"DDB has always believed that 'creativity is the most powerful force in busines'. Today, people are more empowered and connected than ever before - they are the most important media - so creativity itself needs to change. Today, we use our creativity to produce ideas that people play with, participate in and pass on. Ideas that connect people with people, not just people with brands. We call this Social Creativity."
Lucy read History at Oxford and joined BMP DDB Needham, as it was then called, as a graduate trainee planner, in 1993.
Since then, she has remained ensconced in glamorous Paddington, working on most of the agency’s business, including award winning campaigns for Barclaycard, Vodafone, the Meat and Livestock Commission, London Transport, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Central Office of Information, Pepsico and Unilever. Currently, she looks after Unilever’s global ice cream portfolio which she helped win for DDB in 2008. She also works on the Financial Times and is proud of the recent re-launch campaign ‘We live in Financial Times’ which won Campaign’s best poster campaign of the year.
In the UK, she is probably best known for working on the ‘love it or hate it’ campaign for Marmite, which began in 1996. Since then, the brand has prospered and won lots of creative and effectiveness awards, including a five star award winning IPA effectiveness paper, written by Lucy in 1998.
In 2001, she topped Campaign’s list of the best planners in the UK. In 2002, she was made head of planning at DDB UK. Since she has run the department, DDB has won the title of ‘IPA Effectiveness Agency of the Year’ no less than three times in a row in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
On top of her London role, she now chairs DDB’s global Planning Futures Group and, in 2009, she became the youngest ever member of DDB’s global executive committee. In this capacity, Lucy is responsible for guiding the network’s positioning and its planning toolkit.
Lucy believes that creativity is changing. Today, we live in a hyper-connected world. A world where everyone can create, control and distribute their own content. A world where ‘I share therefore I am’. A world where our social networks influence our individual behaviour more than we previously realized.
Lucy believes that social creativity requires a shift from traditional advertising planning to behaviour planning. It means taking a far broader approach to inspiring behavior change, weaving in the latest thinking from behavioural economics and neuroscience and taking advantage of the explosion of data, alongside deploying the traditional planning sources of insight. It means re-uniting the different disciplines of planning, from advertising planning to digital and direct planning, along with channel planning to inspire social creativity.
In an exclusive conversation with exchange4media's Preeti Hoon on her India trip in August this year, Lucy Jameson talked about DDB and the path ahead. Here are a few extracts from the exciting discussion.
Q. What made you visit India? What's on the agenda?
We launched a new global positioning for DDB around the concept of ‘social creativity’, in May, in Vancouver to our top 250 senior management.
At that meeting, Madhukar Kamath asked me if I would come and share the thinking and the new planning toolkit and new springboards (which support the positioning), with all his teams across the Mudra Groups in India. India is obviously an important and fascinating growth market for us and our global clients, so of course I said yes! So, we ran two workshops (Delhi and Mumbai) to launch the new positioning internally and to share the new planning toolkit and the springboard approach within it.
DDB has always believed that ‘creativity is the most powerful force in business’. Today, people are more empowered and connected than ever before – they are the most important media - so creativity itself needs to change. Today, we use our creativity to produce ideas that people play with, participate in and pass on. Ideas that connect people with people, not just people with brands. We call this Social Creativity.
Great examples of social creativity are things like DDB Sweden’s VW Fun Theory (the interactive Swedish piano keyboard stairs) which was sought out by approximately 40 million people and won the Cannes Grand Prix this year. In it, we tested out whether fun could make people change their behaviour in favour of more green practices (recycling bottles, throwing away their litter and taking the stairs rather than the escalators) with a series of live social experiments....all of this made the point that VW were helping people to change towards green behaviour by making their green cars (cars with Bluemotion technology) more fun to drive. It achieved free media of approximately 3.5million euros from a production budget of approximately 60,000 euros. It’s a brilliant example of creating content that people wanted to participate in, play with and pass on.
Or the Philips Parallel lines case, for their new flat screen 21.9 TVs, with a series of 5 amazing films showcased on line and seeded through social media. Each film is based around the same dialogue but created a very different story, demonstrating the idea: ‘There are millions of ways to tell a story. There is only one way to watch one’.
This was then supplemented with a competition (to be judged by Ridley Scott) for film buffs to make the 6th film. (see www.philips.com/cinema). Again this won a Grand Prix at Cannes this year.
Or the case for Brita water filters from DDB San Francisco. In it, we encouraged people in the US to use Brita water filters instead of bottled water, which is far more environmentally friendly as water bottles are rarely recycled and contribute a huge amount to landfill. At the heart of the campaign was a social media campaign where people could pledge to go bottled water free and in exchange would get a special, free recyclable ‘filterforgood’ bottle which they could use when they were out and about. This was accompanied by presence at Sundance film festival, media in gyms, partnerships with fitness programmes, retailers and ‘thelazyenvironmentalist’, alongside traditional media. It created a huge amount of ‘sharevalue’ and spread through people’s six degrees. It just shows that we can create campaigns with social creativity for low interest categories and brands, not just for big international prestige brands like VW, Philips or McDonalds.
Mudra has some great examples of social creativity as well. For example, their campaigns such as the Aircel boat which helped people out during the monsoons and created huge amounts of free media or TVS Scooty, which both empowered women and drove sales.
The new planning toolkit builds on the latest thinking from behavioural economics,neuroscience and network science in order to help us and our clients inspire 0people to change their behavior (rather than just their attitudes – which are what all too many traditional advertising agencies have focused on in a narrow way). It’s about finding new ways to get people involved with our brands rather than just hitting them over the head with traditional advertising. It’s about giving people content with ‘sharevalue’ and letting them share it with their 6 degrees (i.e. their social networks both on and offline), rather than surrounding them with intrusive, irritating 360 degree communications that just add to the clutter. We think that’s a far better and more effective way to change behavior and there’s increasing evidence from academia that we are right. There’s a huge opportunity for agencies to regain a sense of expertise and authority amongst clients, by demonstrating that we really do understand why people behave how they do. That’s why, in September, we are launching something called DDB Brain Lab. It’s an innovative partnership with the neuroscience and psychology department of Goldsmiths University (recently voted the coolest university in the UK) where we will be employing a ‘scientist in residence’ to help us understand people and their behavior better. We will be carrying out social experiments, working with clients and sharing our experiences with the DDB network and our clients.
Q. How do you measure DDB’s success? Is it the numbers on y-o-y basis or the number of awards you win every year?
We apply a 'balanced scorecard' approach when we are thinking about the success of DDB. We don’t just look at the numbers or creative awards. Instead, we believe in ‘people, product and profit’ in that order. If you get the right talent, then you can produce brilliant work and the money will follow. So, we like to measure our progress across all of these areas.
We measure ‘people’ by looking at things like retention/talent/training etc and through our internal surveys (Maister survey which is employed globally).
We look at ‘product’ by looking at both our strategic and creative awards. We have a brilliant reputation for effectiveness as well as creativity and this is born out by our success at the effies and the IPA Effectiveness awards (we have been effectiveness agency of the year no less than 3 times in a row and have far more awards than any of our rivals), as well as at creative awards shows like Cannes. This year for example we won two Grand Prix at Cannes and were the second most awarded network globally.
Finally, we look at profit.
Mudra is no exception to this approach - it's been brilliant, for example, at instilling training and development programmes, which are so important when we see the average tenure at agencies declining in fast expanding markets like China and India. It has to be about the people, the culture and the experiences they can gain from an agency, not just the cash.