An overcast Day One morning saw the 2000 delegates swarming on Suntec Convention Centre at seemingly the same time. Lengthy registration queues greeted the hordes, giving us a chance to catch up with MPC Shanghai’s Steve Marolho, queuing alongside Billy Beckett, his EP counterpart from Fin, Shanghai’s other major international post house.
The first mid-morning offering on the main stage saw Arthur Tsang and Hans Lopez Vito from BBDO China revisit the well-trodden ground of aspirational branding and the booming luxury goods market in China, this time framed by the recent economic slowdown. The argument was that, unlike western consumers for whom economic factors affect desire for luxuries, Asian consumers are driven by deeply ingrained cultural values which are relatively unaffected by their financial status. A whistle-stop journey through the Asian psyche ensued, comparing the wheat-eating, individualistic west with the rice consuming, communal culture of the east. The eastern penchant for rice, apparently, is a major contributing factor to the Chinese desire to lead a harmonious existence as part of society as a whole. Ultimately, a successful marketer in China and Asia as a whole must deeply understand the distinct aspirational values of the populous, many of which are founded in a Confucian practicality. As Tsang summed up, in Asia ‘the WE is more important than the ME. To understand the crowd is more important than the individual’
The Spikes App then lit up as the first set of award shortlists were announced. China-based agencies were well-represented, with Fred & Farid’s ‘The Great Warm Up’ for The North Face TNF100 Ultra Marathon the most notable, appearing across multiple categories, with BBH’s Unilever Lifebuoy Total campaign and Y+R’s PETA Asia also earning cross-category recognition. Shanghai’s Publicis, OMD, Proximity, W+K, BBDO and Grey Group Beijing were also among those shortlisted from the Middle Kingdom.
Fred & Farid’s ‘The Great Warm Up’ for The North Face TNF100 Ultra Marathon
As WeChat grows in popularity and their service offering broadens, the question of potential targeted advertising on the platform is on the minds of marketers across China. Facebook provides a perfect example for China’s biggest social media platform to learn from. Facebook Head of Creative Shop Fergus O’Hare breezed through a procession of the social media behemoth’s campaigns, demonstrating how they are closing in on the ‘Holy Grail of Advertising’, namely the ability to target directly and extremely personally their 1.4 billion audience, based on the vast and complex information database they own on each individual user. With such comprehensive data, Facebook’s in-house creative team is surely one of the best placed ‘agencies’ in the world to create efficient and effective campaigns. Though the possibilities for brands are impressive and the creative potential enormous, beneath it all lies the troubling undertone that Facebook’s ever growing omniscience means they can apply pressure to our insecurities and weak spots more directly than any marketer in history. The best ad on Facebook, O’Hare stated, is simply the right ad in the right place for the right person.
Just as it started to feel like we had unwittingly submitted ourselves fully to the mercy of advertisers, Angela Morris of JWT Australia and Alistair Leatherwood from TNS provided a refreshing dose of reality, providing the results of a regional survey into consumer participation in interactive marketing campaigns. In amongst all the hype and backslapping, it’s easy to forget that consumers are people, and people aren’t especially interested in engaging with brands. Ultimately, we’re savvier than marketers often give us credit for and content for content’s sake is just spam. Morris stressed that participation is a response, not the stimulus or even the goal in itself. Marketers need to get back to giving quality, not asking for people’s attention.
One of the schedule standouts was a presentation by The Pop Up Agency, the young, London-based shop that has been winning widespread acclaim in their short three-year lifespan. CEO (for this quarter, at least – they rotate staff positions) Abraham Abbi Asefaw charted their rapid growth from students to cutting edge creatives, educators and start-up investors, outlining the ‘Why?’ and the ‘What?’ of their ’48 hour to solve a brief’ concept and why they don’t produce, only ideate. His Day Two talk promises to be more illuminating as he goes into the all-important ‘How?’
The unwinding and imbibing started in the Suntec and continued after dark with JWT and McCann hosting parties for the first night. The real social hub though, as always, was the corner of Ann Siang Hill, Chinatown, where throngs of delegates generously toasted a thoroughly enjoyable day through to the small hours.
Networking began at with the end of day drinks at the Suntec Convention Centre
早 上第一场重头戏，主舞台交给了来自BBDO中国的曾德龙和汉斯·洛佩兹·沃托，他们回顾了那些在品牌塑造上节节攀高的经验和在中国急速膨胀的奢侈品市场， 尤其是在遭逢了最近中国经济发展放缓的局面下依然有所成就。究其原因，和西方的“经济环境决定消费者对奢侈品的消费欲”不同，亚洲消费者的消费欲望是被一 种根深蒂固的文化所驱动，就连他们的经济状况都很难对其造成影响。遍览亚洲文化历史，比起以小麦为主食的西方的个体独立性，东方文化更加包容。水稻文化促 生的集体主义是中国人社交愿望中更注重和谐团圆的诱因。最终，一个成功的中国或亚洲市场营销人员必须深刻理解这种独特的大众价值观，而这种价值观很多都能 从儒家思想中得来。就如曾先生总结的那样，在亚洲，“‘我们’要比‘我’重要得多；理解大众的想法要比理解个人的想法更重要。”
Spikes App随后公布了第一组获奖候选名单，而来自中国的广告商涌现出了很多杰出代表。佛海佛瑞公司出品的TNF100 Ultra马拉松广告尤为突出，在多个分类中都榜上有名；百比赫出品的联合利华·卫宝全套战役和Y&R出品的亚洲善待动物组织广告也获得了多个奖 项的认可。阳狮上海、浩腾媒体、Proximity、维传凯普、BBDO和葛瑞集团北京工作室也在名单中占有一席之地。
就在微信的普及率愈 发高涨并提供了更加多样的服务的同时，在其平台如何对潜在客户定向投放广告的问题困扰着每一个中国市场营销人员。而Facebook已经为这家中国最大的 社交媒体平台做了一个最好的示范。Facebook的创意工坊负责人弗格斯·奥海尔从社交媒体残酷的广告战役中全身而退，为我们示范了他们如何问鼎“广告 圣杯”，也就是他们如何能够精准定位并量身打造他们14亿用户的个性化需求，皆基于其庞大复杂的数据库，里面有每一个独立用户的完整数据。坐拥如此全面的 数据，Facebook自家的创意团队已然拿下世上最好的“广告商”中的一席之地，打造出影响力极大且效率极佳的广告战役。尽管令人印象深刻，其创意潜力 无穷，然而言外之意，Facebook已成长为如此的庞然巨物，他们深悉我们每一个漏洞和弱点，这是历史上任何市场营销人员都无法比拟的。“在 Facebook上，最好的广告是什么？”根据奥海尔的说法，只要让正确的人在正确的地方看到正确的广告就可以了。
就在我们开始觉得无论自 己是否自愿，我们已经被广告人们玩弄于鼓掌之间之时，来自智威汤逊澳大利亚工作室的安格洛·莫里斯和来自特恩斯市场调研公司的阿拉斯特·利瑟伍德提供了另 一种新状况，而这个论调来源于他们对于交互式广告战役的区域性调研。当你身处于大肆炒作和频繁接触广告的境地里，会让你很容易忘记客户也是人，而人们并不 会对于只想卖给你东西的品牌有兴趣。我们对于那些更经常给予赞赏的市场营销人员更有好感，只为销售而销售的广告也就是垃圾邮件的水准。
The Pop Up广告公司为我们提供了本日最精彩的演示之一，这家年轻的，来自伦敦的公司在短短三年内就赢得了广泛赞誉。他们的CEO（也许他已高升，公司刚刚经历了 一轮人事变动）亚伯拉罕·阿比·阿瑟方用图表展示了他们是如何在短时间内从学徒成长为业界前沿的创意工坊、启蒙者和创业投资人。关于他们著名的“48小时 解决客户简报”项目，他着重解释了原因和过程，以及为什么他们只做概念，不参与后期制作。他承诺，在第二日将会重点解释最重要的部分——方法论。