What does Obesity have to do with Advertising?

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This talk is interesting not only from a nutrition & health perspective (it might lead to a debunking of some long held beliefs about obesity & diabetes) but because of the scientific thought process behind it which we could learn from. It shows a willingness to challenge the pre-accepted hypothesis and to develop empathy with a situation rather than just passing quick judgement.

It is a demonstration of open minds, courage to throw out yesterday’s hypothesis, and a recognition that scientific truth isn’t final but constantly evolving.

So how can we learn from this for our own industry? For me there are two points:

First, although advertising is not a science but we should try to make it so – for example we search for an insight just like researchers looking for Cholinesterase inhibitors treating Alzheimers. The difference is that we shouldn’t debate, procrastinate and pontificate over it but instead invest in a true process of discovery.

Second, even when we do uncover an amazing insight, the enchantment of great advertising is not actually the insight itself but about taking a straight forward insight and turning it into something amazing.

The point is that ultimately advertising is an entertainment / creative & social industry. Maybe we shouldn’t be over-thinking creativity and searching for a holy grail, and instead just letting go of our inhibitions and enjoying ourselves (just like when we watch something that engages us). Let’s be honest with ourselves – these days whether a campaign for a noble humanitarian cause or the next big Soda campaign, the life span of an idea is a few days / weeks with a # before something else takes its place. So let’s be nimble, let’s be flexible, let’s search for entertaining ideas rather than unequivocal truths because there are very few unequivocal truths in the world, but many points of connection.

I’d like to leave you with this message from Joi Ito. If innovation has been broken down and democratized, then it’s right for advertising to be also broken down and democratised. The future is about not getting bogged down in words and statements and more about quick prototyping, experimenting, learning to trust the team and building on each others ideas. This doesn’t take the responsibility off strategic rigour, but it recognises that advertising just like Science and Innovation is about experimenting, coming up with quick iterations, building and breaking hypothesis and then getting to the point where we can make a creative leap to something fresh yet useful.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

#newwaysofworking.
Brenda.

Show Your Customers Love.

I interact with a few of my very favorite brands and thinkers on various social media platforms. These are brands that share similar values and world view as myself. I enjoy receiving useful bits of information about various topics from them.

What distinguishes these brands is that I like to extend to them my support. I like things they post on social and I participate in conversations they initiate by posting comments, answering questions, retweeting, repinning.

But recently I’ve started to question this interaction. Because if I’ve taken the time to like and comment and engage with a brand then I believe the least the brand can do is recognise this relationship/support.

Brands as friends.

If we imagine that a brand was a person, would this be the way a person would treat their friends? By ignoring them? Until now social media has been used as an updated form of push marketing rather than a genuine attempt to connect with people (albeit brands push their messages out to people who have opted in to the messages).

Social media is such a great way to connect with people but when not used properly, it just highlights a brands opportunistic and selfish tendancies. Any brand employee can be given the tools to connect, but very few brand custodians or employees really understand how to talk and how to treat people.

Here are some points I’ve thought about:

Why don’t brands link their customers online and offline interactions?

Why don’t brands reward customers who support them online?

Why don’t brands use social media as a form of customer support and customer service?

If I was a brand owner / custodian I’d make sure that I connected the people who most commonly interact with me to some sort of loyalty or ‘appreciation’ program. I would send them a little note “Dear friend, next time you’re *at the cafe / at the mall / shopping for shoes* we’d like to shout you a coffee, because you’re special to us!”.

It’s time we built databases or eCRM programs that connect people’s social media activity to the real world. Databases that value people, not numbers and interactions not transactions.

That’s how I’d treat my friends and supporters.

~ Brenda.

Action Brands

The brands that pique my interest and win my loyalty are those that care about my health, wellbeing and intellect and that of my family and the world around me.

They tend to be products and services, publishers (magazines, journals), personalities (Jamie Oliver), places (bookstores and museums) that have an inclusive and empathetic view of the world and give back to the community or world at large in an honest and transparent way.

I am loyal to brands that I can interact with, and if they can help me benefit or serve a noble cause or organisation, even better.

Here is my formula to grow modern conscious brands:

Purpose + Relevance + Omnichannel Presence + Engagement + Honest Conversations + Postive Social Impact = Loyalty and Action.

That’s not much to ask for is it?