Advertising for the post digital age: IAB Engage 2018

Advertising for the post digital age: IAB Engage 2018



thank you hello everyone thanks for having me here thanks for potentially listening to me I'm gonna talk a lot about the future of advertising I feel like like oh the future of advertising I'm gonna talk about quite briefly and quite vaguely you're all in suspiciously comfortable seats so this is kind of edited highlights of some things to watch out for and in particular this idea of post digital I posted util is the era of the Internet where we make sense of it because we're not there yet like the current Internet experience is quite crappy like we think about technology a lot and the reason why we think about it a lot is because often it doesn't work so we are going to enter this incredible environment where we construct new business models construct new forms of advertising construct things that are more empathetic and deal with abundance but we're not quite yet there yet I call this period the mid digital age like we talk a lot about the Internet of Things I actually think we're realistically in the interim of things before we get there and you see a lot like this is a screen in my local library in the UK and you can see hundreds of the kind of fingerprints and the sweat marks of disappointment where hundreds of small children have come up to this screen and then quite quickly realised it doesn't work like that if you remember those things called label makers where you could type out really leak meat labels but they're a surprisingly large number of these labels being made saying this is not a touchscreen because you have to manage people's expectations like technology is making incredible things possible the rate of change is incredible but the only thing that grows faster than what is possible are our expectations of it so here each we routinely suffer from this experience gap between what we know could be done and what we actually tend to experience in these syndrome things are also incredibly complicated if you ever want to show how complicated things are you just show lots of logos on a chart if you want to try and find your own company in that then good luck but in this period of peak complexity we need a lot of guidance and we need a lot of help and that's what I'm gonna talk about a bit today it's gonna introduce myself and my role a little bit more I'm going to talk in more depth about this idea of the mid digital age and they're more helpfully I'm going to give us three ways to think about advertising for the future hopefully that sounds good I am here to be irritating there are a lot of people that go on a lot of stages and they say things which are absolute crap like you say things like people want conversations with brands that's absolutely nonsense you say things like TV is dead that's not true at all it just feels a bit different my favorite is the expression that Millennials are hard to reach but Millennials they're surgically attached to their phones but there's never been an easier group of people to reach like people plotting government downfalls that live in the woods in Kansas those people are hard to reach there's never been a easier generation of people to reach so I like to just sort of be a bit annoying really so if you sit there and you're thinking oh who's this guy this is really frustrating it means I'm doing my job really well lots and lots of things are changing we've got 3d printing anyone here 3d printed anything recently got crypto currencies people buying things with Bitcoin or aetherium we've got robots we've got AI I'd like to announce for me this is the last presentation I'm doing myself at this point onwards it's all going to be written by Marcel so this is a sad day for me that was a joke that's not for tweeting out that's not for the people publicist to hear about it's good now we got drones anyone had everything delivered by a drone recently not many of you we've got vending machines that do likes if you go to Russia and you feel like you've got no friends you go you can buy shares and likes on your Facebook posts we've got we've got trainers that you can order pizza from I'm a big fan of this you get a bit hungry job done but I kind of joke because we need to be aware of all these changes but we also need to be aware of the meaning of these changes and how significant they really are like I think as an industry everything that's new we tend to get very excited by we tend to kind of form creative briefs around them or set up new agency used to deal with them and often these things are not particularly meaningful like often the kind of next Facebook killer actually becomes something that you can barely remember a few months on things like Pokemon go you would have been fairly unwise to set up an agency around the potential of Pokemon go so we need to sort of find a contrast between these two things like if you think about your day this morning it probably wasn't radically different to about five years ago like we we see that slide a lot with all of these companies weren't around in 2003 and that's completely true but if you think about new changes in your life in the last five years if you think about new apps that you've downloaded which has led to you materially living a different life in the last five years there's actually not that much change so a lot of my job is about understanding what's different but also what is the same and it's about having a much more kind of meaningful and profound and thoughtful conversation with our clients about this stuff because I think we've entered quite a reactionary environment where unless we have a chat board and we've done a VR experience and we have a snap spectacle strategy we feel vulnerable and often it's much more about being empathetic to people they're changing needs they're changing expectations and working around that too rather than latest technology I wrote the book about this I'm not here to promote the book because you feel very vulnerable if you write a book it's got 25 reviews now 2424 of them a five-star and one of them is a one-star review so this is like Russian roulette for your attention span so they're mid digital age so we are in the mid digital age and it's easy to understand it by pulling it in context so we had the pre digital age and I actually walked amongst you before and you are surprisingly young you are younger than most people I speak to and you might not remember clearly this age but this is an age where things tended to do one thing extremely well you would have like a radio cassette player you'd have a Walkman you'd have a DVD player you'd have a TV you'd have a magazine you'd go to the movies everything was designed to do one particular task extraordinarily well there was no complexity to it you went start reading a magazine and kind of forget what it was you wouldn't turn on a light switch and realize he didn't work as the Wi-Fi was down you wouldn't start watching a TV show and it crashed because it needed a firmware update things worked incredibly well we will probably live at some point in the posted it'll age where everything magically works where somehow the ads that were targeted with will feel quite personalized without freaking us out we will watch some shows on some devices and will seamlessly pick them up on others our dates it will be kept securely we'll be able to pay for things with our faces it will be this amazing futuristic world like doors will make that sound like they do in movies like whoo as you enter a room we're gonna wear silver there's gonna be hoverboards everywhere it's gonna be amazing but we're not there yet we're in this age where we've kind of taken what we knew before and we've pulled it through a kind of new digital lens almost or a digital frame so the image on the left hand side is ecommerce done in about 1890 it was just called catalog commerce there but we've effectively pulled through the same protocols and the same UI and the same consumer journey but just through to the internet you've got things like TV ads like I was there 2003 where I saw TV ads on my first media plan and I worked for a creative agency and we took the TV added we rendered it out with a different codec and we kind of hoped that it was okay and it turns out that for about 15 years that has been okay you can't just take a TV ad stick it on YouTube and feel quite proud of the fact that you've understood the power of digital we've done the same thing with print ads really take a beautiful image based ad like the one on the left from about 1790 stick it on Instagram and take a bow because you get digital you get social you get new social platforms right now you can add a shoppable link to it and it can be incredibly futuristic content marketing original in 1879 the Michelin Guide in 1900's or Landrover stories from this year I'm not saying these are terrible tactics or they don't work I'm just saying we congratulate ourselves a lot on taking things that have been done for centuries before making minimal changes and feeling like we understand the modern world and my favorite is influencer marketing I mean basically it's just attractive people holding things up in slightly strange ways I really like the one of of the trainers just like that like I wonder what brief led to that just just make sure we can see the trainers I just think we can do more so I'm not really a miserable person I don't go around being critical I just think we need to get a lot more excited about what the technology means we need to stop sticking things in our heads and claiming it looks cool or it's good enough for me the mid digital age is where we take things from the past and we apply the minimum level of technology and the minimum level of modernity in a hope of getting some kind of press or hoping to sort of get away and feel safe in our jobs the post digital age is where we look at the toolkit that technology allows us we look at the behaviors and the expectations that this creates within audiences and we make things from scratch we make brand new experiences brand new advertising forms that have never been known before and that is an incredibly exciting brief to work on and that's a brief that we all have at the moment in our careers so this is actually probably the best time to work in advertising here are three ways to think about it so there's gonna be three different chapters to help contextualize the way that we think about the future the first one I think is to understand people like what's most interesting about technology is what it means in the way that we behave rather than the technology itself like we talk a lot about the digital world and I don't think the digital world really exists anymore like my dad is about 75 he lives in the countryside in the Cotswolds if I ask him how much time he spends on the Internet he says about 4 hours per day which is quite expected for someone in the countryside if I ask my sister and she's 43 how much time she spends online she says about 6 hours per day which again is to be expected if I asked my niece how much time she spends online and she's 14 she says what because you have to kind of explain to her what the internet is and like when it starts and when it stops and it doesn't make any sense to her and it's not that she's stupid it's because it has no relevance it would be like asking us how much time we spend with electricity per day like it's not that we don't understand what electricity is it's just well we don't really think of it like that like we all grew up even though you are surprisingly young some of you some of us grew up in an era where if you wanted to go to the Internet you'd have to sort of wait for your flatmate or your sister to get off the phone and that would take ages in my house they need up to sort of unplug something plugged something else in open some special connection software hopefully you had enough minutes left that month you'd get the sort of scratchy music that took you to the Internet you did what you had to do on the Internet and then you'd go off the internet before someone complained and then later on that daedra member dude forgotten to do something you have to go all the way back online like online is a sort of verb and a kind of feeling and a behavior that doesn't exist in the modern world and I don't think anyone has understood this yet I've been doing this kind of presentation for about seven years and it still has not hit people that there is no such thing as online dating it is just dating in 2018 there is no such thing as mobile banking it's just how you do banking if you're not an idiot like you do not need to have like a global heads of digital any more than you need to have a global head of electricity or a global head of oxygen like the technology can be deeply profound incredibly exciting absolutely essential for us to understand but also not something we have to completely segment and put in a different building so there is no digital world this is not some weird photograph that I found this is just how things look like in the last day days they've been in about nine different cities around the world including like the shittiest parts of India and this is just what it looks like you can go through favelas in Brazil and there are no longer satellite dishes on people's houses there are small children with no money staring into a smartphone I think we really need to think about this digital will probably be the pipe for essentially all media my newspapers are not going to completely die like there will always be printed six sheets outside supermarkets and they will be great places to advertise but generally speaking in the same way that everything is powered by electricity today we will enter an environment where all media is supply digitally so all of these arguments about TV versus digital they make no sense in that context we're gonna have screens that proliferate everywhere whether they're cars that we drive whether they're self-driving cars whether they're kind of bath through mirrors whether it's digital outdoor like we do just need to accept that the ambient world will become one where the internet supplants everything that we ever experience where most surfaces become shoppable where most surfaces will track how you're behaving we're also going to see much more intimate devices like generally speaking technologies getting smaller it's getting closer to our skin it's becoming things that we hold up more closely it's becoming more tactile it's becoming more intimate it's also becoming more pervasive so the fact that so many of us are quite happy to plug things into our homes that listen to us is quite an interesting threshold in the way that we think about technology and that means we're gonna get more personal data like I am NOT the first person to tell you this stuff but we really need to think about the kind of data that we can realistically capture like we will have the ability to know where people but also where they're planning on going wonder about their stress levels we'll know about their shopping behavior we'll know the contents of their fridge we'll know their bank account behavior the ability to keep all of this data centrally and do amazing things with it we cannot begin to underestimate how we do so in a way that is respectful of people and that people trust and that we're transparent about is probably the biggest conversation we haven't really had in this industry we tend to take as much data do fairly stupid things with it and then hope that people don't notice if instead we focus on the value that we can give in exchange for this data and tell people why we want this data then I think amazing things can happen what we'll probably see is advertising experience which which kind of blend around us a lot more we tend to do very channel centric planning where we think about the technology that we use to reach people rather than a much more empathetic and creative approach where we kind of envelop people with advertising experiences which help people like how do you go from brands to performance campaigns in ways that feel quite seamless for this we probably need a new structure we're in this environment where our lines are blurring and we haven't noticed like we think that these two people are watching TV because that's what watching TV looks like it's a big screen it's a big room they're far back from it we're not entirely sure if that's TV but something a bit like that and we're really confused by what this is we have no idea it's a mobile buy is this a social buy this a digital buy is this an influencer buy we're not sure all of the lines that we've comfortably used to segment things don't make sense anymore like when this TV become video like how long and how well produced as a TV show have to become before it's a movie like how does a 360 video suddenly become called VR like all of these things we use don't make that much sense in fact we're seeing devices become much more similar essentially all devices are black mirrors that's where the the name of the show came from they're all connected to the Internet they're all massive screens they can all play video most of them can do sound some of them in your car some of them in your house some of them are on your wrist effectively things become identical the only thing that's really different between them are the context for consumption so this idea of planning advertising and targeting advertising based more on context I think will be interesting and we've structured ourselves incredibly badly for this pretty much every time a new technology comes along we find a group of people that we're normally slightly less comfortable around put them in a new department in a new building let them wear more casual clothes and give them like a neon sign and that's how we build our Burt izing agencies first it was interactive in about 2001 then it was mobile they were social and every time a new thing comes along we kind of build an agency around it because it's easiest to sell it that way it's easy to sell a social campaign and it kind of carries on in ways that doesn't make any sense like I'm pretty sure today you could set up a snap agency or a VR agency or a Chappell agency you could set up a voice agency this is completely the wrong way to think about advertising we need to be much more focused on people and their behaviors and the opportunities we have to connect with them so this entire kind of blur of advertising this entire kind of messy construct we have of lots of different specialisms kept apart from each other I don't know how to do it but we need to find a way to remove all of those lines and to act as one and to be aware of technology be aware of the importance of data beware of what creativity makes possible but more than anything else be empathetic so the last chapter here involves us rethinking everything like as an industry we pride ourselves on creativity we pride ourselves on innovation but we actually haven't really made anything new in about the last 50 or 60 years we can still take a TV ad turn it into a six second video and think that we've created something new and I think we need to be bolder than that like Steve Jobs was able to make the iPhone not despite the fact he had no experience of smartphones but because he had no experience of iPhones Elon Musk was able to make a Tesla despite the fact that lots of people told him it was impossible like he knew that he had to think about things in different ways be much more bold be much more naive and because of the power of that dream and a lack of muscle memory about what is possible he was able to create what many people thought was impossible I think the greatest threat to any incumbent is actually not about knowing too little it's about knowing too much in the modern way of doing things it's about being limited by assumptions that we've made that don't necessarily exist so I think we need to get a bit more creative and a bit bolder and take more risks and just think think things like what would marketing look like if you'd never know in marketing because actually quite nice to talk to like an eight-year-old child and just explain what you're doing because quite often are so many wise then it makes you realise that actually they're probably better at their job than you are because they they don't know what shouldn't be done so what would marketing look like if we'd never known it before what ads would we create if we'd no knowledge and no memory and no clear idea of what ads should look like imagine if we didn't assume the same kpi's if we didn't assume that things should be made in the same spreadsheets that we currently use assumptions do we hold that are actually not necessarily true there are lots and lots of things that keep us from making huge leaps because we assumed that people won't do them or they won't buy them or it's not possible and what new tools can we work around so as rude as I am about VR or AR or Bitcoin or other forms of advertising that feel quite indulgent what is there out there that is incredibly profound and incredibly exciting that we can use to form these new advertising experiences because I think there's an amazing relationship between technology and progress and the power to do something that you feel incredibly proud by if you were a structured engineer at the time when steel was invented you could make skyscrapers that never been made before if you're an artist at the time when the metal paint tube was created you can suddenly go outside and create anything and the world of oppression is them existed we are at that same moment in advertising the Internet is probably the best thing that's ever happened to all of us so I think if we just think much more proactively much more profoundly and much more excitedly about it it's probably the best time ever to work in this industry thank you very much [Applause]

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