Advertising Week Europe

Advertising Week Europe 2017 Official Guide

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MC: Given the constantly moving landscape in which we op- erate, the right solution depends on a number of different factors. Ultimately, communications have to be effective at delivering the result that they were created for and justify advertisers' goals for spending on it in the first place. Equally, our industry is often blighted by a hierarchy of advertising, that defines a film more impactful than 140 characters or an advertorial more relevant that a search listing. I liken that to generational attitudes to comedy. One father's laugh-out- loud funny is his daughter's most cringe-worthy moment. AWE: How do ad agencies stay relevant in a social and data- driven world? MC: If you are going to be an ideas business in the digital economy, your greatest opportunity to build brands success- fully is to fuel your thinking through data insight, but think about how those ideas can be liberated by technology. Data is an industry-wide opportunity to become more personal and relevant and therefore drive greater marketing effective- ness. The more complex elements of the data world should be made more accessible and relevant to idea generation and cre- ation, as much as analytics and optimisation. AWE: How does that deeper connection between ad and consumer benefit the agency in the long haul? MC: I think people connect with stories, not advertis- ing. Inevitably, that connection happens over time, rather than being isolated to a single moment. The most powerful communications happen over a series of touch points that entertain, inform, explain, and demonstrate value. The great craft of communications is creating a consistent narrative that enables people to understand that each moment is part of the "We are beyond the point where any single company can do everything brilliantly; the future of our industry lies in the coalition of genuine experts in me- dia, creativity, digital technology and data- driven effectiveness." same story. For me that connection has been the most dif- ficult one to sustain as people's consumption of media and communications has become more proliferated. AWE: As the industry changes, and the agency model with it, what knowledge and skills must an agency person also modify to succeed in the business? MC: Agency folk succeeding in the digital economy share, partner, collaborate and hack. While an organisation is re- sponsible for fostering the environment and conditions for different disciplines, talent and technology to thrive, you need people who want to connect and who are curious about new ways of working and creating. In part that is about attracting more diverse talent who look at the world through different lenses and create meaningful collisions in our thinking and ideas. In order to evolve, our industry demands the recruit- ment and fostering of more diverse people from different backgrounds, life experiences and personas. Our industry's homogeneity is undoubtedly a barrier to more powerful communications. AWE: What's one of the most exciting aspects of being in the agency world today? MC: Constant change. We work in an industry burgeoning with new opportunity and the ongoing potential to create new prod- ucts, new solutions and new systems. There is no such thing as 'the status quo' or 'a norm' and we shouldn't want there to be. Other industry sectors would love the opportunity to capi- talise upon the evolution of technology and people behaviour that we find ourselves at the centre of. Our biggest mistake would be to suppress or slow the cycle of change, rather than embracing it to increase the role and value of communica- tions to both business and society. CREATIVITY AND CRAFT AWE 2017 154

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