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Publicis’ Richard Pinder & the “balance of power”@Spikes Asia

17-September-2009
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Publicis’ Richard Pinder & the “balance of power”@Spikes Asia

The first session of the Spikes Asia Festival 2009 was on the “balance of power” and as the session moderator, Richard Pinder, COO, Publicis Worldwide observed, the perceived shifting of power from the west to east, from the producer to the consumer and from old media to new media.

Richard Pinder’s panel was an interesting mix, including Francesco Lagutaine, Chief Marketing Officer, Citibank, Asia Pacific/Japan; Calvin Soh, Chief Creative Officer and Vice Chairman, Publicis Asia; and Singapore-based blogger Benjamin Lee (Mr Miyagi). The discussion between the three started off with the statement that one key change in the scenario today was the replacement of monologue with dialogue for consumers. Soh noted that it was important to note the exponential rate of this change, which had in turn led to growth in media vehicles such as social media.

Even as everyone in the panel agreed that social media was an indication of consumer empowerment, Francesco Lagutaine pointed out that there were very few brands that were doing it well. His said, “Ten years ago, the conversation was that every brand had to have a website or it was in danger, and we know that even the brands that had their websites five years ago, still managed. It is a similar situation with social media also right now. The challenge in front of us is how to adapt to this shift.”

Interestingly, the only example that the panel came up with in the course of the discussion to substantiate this point was Nike Plus. Calvin Soh also spoke about Apple and Facebook to explain that some brands were also already thinking of how to make successful business models by engaging consumers just as the two had done with iPhone applications and applications on Facebook.

Benjamin Lee brought in an outsider’s perspective to the discussion and said that for him, the interesting thing to watch out for was how the traditional media was dealing with the changes and the shifting of balances.

Another interesting point that was debated on was whether the conversation of shifting of balance from West to East was real or overestimated. Pinder asked, “In the 90s, globalisation was really Americanisation; if markets like Asia are really as strong, why are we not seeing an exact of that?”

According to Lagutaine, the difference was also in the attitude today and the fact that the world was becoming a smaller place. Soh added that markets like India were seeing a reverse colonisation of sorts, right from softer aspects like sports such as Cricket to business areas and deals like Tata Tea and Jaguar takeover. Lagutaine said here, “There is a greater acceptance today of Tata Land Rover than what there would have had been 10 years ago.”

While stating his take-off from the conversation, Lee noted that unlike the earlier times when creativity ended with spending more money to spread the message, the conversation now only was how to get people to listen – sometimes the greatest of ideas didn’t cost as much.

Also read:

India@Spikes Asia2009: 11 pieces of work in Print & 17 in Outdoor shortlist; 6 entries in Media; 8 in Direct & Sales Promotion and 8 in Design shortlists

Spikes Asia 2009 sees drop in entries, increase in delegates

Spotted at Spikes: Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, Dave Droga, David Guerrero…

Young Spikes, global meetings, seminars… Omnicom gets busy at Spikes

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