reducing the gap between professionals and empowered consumers. He stressed that another reason why the trend was catching up was due to the creation of virtual communities, where targeted communication became a reality, unlike mass media. He gave examples like that of YouTube.
Citing statistics that pointed to a dip in TV ad sales and increase in Internet revenues, Kemp-Robertson quoted Richard Fruedenstein, CEO, Sky TV, on changing consumer behaviour in terms of media consumption and that the new consumer traits were more on the lines of choice, accessibility, convenience and control.
Another point that Kemp-Robertson made was the need for the marketer to shift from being the brand guardian to being the brand host. He quoted examples like Levi’s and MTV, which had understood the power of the medium like blogs, podcasting or videocasting and the fact that they utilised these tools to generate loyalty around the brand. For Kemp-Robertson, the great sin is to look at anything in isolation. He said, “Future is fast and fluid – it doesn’t like boxes. Unless you get out of the box, you won’t move forward.”
Kemp-Robertson’s point was that audiences weren’t going to tolerate advertisers shouting from a distance. The genie, as he called it, was already out of the box and the consumer was busy looking at more ways to express himself and that the shift towards the 15 megabytes of fame is already here. He concluded by saying, “Tell me and I’ll forget, Show me and I will remember, Involve me and I will understand.”
That to Kemp-Robertson was the Generation C – the connected consumer – the leader into the future.