From Shaq and Conan O’Brien to Facebook and Unilever, today we heard from some of the industry’s most influential voices. They tackled conversations affecting both the creative industry and society at large, and addressed topics like purposeful growth, brand trust, transparency and fake news.
View our highlights below:
Session: The Power of Big Tech Platforms
Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, Zanny Minton Beddoes sat down with Carolyn Everson, VP Marketing Solutions of Facebook, Keith Weed, CMO of Unilever, Kasha Cacy, Chief Executive of USA (UM), and Evgeny Morozov, Journalist of Independent to discuss tech's biggest giants and the role they play in the creative industry. From trust and threat to opportunity and consequence, some of the industries most distinguished leaders answer whether or not big tech platforms are to our detriment or advantage.
- Brand trust is the most important priority. It’s critical for the big tech platforms to rebuild and maintain consumer trust moving forward. And the only way to earn it back once lost is to take action and show commitment to rebuilding that trust.
Accountability works two ways, both with large tech platforms and their consumers. It's just as important for individuals to educate themselves on how large platforms like Facebook work as much as its important to hold them accountable.
- Privacy and relevant, targeted advertising are not at odds, but you have to give consumers the control. Consumers are asking for relevant advertising.
- The real challenge for brands today is breaking through the clutter and noise. The solution is being a brand with purpose, and creating creative content that people want to spend time with.
- The question continues to arise: should we have advertising-free models (i.e. paid models) for the tech platforms? One consequence of developing ad-free models is that this would separate those who have the resources to pay, from those who do not have those resources.
- The data offered from these tech platforms is igniting a new creative era in the industry. The best way to get a fresh take on products and brands that have been around for centuries is through data and insights.
- “Trust… has to be earned on every interaction that you have. We have to earn it with consumers every day, and we have to earn it with our business partners.” - Carolyn Everson, VP Marketing Solutions, Facebook
- “Stopping the spread of fake news, that requires fact checking, that requires dismantling the economic incentives.” - Carolyn Everson, VP Marketing Solutions, Facebook
- “The most important thing we’ve learned about data security: we did not do nearly enough to educate people on how the platform works, how personalized content, and online advertising is delivered.” - Carolyn Everson, VP Marketing Solutions, Facebook
- “Advertisers spend 40% of their budget on online advertising, and 6 out of 10 of those dollars go to Google and Facebook.” - Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Economist
- “This industry has grown up with tech speed… and I think what we’re seeing is a lot of unintended consequences from this growing really, really quickly.” - Keith Weed, CMO of Unilever
- “Fundamentally as a society, we have to get back to understanding who should we believe, who shouldn’t we believe, and how to fact check the things we believe.” - Kasha Cacy, Chief Executive of USA, UM
Session: Conan & Shaq – Jacks of All Trades, Masters of Some
CNN’s Chris Cuomo sat down for a conversation with late-night host Conan O’Brien and Shaquille O’Neal about their common entrepreneurial spirits, how they continue to build their personal brands and how marketers can apply similar practices to keep people coming back for more.
- Trust the brand of the person you’re working. Conan and Shaq know their audiences. As a rule, they are authentic. Conan has made several trips as part of his show reaching out to other cultures and connecting. His visits have comedic value but also help build acceptance across cultures.
- Conan and Shaq are true to their personal brand. They live it and breathe it, which has led to successful brands with longevity.
- Love what you do. Conan and Shaq exude their joy for what they do and for their fans. They are rewarded with intense fan love and loyalty.
- There is huge value in social interaction. Conan and Shaq have built long lasting personal brands from connecting with audiences and fans on a human level.
- Take what you’ve learned and find ways to use your knowledge in today’s framework. Conan is taking his early experiences of working of in comedy on such shows as Saturday Night Live and finding ways to apply them to current platforms.
- “I use real model instead of role model. I try to be myself and stay true to myself. I’m trying to be as authentic as possible.” - Shaquille O’Neal
- “I had an amazing education in comedy…I’m taking these comedic principals and applying them to new technologies. Senses of humor haven’t changed.” - Conan O’Brien
- “If we’re going to make money at the expense of our fans it’s going to hurt us.” – Conan O’Brien
- "My brand is 70% human, 10% to inspire you, and the rest is around the products that I'm selling." - Shaquille O’Neal
- “I’ve been talking to people for years but many don’t know who they are. I see why people want to be in business with Shaq, because they know he’s a good guy.” – Conan O’Brien
Session: Founders’ Formula - Pioneering for Purposeful Growth
Keith Weed from Unilever discusses how pioneers started great brands by utilizing passion and purpose which he calls a “founders’ mindset.” He sat down with successful founders Jane Wurwand of Dermalogica, Richelieu Dennis of Sundial Brands and Guido Martinetti of GROM to discuss how to differentiate and grow your brands by being creative and agile with your purpose.
- Create and be passionate about your business purpose.
- Understand the role that trust plays in the building of a brand and when building a market.
- 3 ways to purposeful, economic growth:
- Look at your current brand and its purpose: How can you self improve?
- Launch new brands within your company that have a strong, passionate purpose.
- Acquire brands that already have this purpose, but are small and have high potential.
- The days of the most functional product being the best-selling product are over because everyone has the ability to make a highly functioning product. What you must focus on is the relationship the product and brand creates with a consumer that adds intrinsic value to their life.
- Learn from your mistakes instead of hiding them. If you hide from your mistakes then you cannot build trust within your company and with your consumer.
- When establishing a new brand, try finding gaps within the industry and fill them.
- “A brand without trust is just a product.” - Keith Weed
- “The greatest mistake is working beside someone you do not trust. You lose your energy worrying about whether or not you can trust them. It is the same in the relationship between brands and consumers.” - Guido Martinetti
Session: R/GA- Transformation at Speed
The Digital Revolution began with a series of technological innovations that quickly coalesced into a completely new connected way of living, working and communicating. Years of progress later, why are brands still struggling to navigate these evolutions in technology and the corresponding shifts in consumer behaviour?
R/GA EVP, Global Chief Strategy Officer Barry Wacksman, along with Saneel Radia, EVP, Global Head of Consulting; James Temple, EVP Chief Creative Officer, EMEA; and Jess Greenwood, VP, Strategy discuss how we can go beyond advertising to help our companies transform.
- Every industry and company is undergoing disruption by technology. The only recourse to that disruption is transformation -- and speed will be the differentiator for whether or not companies survive moving forward.
- To achieve transformation at speed, brands should be engaging and investing in: business transformation, experience transformation, and marketing transformation.
- Business transformation: Brazilian bank Bradesco was facing a major challenge -- a new generation that does not trust or use banks, regardless of advertising. So they built Next, a digital financial platform created specifically for young consumers. By shifting their business model, they gained consumer trust and increased brand value.
- Experience transformation: Earlier this year, Nike’s Jordan Brand pre-released the Air Jordan III “Tinker” on Snapchat, allowing fans to purchase within Snapchat for same-day delivery after the NBA All-Star game. Leading with the consumer’s digital habits and preferred platforms at the forefront is key to keeping them engaged with the brand.
- Marketing transformation: Jet was a startup scaling incredibly quickly, with a successful business model. But the brand needed their marketing to catch up with their business growth -- so R/GA helped them demonstrate their core values across every stage of the customer journey. What enabled this successful marketing transformation was the integration between media and creative.
- “Brands dependent solely on advertising for relevance are struggling.” - Jess Greenwood
- “For experience transformation, we need to create value not only for our clients and their brand, but also our consumers. We need to put consumers at the center of everything we do.” - Ben Williams
- “Speed is the savior, the salvation. The big differentiator and the thing that cause companies to win going forward is whether they can move fast.” - Barry Wacksman