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'We are in an age of real time relationship marketing'
June 22, 07
Noor Warsia & Priya Kapoor

It was yet another day of seminars and intense rounds of discussions at the Cannes International Advertising Festival 2007. While the Draftfcb seminar discussed on ‘When creativity and accountability collide’, the Dentsu seminar on ‘Asian diversity – Know the unknown’ showcased some great advertising work from various Asian countries, namely Japan, Thailand and India, among others.

Howard Draft, Chairman and CEO, Draftfcb kickstarted the sessions by speaking about the model to address within the agency - no model at all! Without rules and regulations set in place, Draft let the conversation on the podium prove that working in accordance with each other, synergising different units and building a team were the ways ahead to build a brand.

"The discipline and medium come later, the thought comes first," began Toby Sachs, Chief Growth Officer, Draftfcb, adding, "You must ignite every discipline with the insight." The rules of the games are changing and with the consumer gaining more control of the word out in the market about the brand, it is becoming more necessary to set tools in place to address these new consumers. Like the wheel changed our lives, the Draft wheel too will change the way of advertising. With the consumer in the centre and the client making the outer-circle, the mediums were the linking ground.

"The rules of engagement in marketing are changing, we are in an age of real time relationship marketing," Micheal Fassanacht, Chief Customer Intelligence Officer, Draftfcb. While the concentration initially within an agency stressed on the different treatment for every brand in their portfolio, the focus clearly today is on different treatment for every individual consumer of each of these brands. "New mediums make everything more fun, it is truly a time for us to start experimenting again," concluded Chris Becker, Chief Creative Officer, Draftfcb, New York.

An impressive panel took on the discussion on consumer generated marketing. Stellar examples of Nike Plus, Doritos, Dove, Suave and many more were shared, illustrating the power that the consumer has not only on generating word of mouth but also on content creation itself.

The obvious highs on user generated content was the amount of buzz created, perfectly exemplified by Doritos and their Grand Prix performance for the Superbowl advertising. "Of course there were several apprehensions in letting go of creative control, but at the end of the day, the brand and product is good, and that in turn will ensure brand custodians within the consumers. Of all the entries we got, we did not even edit one, just goes to show - that creating genuine interest with a serious promise can generate content worthy communication," Ann Mukherjee asserted.

Agreeing with her, Babs Rangaiah, added that the Dove exercise had been successful enough for people to take time a generate scams on the award winning film, and how imitation was obviously the best form of flattery, even in this case.

Stefan Olander shared the Nike Plus journey stating that while consumers could create content, at the core of it had to be a great product idea. While Nike Plus today is a strong online community builder, the product is the prime source of bonding, and perfecting it is as important as the platforms of portraying it. The same was also emphasised in the next session which he addressed on the journey of Nike Plus.

Mark Wnek represented the agency point of view shying away from the fact that while Unilever and Frito Lays might be good examples of brands accepting the medium and the handing over the power to the consumer, many others were yet reluctant to do so, and if they still did not enter this new realm, they indeed would drown in the ocean of digitisation.

The final seminar of the day was by Dentsu, which dealt with ‘Asian diversity – Know the Unknown’. The Denstu team brought under the scanner the new creative outlook of the Asian markets. Showcasing ads from Japan, Thailand, India, the Philippines and so on, they took the audience through what is happening in these areas.

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