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News & Views

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  • 6 May 2016
  • Sophie Howard

Advertising Week Europe: from Mysterious Machines to Tickling our Imagination

As we take a moment following another jam-packed, inspirational Advertising Week Europe, I wanted to share three key takeaways from this year’s content, conversations and predictions. In summary, 2016’s AWE was an event focused on putting soul back into the systems!Mystery drives intrigue: it’s about giving audiences enough to want more. Too often, we assume the puzzle needs to be complete in order for something to be effective – that’s not true. As Paul Davies, UK CMO of Microsoft says, “good storytelling should stimulate a person’s imagination to create an entirely personal experience” – it shouldn’t tell you what to think, but give you the ingredients to make the recipe yourself. Check out Paul’s blog here.The future involves marketing by machines: and the future is now. Artificial Intelligence was the biggest buzz-phrase on marketers’ lips throughout the week. Eventually technology is going to make decisions for us, based on learned behaviour, meaning whether we like it or not, tech will become an important stakeholder in the big wide world of marketing. Does this kill the radio star? No, it takes the heavy lifting away from us so we have time to work on the impactful, creative campaigns that really break through the noise.Brands create experiences: experiences drive resonance - not cold marketing messages. The democratisation of technology has arguably resulted in message bombardment - it’s predicted that we are exposed to hundreds of millions of marketing messages per month. This means that today, people increasingly seek out their own reason to engage with a brand – one that’s personal to them and rewards them for their attention. Not surprisingly, we want brands to look and feel human. It’s about creating relationships that provide audiences with emotional as well as rational reasons to believe in the business, product or service.In short, whilst technology is broadening the playing field we’re operating in, the fundamental art of impactful communications hasn’t changed – but the way we see it play out has.My final observation (ok, plea!) is that next year, Advertising Week Europe welcomes the next generation of marketers onto the stage – giving those who are disrupting consensus, and creating the marketing magic of tomorrow, the opportunity to collaborate in front of our eyes with some of the wisest and most experienced professionals in the industry.