I recently took a group of students, to Euro RSCG, London. Russ Lidstone, CEO, was our gracious host, providing a transformative afternoon with eight speakers – each sharing wisdom, insight and creative magic.
According to planner, George Roberts, “the enemy of insight is observation.” As the fledgling student ethnographers began conducting in-culture exercises there could have been no better words to guide them. For observation without analysis leads to insights that are simply rubbish. The planning frames he presented illuminated the guiding Euro principle – surprising truths create deep consumer connections.
Four cases illustrated this perfectly: Santander, Chivas, Durax and VO5. The poetic copy by Russ Schaller, Creative Director, for the Santander 123 campaign highlighted the humanity of brand. How often can you say that about a bank, especially in these economic times? The Chivas case, presented by Global Account Director, Elisabet Jonsdottir, highlighted the essential sweet spot at the intersection of consumer, product and brand category. What could be more shareable for a whiskey brand then to live chivalry? Durax Vinyl showcased the power of imagination, with Tech Director, Michael Olaye, taking the lead. Vinyl used a social media led television campaign to launch Performax Intense and brilliantly connected couples. Caroline Saunders, Business Director, introduced the Pliktisijiteur Pageant for VO5 Extreme Style, which set up a perfectly targeted campaign launched with teasers leading to wickedly funny television that broke the mould. Each case offered lessons on insightful creative rooted in spot-on strategy, driven by imaginative innovation.
The afternoon wrapped up with discussions on creativity, PR and social media. Dom Gettins, Head of Copy, turned the students’ notions about creativity on its head. He challenged them to think about advertising creativity as a conversation. Paola Nicolaides, Associate Director of PR, introduced the idea that it’s not about what you do or why you say. It’s about what others say about you. The day wrapped up with Claire Adams, Head of Social Media. She reminded the students that the heart of any campaign, across any platform, remains the idea. But with social media the value proposition is inherently driven by emotion and utility coming together to create value.
Value is exactly what the day produced. Pearls of wisdom, some with uniquely British leanings, others that spanned the global marketplace – all invaluable. Clearly delivering surprising truths leads to deep consumer connections.