Global Keynote Series: Building Brands Through Sports and Entertainment

Amy Swanson

There is much to be said about today’s advertising landscape vs. the past. From #AWLATAM, Felipe Pimento, Chief Operating Officer – Magnus Media, Pedro Bonilla,Vice President of Brand Initiatives – Magnus Media, Juliana Calle, Vice President – Golf Link and Fonseca, sat down to talk about developing very unique and exclusive content to brands.

In the past with artists, influencers, athletes, there were traditional forms of media. Those artists etc had to go through the media middle man to reach their audiences. Now all that has changed with social media. The artists have become their own networks. That allows them to get immediate feedback from their fans etc. From the insiders point of view in the ever changing world of advertising, they have to constantly adapt to be able to continue to reach audiences and deliver results.

When taking with brands the very first thing that’s asked is what is the artists/athletes social media following. Traditional media is still very much alive. Radio is still number one – more adults in the US are reached via radio than any other medium – 93% adults 18-35 and 35-49 it jumps up to 95%

There must be truth in advertising because if the artists don’t like the product or believe in the brand it will show. Take the time to know what your clients like – establish that authentic connection with them to a product. Now is about the experience that brands have that they bring to the table. Also, by developing very unique and exclusive content to brands, you can peak their interest to want more, it becomes very interesting to them.

If event producers could get involved from the beginning and finish with the brand at the end, the finished product becomes much more organic, it becomes more real and it becomes more valuable.

By removing the layers and for example, put an artist and an event producer together, sit in a room, come up with some great ideas and then flip it around and go back to the agency or brand and say hey I’ve got your idea, we did something 2.0, we did something better – what do you think?

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The New Playbook on Creativity

Becky Johnson

Barry Wacksman, of R/GA, asks the Advertising Week audience to consider, “Where to be creative?” In advertising, the “how” and “why” are often considered, but the “where” is often left out. As the economy and politics shift through another cycle and we find ourselves on the downside of that curve, brands go through the shift of bringing agency work in-house or ask agencies to do more on smaller budgets. Barry brings up that, in addition to being on the downward part of a cycle, AI is presenting itself to be competition to agency work with some brands claiming they’re even getting better performance from AI.

The audience for advertising is dwindling across verticals. While most people get into advertising and agency work to make commercials and be creative story tellers, year-over-year, the audiences for commercials get smaller. There’s an entire generation coming up that doesn’t even watch television. Even the big sporting events can’t command the audiences they used to, yet the prices for advertising keep going up. Digital hasn’t been the “big salvation” advertisers thought it was going to be, but it’s just not happening between skipping ads and ad-blockers. Barry quotes a favorite analyst’s prediction saying advertising is going to decline 30% over the next 5 years.

Elon Musk is an example of a revolutionary way of thinking about advertising. Elon has not been around for generations and doesn’t struggle with the old print way versus television versus digital – Elon has skipped over those hurdles completely and skipped advertising completely. He got on stage, without a finished product, and sold cars all over the world all while evangelizing that he’s not in the car business, but in the saving-the-planet business. Barry uses Elon as an example of “where” to be creative in that Elon made his own platform, and Barry calls them “asymmetrically different competitors.”

Barry says he’s got a playbook with 6 things that current successful companies are doing:

  1. Inspiring Brand Purpose: What is the brand’s purpose? How can they show that purpose in all they do?
  2. Innovation: Brands need to look at themselves and see if they have stopped innovating. If the brand stagnates, so does their market share.
  3. Creativity in UX: Is the customer interface experience clear, engaging, and creative? Truly connect to the customer how they want to connect, individually and personally.
  4. Data collection is to better serve the consumer, not the brand: If a brand is collecting customer data via digital, the brand needs to use that to better meet the needs of the customer.
  5. Connect everything in an ecosystem. Brands that create more than just a singular product are more successful. Consumers like to have more than one thing connected and working in the same ecosystem.
  6. Coming to life in digital culture: How do we create things that live in digital culture? Is it worth sharing? That is the only way it will find an audience.

“The ambition of agencies need to change just as much as our clients,” Barry says in conclusion. There are many opportunities to be creative and reach the audience any agency or brand is looking for as long as they’re willing to retool their approach.

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Rolling the Digital into the Entire Creative Narrative

Becky Johnson

Keith Reinhard, representing DDB, asks if advertisers are sacrificing creativity for the excitement of “new digital” enterprises. He presents a multi-award winning creative campaign for Walmart as an example of creativity that won awards without relying on digital.

Even with all the programmatic, digital, online, and other avenues that have changed, Keith says human nature hasn’t changed. People still want love, romance, family pride, as examples. Those emotional avenues, and finding new, creative ways to advertise with them, still work.

It used to be advertisers thought it best to bombard consumers with ads to be successful. Quoting a movie Keith shows, The Hucksters, “Why do we outsell them? Because we out-advertise them.” Using a commercial for Volkswagen given an award as “The Most Important Ad of the Last Century” is used by Keith to show how advertising theory changed, and advertisers started using stories and creativity instead of brand-bombardment.

Even with the shiny-new-object of digital advertising, the most successful brands still show 3 things: a promise, a point of view, and a brand personality. With those 3 points solidified, then the agency is to make a creative, over-arching narrative to align all 3 points in a story for a successful campaign.

Instead of being distracted with digital avenues, agencies should find more creative ways to tell the story across the variety of advertising channels available.

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Does Audience or Content Drive Monetization?

Becky Johnson

Roberto Fernández del Castillo of UBER Mexico hosts the El Heraldo de México Stage to discuss a goal all brands, agencies, and creatives struggle with regularly: Monetizing Content.

Monetization is the “art and science” of bringing quality content in front of a large enough audience that advertisers will start paying for it, agree both Diana Ramírez of Twitter and Juan Pablo Munevar of ADSTREAM. In the rush to monetization, the end-user can be forgotten. If the content is poor quality or does not consider the end-user, then there is no audience, and brands won’t pay for lack of audience. Meanwhile, it is the brands advertising that pays for the great “free” content for the audience, making good content, brands, and monetization all connected. Within the 3 ways to monetize content, such as subscriptions, advertising, or enabling ecommerce, the end-user must be served, adds Naren Nath of MetaRail.

Roberto asks if quality content of audience should be built up first. Content and audience both take a lot of investment, with 90% of the content on the internet being created in the last 2 years. Naren says figuring out a monetization strategy before investing in either the audience of the content is more important. Juan disagrees saying the content and the audience should be developed at the same time, citing YouTube’s content and audience, and curating the content by the creatives is key, by keeping the audience in mind.

While the impression of content is that it is free to the audience, the truth is it is costing someone either time, product, or money. Eric Tourtel of Teads states that the idea that content is free is wrong, and that it is the responsibility of agencies and creatives to teach the audience to respect the makers of content, and the makers’ needs for a living wage. Eric thinks that making pre-rolls and pop-up ads or insisting on subscriptions must be done because nothing is free. Advertising pays for televised sports, for journalism, movies, and for content. The death of advertising means the death of these industries. Being a hot topic, Naren counters saying that the mass use of ad-blockers is, in a sense, the world’s biggest protest, and it’s against advertising.

Perhaps more of a compromising idea is key. Using the example of JP Morgan, Roberto suggests advertising works if the audience is curated for the brand. Saturating hundreds of thousands of websites with ads didn’t work for JP Morgan, but when they cut the amount of websites they advertised on by a fraction, and curated those sites to align with the ideals and audience of JP Morgan, they found the campaign to be more successful. Roberto says there will be more “white-listing and black-listing” in that ad-blockers will continue to be used, but advertisers also will hand-pick where they want to advertise in order to curate their audience. Roberto adds that an important component of audience curation is that no brand wants to see their campaign pop-up next to a terrorist video.

The panel’s ending advice to the Advertising Week audience is to: educate yourself on the industry, don’t be afraid to experiment, focus on good content curated to your users’ wants/needs, use technology to automate leaving more time for creativity, and ultimately have a business model plan around the monetization to keep focus.

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Welcome to the Mobile Revolution – Putting Mobile First

Amy Swanson

Let’s say you go to a party – what’s the first thing you ask? Do you ask what there is to drink? Or do you ask what the wi-fi credentials are? Chances are it’s the latter.

In his session today, Alejandro Berman, Head of Media and Digital, Mexico at Heineken, shared some key principles to maximize the impacts that brands could have in a platform where consumers scroll though content in less than 2 seconds.

Back in the 50’s, the advertisers that believed in television earned the competition for their brands. Now we see that the same thing is happening with the disruption of the mobile device – if we understand the mobile, we can earn another 50 years of competitive advantage.

It wasn’t that long ago that we sat back on the couch to watch TV and advertisers had 30 seconds to show us to tell us about a product, knowing for certain that it would reach 72 million people. Now that doesn’t exist. By and large, many people don’t watch broadcast television anymore – if the Titanic sank at this very moment, you’d have people in the water holding up their phones trying to capture it for the world – it’s a trend that won’t be going away anytime soon. It has become a revolution.

Here are some interesting stats that Alejandro shared with the audience:

  • 44 mobile phones are sold every second around the world. That number is larger than the number of babies that are being born.
  • We check our mobile devices around 150 times a day within an 8 hour work day and 87% of people always have their phones at their side day and night.
  • 1/3 of millennials polled said they would rather give up sex for a year than give up their phones.

We are seeing that 76% of the time that people in Mexico spend in digital is in mobile – people are skipping over setting up a computer or a laptop and going directly to mobile now. One of the main things we need to recognize is where our consumers are right now, and we need to understand how the mobile generation is eating up digital. In the past we’ve sat on the couch, leaned back and watched TV and we saw whatever the companies wanted us to see. Now in the mobile age we are more demanding of a device, we lean in and scroll, we have control over what we see, we can block ads, and we complain if we see something we don’t want.

We still see local ads on our phones and it’s exhausting for influencers let alone brands to keep up with all the different outlets and having to create content for all of them. The biggest enemy that advertisers face is our thumb. We are constantly scrolling for content and the mobile has inadvertently become the new cigarette. When you don’t have something to do, you look at your phone – waiting at the doctor’s office, you look at your phone.

Everyone is stressed out – advertisers are stressed that they aren’t making content fast enough and consumers are stressed that they are getting bombarded with too much content – it’s a collective neurosis. It takes us approximately 1.7 seconds to scroll down, with younger people scrolling faster than an average 50 year old – so where does that put us as advertisers?

Here are some tools that might help:

  • Instant attention – Mobile is unstoppable. Be there.
  • Short length of ads – Understand, design and create for mobile first and foremost
  • Create with the sound off
  • Put the brand as the first thing people see
  • Make people play – VR, 360 etc.
  • Frame for mobile
  • Measure and improve upon what you are putting out there

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