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Wishful Thinking in 2019



INFLUENCER: 72andSunny Amsterdam's Laura Visco on rethinking data, un-smart advertising and taking action to solve adland's diversity problem

Wishful Thinking in 2019

Ok, these are not really trends. But more like wishful thinking. Advertising is going through such a weird period right now, and the landscape is changing so quickly that I feel it’s time to revisit the very basics and make these things part of the agenda.

Un-smart advertising

It feels like creativity is becoming a science. The advertising industry has tried to come up with a formula of what an effective ad looks like: the five-second rule, branding upfront, music needs to be upbeat. But great campaigns seldom follow that rule. John Lewis’ latest campaign is a great example of that. It’s long, it has branding at the end, and music is the opposite from upbeat. But the truth is you can’t skip work with a heart. Whoever said people don't care about advertising is wrong. People tend to ignore lousy advertising, which is different. There has been a long, heated debate in the industry: creativity or efficiency? The truth is (good) creativity tends to be efficient. So many rules are guiding us in the wrong direction and leaving very little room for creativity. 

Less talking about diversity, more action

There are plenty of initiatives out there to get more diversity in the industry: talks, conferences, panels (lots of them), programmes, and that’s great. But it’s getting too long to see real change in the advertising industry. We all know that there’s a problem, so we should join forces and start to fix it. It’s time for real, tangible solutions. Initiatives like Free the Bid are a great example of that: how can we create more tools to see real change, instead of talking about the fact that something needs to change? I also feel data can play a significant role in how to tackle this issue. Truth is there’s no 'one-size fits all’ solution to solve this: every country and every culture has a different diversity problem to fix, so it’s time for a more local take on this, that can make a more significant impact at a global level.

Rethinking data

With so many conversations in our industry revolving around data, I think it’s time to think beyond the digits and algorithms. Data can have a negative connotation for people, and it’s generally seen as intrusive, and somehow creepy. Oddly pertinent ads in your timeline are not helping this conversation. But if done for good reasons, data can be a powerful tool, and it can improve people’s lives. The ALS 'Project Revoice' that won at Cannes this year gave me a different perspective on data. If you can give someone a better life quality through data, that’s massive. We usually think innovation and data as something big and somehow not tangible. But innovation can improve one man's life, too. It’ll be great to reshape this conversation and show people the other side of data.

Laura Visco is deputy executive creative director at 72andSunny Amsterdam

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72andSunny Amsterdam, Fri, 14 Dec 2018 14:45:31 GMT