Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Digi awards

Four OMDers judged the Internet Advertising Bureau awards today and it was a very interesting experience, especially comparing the way it works with the Media Federation Awards. Whilst we are prohibited from commenting on any specific entries or - of course - revealing the winners, I thought there were some good learnings for future digital award entries.

The majority of the entries had at least one significant hole in their story. By that I mean you are looking for a case which had clear challenge, interesting insights, which leads to innovative digital execution and then well evidenced results.

With all awards it is hard to find the perfect case study that has all of the above. But ultimately that kind of all round greatness is what we are searching for.

A couple of areas were the most challenging:

45% of the marks were for results and this was a challenging area as there was no requirement to rule out other factors, so when digital is given as say 27% of spend, and the results are for the campaign as a whole it makes it difficult.

As to having a compelling insight that drove the strategy and execution in surprising directions, there very few of the 40 entries I read that had a good insight. This backs up my long held view that digital strategies in Australia, and probably the world over, have a worrying lack of consumer insight.

One surprise was that Facebook only got mentioned once - every recommendation seems to have Facebook in it these days, but it has not been making it into the final strategies in the last 12 months. Social media was fairly well used though with MySpace and YouTube featuring fairly prominently.

Overall I personally found it a great experience to see all the digital work from agency land in Australia. There was lots of solid work - if few outstandingly brilliant ones. And the focus on business results whilst not being perfect took us a long way further than endless claims of click rates, PIs, UBs and time spent.

Moving forward, strategists have a special role to play in the digital space: the possibilities are so much more varied than with other media that you can't just have digital as a translation of your offline strategy any more, you need to find specific "ways in" to the consumer using the unique properties of digital media.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

futurefeed - but of course...!

Are a regular Facebook status updater or possibly A twit, I mean Twitter-er...?

welcome to Futurefeed... that will 'tell you what your friends are doing before they do it.'

I am hazarding a guess this aint going to be around for very long... can't see why you couldn't tweet or update your Facebook status with things that are about to happen, in fact I am sure people already do this but hey... what's one more device to bore your friends and colleagues with on all the mundane aspects of your life?

Anyway, must dash, I need to put my lunch dishes in the dishwasher everyone - wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Piecing together the puzzle

We're working on how to bring media strategy, creative strategy and content strategy together. It's not easy, but I like to think OMD has a head start on a lot of our competitors due to the success of our branded content division, Fuse, over the last 3 years.

Out of a discussion last week came a couple of thoughts that I quite like. One of them is that the difference between media strategists and content strategists is that media strategists only think about content that exists and how they can find the right content to be in, rather than thinking about creating content to give advertising more impact. In other words, if you can't find the right environment for your brand, make it! That shouldn't be too much of a leap for a media strategist to take.

So, if that was a way to align content strategy and media strategy, what is the way to align content strategy and creative strategy? Well maybe a starting point is in educating our teams and our clients that brands in this day and age don't need to be as single-minded. USPs and "matching luggage integration" campaigns are still here in force, but more brands are opening up to telling different - but not contradictory - stories at the same time.

In this view, the content strategy does not need to be an offshoot of the creative strategy. Most of Fuse's successful content strategies have been quite different to the ATL strategy designed by the creative agency, e.g. V-Raw, Telstra Friends, Nivea Visage.

The truth is that what creative agencies do to make 30" TVCs is often very product focused and interruption based, whereas what content strategists do is the opposite. So, trying to generate a content strategy off the back of a traditional creative strategy just isn't going to wash.

There are still lots of issues to be solved, but by knowing when to try and make strategies match (e.g. content and media), and when they don't need to match (e.g. creative and content), you are freed up to produce great work and great results.

Would be interested in people's comments on this topic...