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Monday, 19 September 2011

Spikes Asia 2011 - Day 1

The first day at Spikes is amazing and I will take more advantage of it till the end. The event acutally started at 12 in the afternoon rather than at 9 am so the guests can go through the shortlists. Thus, all have to make use of the short breaks between seminars and the dinner to see the works. 
I attended the Coca Cola seminar where the topic was: Is Tomorrow Agency's the Consumer? So here's what I sat in on.

An upcoming shift for agencies in the future?

The convention is the client gives the agency the brief. The creative idea will be discussed till an agreement and customers will let us know how well the idea works. However, Coke did the reverse thing. They gave the brief to the customers, meaning asking them to interpret the energizing refreshment from Coca Cola. In form of an online contest, the customers will submit their films and the leading ECDs in agencies will judge their films.
The response: 1.6 million films submitted during 2 weeks. 2 films are picked and will be adjusted a bit to become real TVC/ viral video about Coke.

Why the client comes up with that idea:
Brand communication comes to a stage where the customers connect to the brand individually. They are the ones who actually defines the brand personality and equity. The time of the brand will bring themselves to the customers and get them buy it seems to be over. Now, the customers are sophisticated and ready to lead the game.

According to Leonardo O'Grady, Director ASEAN Integrated Marketing & Communications, Coca Cola Asia Pacific, the success of the communication tend to depend on the individuals who know what the brand needs. Meanwhile, the vast creative source, customers with their all wants and needs, is still available and not taken the most advantage of. It's time to let them interpret the brand in their own way.

Agency's comments:
However, if the future is the co-creation btw the client and their own customers, what's the point of working with an agency? Although the short video shows the juries are quite impressed by the quality and quantity of the films, Rob Sherlock, Chief Creative Officer, DraftFCB still thinks it's too early to state anything. Even with the 2 films rewarded, only the first one really has an idea in it whereas the other rely too much on the crafting, editing and music. Interestingly, he also made a point that the competitors were asked to do films rather than prints because they are not there yet. It's still a playground of the pros only. Again, it proves the idea doesn't necessarily come from the creative or the guys in an agency. It comes from anyone, and now, it's amazing to see the creativity really makes things happen in an unpretentious and beautiful way. The agency needs to know this phenomenon. One, to get ready for the shift, meaning, it could work as an instructor to get the creativity of the amateurs onto the right path. If it's a good idea, it's a good idea. It doesn't matter where it comes from. 

Lesson Drawn:
Honestly, when I wrote about this thing, I worried that most people will think "OK, but nothing is really new, Nhung". Before attending Spikes, the word "co-creation" to me is not a big deal. Interaction? Somehow it seems it already happens in Vietnam when we asked the audience to do clips for a client, to tell their success stories? Nope. Co-creation means the customers are made to cook their own food according to their taste. Back to the point of why I get so excited abt it. Well, it reminds me of the Young Bloods Programme where we put potential students who never work in advertising before. And we give them on the job training while they make their own porfolio after a period of time. More than a head hunting project, I think we are creating a new generation. It is the generation that are active, passionate, creative, confident to define what a brand should look like. Who knows? Some of the ex -Young Bloods will win the award if the co-creation of Coke comes to VN?

Nhung Nguyen, copywriter

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