Arun Sudhaman 22 May 2014 // 12:53PM GMT
[quote]Your content is competing with all content.[/quote] Yesterday's In2 Innovation Summit kicked off with an enthralling presentation from two of Europe's bona fide creative superstars — Sweden's Tom Beckman and Romania's Gabriela Lungu, both of whom now work for Weber Shandwick. The duo explored how creative innovation and bravery are combining to build stronger, more human brands. In particular, Lungu pointed to three trends that are proving influential in this regard. 1. Extreme experiential People, pointed out Lungu, are increasingly living 'bipolar lives', whether feasting and fasting or spending and saving. "Today," she noted, "there is no such thing as a normal state or middle ground." Meanwhile, 78% of millenials are more inclined to become part of a brand if they have face-to-face interaction, calling for brands to display a much more proactive attitude to experiential activity. Lungu used Bud Light's 'Whatever Happens' campaign to make her point. 2. Ironic Marketing Also evident among younger consumers is a kind of anti-brand counter-culture. On average, furthermore, campaigns with ironic strategies sell just as well as non-ironic ones, and score better on indicators such as recall, branding or credibility. The lesson here, said Lungu, is clear, best evidenced by the Newcastle Brown Ale 'If We Made It' programme. 3. Militant Brands Rising consumer activism means brands can no longer sit on the sidelines. 64% of consumers prefer 'pro-social' brands over ordinary brands. A good example of this, said Lungu, is the Carlsberg Border football campaign, which aimed to bring people together from both sides of the border in Belfast, Kosovo and Nicosia. Beckman made a similar point when he said that "brands must take stands", behaving sensitively to address taboos. Sweden's 'Democreativity' was an eye-catching example of this, an initiative that aimed to highlight diversity and underrepresented ideas. 4. Learn from Hollywood Beckman believes that the best campaigns are coming from Hollywood, a theme explored by Aarti Shah earlier this year. "Your content is competing with all content," noted Beckman, and blurring boundaries can no longer be used as an excuse for poor marketing. Instead of trying to popularize themselves, he added, brands should be looking to "popculturize", like the Chipotle example below.