Suryasen Kundu is Associate Account Director at MSLGROUP India. He’s also this year’s winner of MSLGROUP’s Michael Sullivan Creative Leadership Award 2014 and shares learnings from his experience at Cannes and the Berlin School of Creativity.
Never bring a Knife to a Gun Fight
Gone are the days of when one great idea and a compelling script with a celebrity in a 30 second TV spot was enough to get attention to your brand. Today, brands need to think of the idea ecosystem or the whole idea: how does it live across channels, devices, location and geographies? How does it involve people and react to them?
To deliver on the whole idea, agencies have to wear multiple hats. Rather than reinvent, let’s look at what’s working best across the field.
Identify value streams in a shifting consumer journey
The concept of value streams is not new in the world of consulting. Take the consumer journey and map out all the catchment areas through which the consumer could feel a sense of fulfillment. How do you give the consumer an excuse to keep coming back to you, wanting more?
As the consumer journey has changed, and especially since we program for a world that is mobile-first, there are two additional competencies that have a role to play: technology driving interaction and data unearthing insights.
Act like a start-up: Innovate. Iterate.
Consulting and technology companies contribute different skill sets to the next gen agency’s genome. Think about the innovation in measurement and data. Proxy metrics like TRP rating of TV programming is OUT – length of most watched videos on YouTube channel is IN. Primetime is OUT. Videos on-demand, on tablets and mobile, are IN. Brands are increasingly demanding new kinds of insights about their connected prospects and customers. And they’re looking to us to identify new areas in which they can help provide value to consumers.
Learn from tech startups, who are leading the change. Be lean and fast moving. Fail fast. Be agile. Iterate. Responsiveness is key.
Plot the premise, but don’t stop there.
Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
That’s the plot for almost every Pixar blockbuster. That’s the plot that every brand wants to crack. Dana Anderson, SVP MarComms, Kraft Foods NA, contends that the core challenge is that brands are very clear about their plot but they fail to provide premise to an engaging story.
That’s where agencies come in. Contextualize the story and then go further.
The big idea is no longer the lynchpin of a successful marketing program. Instead, it’s the big integration. The telling of the story must involve the audiences. By being provocative and evocative, the brand must ensure that the idea thrives and takes a life of its own among people.
From Big idea to Whole idea
Make the idea Whole – give consumers and prospects the opportunity to become part of your brand story.
For example, 7/11 is selling coffee in democrats and republican coffee cups? Put up a massive interactive signboard on Times Square, with a live count of coffee cups sold on Election Day for each party! Throw in drones and augmented reality into the mix in a meaningful, experiential way to boot. This possibility for interaction transforms the big idea to the whole idea.
Stories that are rooted in insights, contextualized and delivered through an interactive experience allows for a strong, positive customer experience. The trick lies in breaking the silos in our thinking and in our doing.
Sony Alpha Community
A community for photographers developed by MSLGROUP SocialHive India
Alpha Community was conceived with a very specific insight. Sony was innovating its Alpha line of cameras at an incredible pace, but most people were unaware of the cameras and the kind of photos that could be taken with them. Sure, there were glossy brochures with professionally taken photographs in a foreign land, but… was that truly how it would seem if I started using one?
Taking the workshops and tutorials online was a no brainer. Beyond that, we wanted every photograph to become a shareable asset –a place where people could see photos from real photographers using Sony’s range of cameras. The incentive for photographers to upload photos? A place to share their work and get feedback from experts.
Explore the community at alphacommunity.sony.co.in/stories
This post is a part of our People’s Insights report The Future of Creativity, in which experts from MSLGROUP and some from Publicis Groupe identify 15 drivers for engaging creatively in 2015.