Author Archives: the HIT board

DGC Roundtable: Fall TV Season

The weekly DGC Roundtable is monitored by our current intern, Jamie Kurke.

This week, everyone at the office was buzzing about the return of the Fall TV season. With that in mind, this week’s question was:

As the Fall TV season kicks off, which show – new or returning – caught your attention this season, and why?

Kathy Sampey, Vice President:

The returning show that caught my attention is “Sons of Anarchy,” which for some reason, I’ve been following since its inception. It shocks me that it has so many female fans and exactly none of the commercials that run during the shows are targeted to women or even girls. This is the final season so I feel compelled to see it through even though last season wasn’t great.

Patrick Wentling, Account Executive:

Since that two minute trailer aired during 24 for Gotham, it’s certainly had the buzz and attention for many of my friends. It’s been curious to see all of the networks catch on to the superhero genre as a TV property following ABC’s S.H.I.E.L.D.  from Marvel. I worry about the longevity of the show – how long can Bruce Wayne be 12 years old? That said, it’s got the lore and studio budget to lay the groundwork for a strong show, it’s a matter of if the story can stay interesting. It’s overall a weak season for shows, as networks now embrace “52-week seasons” rather than individual seasons. That said, networks can’t afford to take a break with viewers and advertisers.

Sara Ajemian, Account Director:

How To Get Away with Murder! Shonda Rhimes knows how to make a hit – even if the New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley was entirely off base calling her an “angry black woman” – and I think everyone is chomping at the bit to see how Viola Davis’ talents will translate from the big screen to the small screen.

I’m also really excited for The Affair on Showtime. It’s got the best cast: Dominic Cooper (who’s BBC show The Hour was far too short-lived), Joshua Jackson (Bless us all, Pacey is back!), Ruth Wilson (who really shined as a crazy psycho in Luther), and Maura Tierney.

Maryliz Ghanem, Vice President:

Scandal: for the great pre-season buzz they generated via Kerry Washington’s clothing line at the Limited. Great way to energize their audience!

Kendra Peavy, General Manager:

Madam Secretary with Tea Leoni looks promising and leads into one of my favorite shows The Good Wife. I love that we’re seeing another strong female character join Alicia Florrick on Sunday night TV.

Jamie Kurke, Intern:

I’m ridiculously intrigued to see the reviews from (but not necessarily to watch) Black-ish. I’m always into shows that push the boundaries of political correctness and social statements. The promo posters are definitely something you have to look at twice to see if you read them correctly. For ABC’s sake, I hope people can take emerging shows like this with a grain of salt and appreciate the humor but there’s always that chance it’ll blow up in their faces…

In terms of what I can’t wait to binge watch for hours on end, however: Grey’s Anatomy- hands down. Maybe I’m the youngest person alive who is still die-hard though?

Some DGC Team Members just wanted to share their favorites shows, regardless of their marketing for the new season…

Claire Eisenberg, Senior Account Director:

I’ve finally jumped on the Netflix bandwagon and currently can’t tear myself away from House of Cards. What will Frank Underwood do next?! While I love the binge watching nature of Netflix, they sadly don’t always follow the fall TV timing. I’ll have to wait until February for season 3… I guess I’ll use all of my extra time to revisit some old favorites that are debuting on Netflix this month like New Girl and Parks and Rec.

Claire Higgins, Account Coordinator:

I can’t wait for Scandal! Olivia Pope rules all and I want to know where she disappeared to. Also can’t wait for Parks and Recreation’s final season, but NBC’s site doesn’t have a premiere date which is terrifying to me because it’s lit-erally an excellent show. I will say I was intrigued by Gotham, just because of all the hype before it even aired, but I tried to watch the pilot and the acting wasn’t really up to par for me. So no to that one.

Soraya Eltomey, Senior Account Director:

It’s not every day that a show loses its main character, and its season finale feels more like a series closer. But that’s exactly what last year’s episode of Homeland brought to the table. I can’t wait to see what’s to come for Season 4 – if it can survive without one of its leads (as well as its central storyline), or if it will successfully breathe new life into a show that arguably jumped the shark two seasons ago.

John Wolfe:

Favorite Shows in new Fall Season (all returning):

  • The Good Wife
  • Chicago Fire
  • Chicago P.D.

Why?  Because they all take place in Chicago—my hometown!

Chrissy Perez-O’Rourke, Account Director:

Some people get excited about the beginning of Summer, some get excited about Christmas – well, the kickoff of the Fall TV season is my favorite time of year and I couldn’t be more excited that it’s here! To pinpoint just one show that has piqued my interest this season would be impossible though. Many of my old favorites – Scandal, Nashville, Blacklist, Parenthood and Modern Family – are returning with promises of more drama and splashier plotlines than seasons past. And new shows that are debuting are also reeling me in with clever concepts and riveting characters – like How to Get Away with Murder, Mysteries of Laura and Marry Me. All in all, I don’t discriminate. Drama, suspense, comedy, rom-coms – I get hooked on most shows in the primetime lineup. So after the past few months of re-runs and bad reality TV I’m glad that the shows I have come to know and love are back on the air. From Olivia Pope to Rayna James, I feel like my long-lost friends are coming home after a long summer trip – welcome home ladies!

DGC Roundtable: Solving the NFL’s PR Crisis

Welcome to the DGC Roundtable, a new weekly feature on the hot topics of the moment. The series will be monitored by our current intern, Jamie Kurke. Each week, we will ask our team to respond to a question and share their POV on the top stories.

This Week’s Question:

How should the NFL heal its reputation – with fans and with brand sponsors – in the aftermath of the Ray Rice investigation and other off-the-field incidents?  

Gabriella Berman, Account Executive:

The NFL needs to start by practicing what they preach. If they have a zero tolerance policy, there is no reason why Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy should be playing in thisRoger Goodell Sunday’s games. If the NFL can stop contradicting themselves, they may stand a chance in healing its reputation, but until then it seems unlikely that fans and sponsors will be able to trust the brand.

Gemma Pollard, Vice President:

No sport is without scandal, and like any brand suffering a dive in reputation the NFL should be looking into making some tangible changes to its business that can be communicated to its stakeholders – the players, the administration, the fans, the general public and of course, the media. Scandal of this scale can’t, and shouldn’t be covered up. It should be faced with transparency, an authentic commitment to change and a steady flow of communication. Some “good news” stories about players and clubs doing the right thing, shared at the right time, wouldn’t hurt them either!

Don’t get me started on New York Post covers with “Ray Rice has found God” headlines – desperate last-ditch pleas to religion are never a good idea.

Peyton McCarthy, Account Coordinator:

“Another case surfaced with a player of the Arizona Cardinals being deactivated due to a domestic violence case this week and it just goes to show the dire need for the NFL to establish a concrete set of rules/consequences for the crimes of child abuse or domestic violence to be used from here on out. The entire process is unorganized and I believe these cases will continue to rise, until there is a player/organization understanding of the costs of their actions. Fans and brands need to see that something is being done in an organized and well thought manner, especially because right now there is nothing to support, as nothing has been done. The NFL organization and brand looks terrible to the eyes of the public right now and each day that passes that nothing is done to organize the penalization process of these players, the harder is it going to be for them to recover, especially if they lose a brand like Anheuser Busch. In my opinion, the first step to doing this is firing Roger Goodell; fans will then see the actions the NFL is willing to take.”

Claire Higgins, Account Coordinator:

I’ve been really surprised at how brands are reacting to the Ray Rice debacle. While some have pulled sponsorships from Rice already – understandable – some are really taking their time and waiting out final decisions from the NFL before making any changes. In some cases, it could say something about what a brand stands for, but it’s also a business and the NFL is a big name to have on your roster. In this case, I think most brands are reacting smartly and treading lightly, gathering all of the facts and waiting before making big decisions. I will say…some unaffiliated brands aren’t doing so hot – looking at you DiGiorno with that #whyistayed tweet.

Pat Wentling, Account Executive:

It’s been a tough few weeks for the NFL. While there is a lot of accusations going around, the one clear point is that the league hasn’t acted quickly enough — for it’s players or for it’s sponsors and owners. Roger Goodell spoke late on Friday afternoon, which is known for being a bad time for press, and laid his claim to fixing this. Only time will tell if it will, but the two weeks in between the Ray Rice video leak and his public response was too long. Only time will tell if they have truly righted the ship.

Cannes 2014. That’s a wrap!

The 61st Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is done and dusted. It was a huge week for our team on the ground taking a huge number of meetings with clients, friends of the agency and potential new partners, zipping up and down the Croisette more times than we can count, tweeting up a storm, taking in the brilliant creative and on-stage content, clinking glasses of rosé, and helping support the wonderful team at McDonald’s for their Cannes Creative Marketer of the Year accolade.

cannes_palais

Unusually grey skies over the Palais on Day 1 of the Festival

As we dig out of a sea of business cards, Cannes swag, content and inboxes bursting at the seams, we penned some takeaways and themes from the week that was Cannes 2014…

What was trending:

The 60th anniversary of the Cannes Lions Festival last year put the advertising industry’s “All Stars” in the spotlight and this year the balance seemed to swing a little bit back towards the indie shops and lesser-known creative folks.

The DeBussy and Grand Audi saw Kanye West, Courtney Love, Bono, Jared Leto, Ralph Fiennes and other celebs graced the stage with some pretty interesting discussions.

Bono’s speech accepting the first-ever Cannes Lionheart humanitarian award for his work with (Red) at the final awards gala was particularly empowering, not to mention humorous as he drew chuckles from the crowd upon introducing himself as “Bono, the CMO of YouTube.” After a powerful preamble from Apple’s SVP of Design, Jonathan Ive,Bono told the crowd it was their brainy heads that were going to figure things out (in reference to a world epidemic of AIDS) and if they kept making the ads, he’d keep making the jingles.

This year also saw an outpouring of tech industry “celebs” taking the stage — from Sheryl Sandberg to Marissa Mayer — who found clever ways to speak to an audience full of advertising buyers and creatives without overtly making a sales pitch. Sandberg emphasized the proliferation of mobile, and also wove in her “Lean In” platform, calling for the ad industry to lead the charge in shifting the ratios of females in leadership positions, as well as to embrace diversity in the advertising and marketing campaigns they are creating for clients.

Mayer emphasized the creative side of the business, pointing to Tumblr as a perfect platform to create inspiring work. It’s wonderful to see powerful female leaders represent their brands at our industry’s biggest and most important conference.

It’s All About The Work

In some cases, the most awarded work of 2014 was all about doing good and making brands matter, in other cases it was about celebrating the sheer pleasure of consumerism. The mix of styles spoke to the heart of good marketing and what it can achieve when done in the right way.

In the first instance, there was CAA’s YouTube film for Chipotle, The Scarecrow, which took a Grand Prix in both PR and Cyber, along with multiple golds in PR, Cyber and Branded Content.

The film that sits behind an app launch and website was a bold move for the QSR, through the flawless direction of Tim Burton and the haunting sounds of Fiona Apple. Taking on “big food,” and the evils of mass food production, the film went beyond a strong piece of content, as the soundtrack was available for download on iTunes, with 60 cents per download benefiting the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. Since launch it has racked up nearly 13 million views on YouTube.

The most awarded campaign of the week was created by adam&eveDDB for the luxury department store chain, Harvey Nichols.

An integrated holiday campaign dubbed “Sorry I Spent It On Myself, the hysterical work invited seasonal shoppers to gift “cheapskate” gifts like paper clips and toothpicks — branded with Harvey Nichols and actually sold in stores — so they could instead give themselves larger indulgences like designer dresses and handbags. A hashtag #SpentItOnMyself helped garner additional attention via social media.

Brands and platforms

Every year, the attendance diversifies and while the big tech companies have been at Cannes for years, we saw even bigger programs, activations and events on the Croisette and beyond from the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and others. We were constantly bumping in to tech players from start-up ad-tech to established Silicon Valley players: Lithium, PubMatic and Klout, to name a few.

From “La Galerie D’Instagram” where attendees could peruse real-life works of art straight from Instagram, as well as be photographed by a professional photographer on a staged set, to Microsoft’s swanky Beach Club, to Yahoo’s free pedi-cabs helping deliver delegates from the Palais to The Martinez and back again, there were many creative executions designed to add value to the overall Cannes experience.

Marketers, for their part, showed up more prominently than ever. McDonald’s, Cannes’ Creative Marketer of the Year, brought a crew of at least 20 delegates, curated a high-level panel featuring the top execs at each of their creative and media agencies, and made a big splash in the Young Lions Zone in the Palais with their McCafe space, where delegates could grab complimentary coffee, iced tea and macaroons throughout the week.

Looking to 2015…

The Festival has oodles of programming and there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to experience it all. Other marquee events have found success spinning off some of the content, similar to what TED has done with TEDx to make room for both excellent programming and invaluable networking. Another option could be to extend the conference portion to allow breathing space, or better segment the content so you can dip into the areas that are of most interest to you. On a more logistical level, we’d love to see more cell towers, 4G/improved internet connectivity and bandwidth, charging stations and water vending machines (there’s NEVER enough water!).

Au revoir ‘til next year!

Congrats to Cannes Lions Creative Marketer of the Year – McDonald’s!

The Cannes Lions “Creative Marketer of the Year” recognizes a brand’s long-lasting commitment to creativity. This year, McDonald’s was awarded top honors for consistently producing boundary-pushing creative work with the help of top, award-winning agencies Leo Burnett, TBWA, OMD and DDB.

To talk about how they’ve kept the romance alive for more than four decades, McDonald’s hosted a lively panel discussion. Speakers included: Mark Tutsell, Global Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett; Kate Stephenson, President, Global Account Management Omnicom Media Group; Juan Carlos Ortiz, President Latin America, DDB; and Rob Schwartz, Global Creative President, TBWA.

photo-mcds

USA Today’s Laura Petrecca served as moderator.

Matt Biespiel, Global Director of Brand Strategy at McDonald’s kicked off the panel by noting that the brand’s award-winning work sees greater ROI than non-award-winning work. The panelists then shared their perspectives around how to build a lasting relationship and what has been key to their long-term partnership – letting the agencies in, a global philosophy of storytelling and focus on collaboration.

It was apparent that while these agencies are fierce competitors, they work together just as fiercely to make the brand’s creative work better each year. They also may have ketchup in their veins – we learned that Mark Tutssel and Juan Carlos Ortiz each served on the front lines, flipping burgers at McDonald’s to better understand the brand.

Additionally, McDonald’s had a very visible presence in the Palais where a pop-up McCafé served hot coffee, iced tea and delicious macaroons for delegates looking for a quick bite in between panel sessions and workshops.

Cannes Connected

Technology enables different types of connections everywhere, and opportunities for them were abundant at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last week. As the Festival evolves and agencies are joined by brands, media platforms and a variety of other companies, a spirit of openness, sharing and connectivity emerge.

At a festival full of Art and Creative Directors equipped to engineer the perfect shot, it was interesting to see selfies reach a whole new level of saturation. Samsung’s Oscars Selfie – which propelled selfies to galactic heights – even picked up a Cannes Lion for L.A.-based ad agency, 72andSunny.

cannes-selfie-combined-sml

Selfies in full force in the Grand Audi and on the Palais red carpet

Technology stepped in, once again, to solve the most difficult thing about a selfie: the positioning. “Selfie sticks” were distributed to help festival-go’ers turn their too-short arms into a passing-by photographer.

Fabulous pictures of the industry’s finest put Facebook and Instagram front-and-center. Upon arrival, delegates were encouraged to connect their Facebook account to their delegate information and on-ground photographers pushed shots to Facebook in real time throughout the Festival.

Instagram provided the photo filters many need after late nights of rose, with a little more sharing intimacy and cool factor, to boot. The Galerie d’Instagram was stationed at the beginning of the Jetée Albert Édouard outside the Palais, displaying Insta-beauties, swag and the opportunity to be shot on the Instagram set.

For DGC, WhatsApp was the communication weapon of choice. Schedules at Cannes are moving pieces, and information comes in thick and fast so keeping everyone on our team updated with one flick of a quick message was essential. WhatsApp is a simple, easy-to-use app that made our lives so much easier.

But all of this is nothing without connectivity. A quick shout-out to Anker for their brilliant Astro external charger that helped our team and many others with an injection of much-needed juice – how does a mobile phone drain quite so quickly?

The real star, however, was XCom Global for their invaluable global mobile hotspots. The Palais wi-fi struggled to keep up with the demands of so many delegates and with much of the business being done on the Carlton Terrace, one needs to be connected past the perimeter of the Palais without racking up ridiculous bills on data roaming.

The devices are small, slipping easily into a pocket and connect up to five devices, with unlimited data for a flat daily rate. It’s a nice thing to offer clients and potential clients during meetings. The only downside was that the battery lasts only a few hours (enter, Anker charger!).

In a business so reliant on relationships, it was interesting to see how the “Oscars of the creative industry” stayed connected and shared through the Festival. Technology is a blessing!

Detroit in One Word: Indomitable.

Amid the global participants at Cannes, the Lowe Campbell Ewald: Detroit – Reboot City seminar opened with an observation that a lot of reporters tour Detroit, take a few photos of the run-down, empty buildings, write their headline that ‘Detroit is dead’ and then leave.

What they fail to understand is the mecca of creativity, art, grit and inspiration that encompasses the city. It’s the type of creative energy that drove Lowe Campbell Ewald to return to downtown Detroit from the suburbs earlier this year after asking themselves what they could do to change their culture. Lowe Campbell Ewald’s Chief Creative Officer, one of the seminar’s speakers, felt the creative ‘can do’ spirit of downtown would offer an inspiring recharge to the agency’s more than 500 employees. And so far it has done just that.

Since making the decision to move its offices, the 103-year-old agency has taken the city’s rejuvenation as a personal crusade – developing campaigns that show local entrepreneurs and creatives in action, and in turn, bringing about a local pride that not many cities in the U.S. can attest to. Lowe Campbell Ewald’s dedication to its city is something familiar to Mark’s colleague Jose Miguel Sokoloff of Lowe SSP3 Colombia, another one of the seminar’s speakers. His campaign helped bring true change to Colombia, helping to demobilize FARC guerrillas in the country.

At the seminar, and by blanketing the streets of Cannes with “Detroit vs. Everybody” t-shirts, the two award-winning creatives brought global attention to Detroit’s local game changers. From entrepreneur Veronika Scott, whose not-for-profit The Empowerment Plan employs former homeless women to make puffy coats that turn into sleeping bags to help the homeless of Detroit battle the brutal winter, to Shinola Detroit, a watch factory with a laser focus on bringing manufacturing back to the U.S.– it’s clear that Lowe Campbell Ewald is onto something good by surrounding themselves with the like-minded sheer determination to rebuild Detroit.

Detroit Reboot session -Cannes

Seminar participant and famed DJ Carl Craig cited drum and bass as a new genre of music that was emerging around the time he was carving his own career in Detroit. Craig spoke about Movement, an electronic dance festival held in Detroit each Memorial Day weekend, and how it had contributed to the culture of the city.

Ghetto Recorders, explained by Craig as a stalwart Detroit recording studio, has also been central to the defining the sound of the city. Artists such as The White Stripes and Electric Six have traveled to Detroit to record within its cement shell – the sound softened only by some carpet found by Ghetto’s Jim Diamond. A little of the wild west, indeed.

The last Detroit local celebrated by the seminar participants was Airea “Dee” Matthews, who appeared on a beautifully shot video reciting “Wisdom,” a Katrina poem. The words were hauntingly relevant to Detroit.

Cannes Lions is a Festival that celebrates creativity and seeks to inspire, but if being in the south of France in June isn’t possible, perhaps a trip to Detroit is just what you need to get your entrepreneurial and creative juices flowing.

Cannes shows up for “surprise” guest Kanye West

The Grand Audi was bustling and filled to capacity on Tuesday following a morning of big-ticket presentations from Google’s Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer.

A burst of press followed the last-minute addition of Kanye West to the bill. He was joined on stage by Translation CEO and Founder Steve Stoute, Andreessen Horowitz Co-founder and Partner Ben Horowitz, and moderator Stephanie Ruhle of Bloomberg. The session, Technology, Culture, and Consumer Adoption: Learning to Read the Cultural Landscape, started a little after 1 p.m., with lots of curiosity around how this soup would mix.

kanye-cannes-stoute

The connection between West and Stoute is obvious, but there was definite interest around how high-tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist Horowitz would fit into the discussion with two people very comfortable being center stage. The answer? Beautifully well.

West, Stoute and Horowitz were a formidable trio of experts on the intersection of music, advertising and technology.

Apple was central to the discussion, which ranged from the late Steve Jobs (and West’s own comparison of himself to Jobs) and the iPod era, to Apple’s recent acquisition of Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine’s Beats. Stoute, West and Horowitz all agreed that the acquisition was a smart move to help Apple regain some relevance and “coolness.”  Horowitz went as far as defining the $3B deal as 30 days of cash flow and saying that anyone who thought the price was too high was underestimating the potential for Apple.

West added, “I’m not a big fan of Samsung” (Jay-Z is a Samsung endorser) to which Stoute bellowed “There goes the neighborhood!” This was but one of the displays of humorous on-stage banter that made the session so entertaining.

On a human-interest note, here are some comments from West (because let’s be honest, we all want to know what he has to say at a festival like Cannes Lions):

  • Annie Leibovitz pulled out of photographing the West-Kardashian nuptials the day before the wedding; the “kiss” wedding photo circulated to press took four days to craft.
  • West has 10.5M followers on Twitter but only follows one person. His wife.
  • New word—“out-ass,” used in the context of trying to outclass someone by buying a $6K phone.

All-in, it was a rewarding session whether attendees came looking for Stoute-like insights on how to market using culture, Kimye gossip or wise words from Horowitz.

 

Is Amazon’s Fire Phone a ‘Category Killer?’

Adweek’s Lauren Johnson has a smart story about the new Amazon smart phone, the Fire Phone, and how it spells trouble for brick-and-mortar retailers. Its built-in mobile app, Firefly, scans product QR codes and then directs consumers to Amazon.com, she reported yesterday.

Here’s what some ad executives had to say about what the Fire Phone means for the smart phone category versus the other big players in the market:

Matt_Witt Matthew Witt, EVP, Director of Digital Integration, Tris3ct.

I think it’s very feasible for the Amazon smart phone to give Apple and Samsung some competition. To penetrate the market initially, they have to be very competitive on price, which they’ve done with their tablet devices, the Kindle and the Kindle Fire HD. But the longer term opportunity is for Amazon to fold in other services, such as the scanning capabilities that come with Amazon Prime’s Wand and their entertainment streaming services. Making those native to the phone will help drive business in other channels for Amazon.

Jeff AnulewiczJeff Anulewicz, Executive Director of Strategy & Analytics, MXM Mobile.

With mobile phones today, people aren’t just buying technology.  They’re buying image.  They’re buying services.  They are making a choice about how this device fits into their daily life.

Getting into the smartphone market in a truly meaningful way is no easy proposition (just ask Facebook).  But if the rumors of technology advances such as a 3D interface and eye tracking are true, coupled with their history of heavily subsidizing their device offerings, than perhaps Amazon has a better chance of gaining traction.

But let’s be honest, Amazon is not a hardware company.  First and foremost they are a content and eCommerce company.  Their forays into hardware with the Kindle Fire and Amazon Fire TV are simply ways to streamline the way they sell and serve content to their consumers.

By adding a smartphone into this ecosystem, and powered by its Prime service, they are looking to create an even deeper, more direct digital connection with their consumers.

Bill Tucker_photoBill Tucker, EVP, Media Relations, the 4A’s.
Amazon can certainly gain share of market with AT&T, which is a terrific partner. Any smart phone that can overcome some of the ‘pain points’ that keep mobile from becoming a more effective advertising and retail channel, could be a category killer. A 3D display is nice but if the Amazon phone platform doesn’t have truly responsive ad design or enable seamless multi-screen experiences, or make it way easier for consumers to buy things from this phone than current smart phones, then I won’t consider it extraordinary.

dan rocheDan Roche, VP of Marketing, TalkPoint.

It’s early to call Amazon’s smartphone an iPhone killer, but they are definitely on a collision course. Amazon is smartly mimicking iPhone’s exclusive launch strategy with AT&T to try to co-op the provider into a hard push. Pricing is also strategic to get into users hands (Amazon’s Fire Phone is $100 less for the same amount of storage as an iPhone 5S). The long play for Amazon here is really how seamlessly it integrates into the Amazon catalogue of products, including Prime services like music and video. Most importantly, the phone itself, with its 3D technology, takes a leap forward, which is something that Apple hasn’t done in a while. With TalkPoint as a technology provider that leverages the mobile market, we love to see any hardware progress that brings more users into the fold. The Amazon Fire should make a splash in the market, but only time will tell how significant it will be.

gareth-dimelowGareth Dimelow, Executive Director, Engagement Planning, George P. Johnson, United Kingdom. 

Already being trumpeted as a potential “iPhone killer,” the new Amazon smartphone carries the weight of the world’s expectations on its intuitively designed shoulders. This close to the launch, no one can say whether Amazon will kill the iPhone’s market dominance, but perhaps that’s because this isn’t really where Amazon’s interests lie. Jeff Bezos has always been clear on his intentions to make Amazon an “everything company.” And if, like Apple, he wants to tie consumers into a proprietary content platform, his objective won’t be to kill the iPhone. Instead, he’s looking to emulate their revolutionary model and ensure that Amazon’s customers enjoy a richer, deeper and longer-lasting retail and consumption experience.

Michael Lieberman_photoMichael Lieberman, Co-President, Joule.

Amazon has done a great job of building up a loyal brand following, embodied by the success of Prime.  And more than other Android manufacturers, Amazon was successful in creating a user-friendly interface for its Fire tablet that also encouraged interaction with Amazon services.  If Amazon is to have success, they will need to transition both the audience and the seamless, engaging experience to the new Fire phone, albeit in a very unforgiving smartphone market.

 

 

What’s Worth Your While in Cannes

Are you packed yet? The sun, the sea, the Palais, Carlton terrace and Croisette all await your arrival for the Cannes Lions 2014 Festival of Creativity, June 15—21.

Thanks to Adweek, we already have an idea of what the world’s top advertising creatives will be doing in the south of France. And we’ve compiled a Twitter list for you to subscribe to, making it easy to see the key themes coming out of the Festival through the eyes of attending reporters and Jury members.

An expert Cannes crew from DiGennaro Communications will be on the ground next week supporting our clients, friends and family including the Cannes Lions 2014 Creative Marketer of the Year, McDonald’s. Here are our picks of what is worth your time between glasses of rosé, lattes, and fraternizing:

  • POSSIBLE ART 140 Installation
    Sunday, June 15 – Saturday, June 22
    9 AM – 10 AM (CEST)
    Located right outside Palais
    ART140 is a website showcasing iconic pieces of art from MoMA’s collection that harnesses the power of Twitter to let individuals express what these pieces mean to them, in 140 characters or less via the hashtag #art140. Because of it, POSSIBLE has been able to measure everything from a Stream of Consciousness scoring system, to Highbrow Index and gain a deeper understanding of the power of social language.
  • Greenlight Media & Marketing: Leveraging the Power of Celebrity to Reach the ‘Skip Generation’ & Leap Over the Competition (Seminar)
    With Dominic Sandifer (President) and others
    Sunday, June 15, 2 PM – 2:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Grand Audi
  • Music For Millenials (Forum)
    With Steve Easterbrook (Chief Brand Officer) of McDonalds and others
    Monday, June 16, 9 AM – 9:30 AM (CEST)
    Located at Audi A
  • DDB: Why Passion? (Master Class)
    With Keith Reinhard (Chairman Emeritus)
    Monday, June 16, 12 PM – 1 PM (CEST)
    Located at Young Lions Zone (YLZ)
  • Microsoft: Make the Most of Every Moment (Seminar)
    With Dan Lin (CEO) of Lin Pictures and Stephen Kim (VP of Global Agencies & Accounts) of Microsoft
    Wednesday, June 18, 1 PM – 1:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Debussy
  •  Facebook: Making Marketing Personal Again (Master Class)
    With Sheryl Sandberg (COO) of Facebook and Abbey Klaassen (Editor) of Advertising Age
    Wednesday, June 18, 2 PM – 2:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Young Lions Zone (YLZ)
  •  Ogilvy: Cosmic Quandries & Creativity (Seminar)
    With Tham Khai Meng (CCO) and others
    Thursday, June 19, 2 PM – 2:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Grand Audi
  •  Microsoft: How Wizards are Changing Culture & Turning Tech into Art (Forum)
    With Rick Barraza (Senior Technical Evangelist) & Jonathan Oliver (Senior Brand Strategist) of Microsoft, including others
    Thursday, June 19, 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM (CEST)
    Located at Audi A
  •  Lowe Campbell Ewald: Detroit – Reboot City (Seminar)
    With Mark Simon (CCO) with others
    Friday, June 20, 11 AM – 11:45 AM (CEST)
    Located at Grand Audi
  •  Facebook: Why Me, Why Now, Why Here? Why I Believe an Open World is a Better World (Master Class)
    With Rob Newlan (Head of EMEA)
    Friday, June 20, 3 PM – 4 PM (CEST)
    Located at Young Lions Zone (YLZ)
  • McDonald’s Wonders: What Really is the Antidote to Client Promiscuity? (Seminar)
    With Matt Biespiel (Senior Director, Global Brand Management) and others
    Friday, June 20, 3:15 PM – 4 PM (CEST)
    Located at Grand Audi
  •  W Communications: The Future of Music (Forum)
    With Heidi Browning (SVP of Strategic Solutions) of Pandora and others
    Friday, June 20, 3 PM – 3:45 PM (CEST)
    Located at Audi A

Bon voyage!

 

Audience Measurement 2014: The Leadership Mandate

This year’s the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement (AM) 2014 focused on the Measurement Mandate and an immediate call-to-action for analysts to embrace the future of programmatic buying and cross platform measurement and lead their respective organizations through the considerable changes brought by today’s complex media environment.

Gayle Fuguitt, President and CEO of The ARF’s opening address set the tone for the event. In it, she explained there is a code red problem facing the industry. For example, the ARF’s research found that less than 10 percent of marketers say that mix models help them understand cross-platform advertising. Fuguitt emphasized that analysts must recognize this to be a transformative moment.

“This is not a measurement mandate, but rather a leadership mandate,” said Fuguitt. “We need to collaborate within our organizations, across organizations and across the world and we need to listen to each other and converge.”

Gayle Fuguitt

In his address Bob Lord, Global CEO of AOL Platforms, delved into the power of convergence and how it can transform industries at the intersection of business and technology.  Lord believes that measurement is key to truly understanding consumers and creating a brand strategy that meets consumers’ needs.

“Convergence of technology, media and creativity allows us to imagine and enable customer experiences like never before,” said Lord.  “Technology, media, and creativity operating within the context of business strategy can transform a marketing problem.”

Bob Lord

Lord also discussed his five principles when using data to better the consumer experience. He explained that brands need to put the consumer at the center and understand what motivates them and their journey to trying or using a product. Marketers must start thinking of their brand as a service and be aware of the fact that they are in the business of fulfilling consumer needs. It is also crucial to reject silos; consumers don’t care about inter-department issues and neither should businesses. Brands also need to act like a startup and employ agile methodology and prototyping. Finally, brands must embrace diversity in order to raise ROI’s on company performance.

AM 2014 wasn’t only a discussion of big data and ways to improve audience measurement across platforms. It was also a look at those who are solving measurement challenges and generating significant business results. In that spirit, the first annual Erwin Ephron Demystification Award was announced at the conference, an award that honors the legacy of media leader, Erwin Ephron.

Bill Harvey, Co-Founder and Strategic Advisor of TiVo Research and Analytics, was the first winner of this prestigious award. He has spent over 35 years in the media research industry and has pioneered thinking in New Media, industry data, and audience measurement standards.

“Bill challenges conventional thinking, and has a rare ability to translate ideas into action,” said Fuguitt. “The Erwin Ephron Demystification Award was part of the greater goal of AM 2014 to support, inspire, and promote the analytical minds that will lead organizations through this period of dynamic change.”

Bill Harvey & Gayle Fuguitt

The overarching message of AM 2014 was the need for analysts to embrace new ways of thinking in order to keep their seat as the C-suite’s most trusted advisor, a mission that the ARF will continue in future events and research.

 

 

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