By Rachel Taylor, Strategic Manager at Posterscope
I was lucky enough to spend time at this year’s Advertising Week Europe to listen to all of the fantastic speakers debating the key questions for our industry. The core contemporary pillars were well covered; programmatic, content, mobile and agency structures stood out as key themes. However, there also seemed to be a growing focus on wider socio-cultural events, such as Brexit or Trump’s election, which sit outside our industry but still impact our decisions.
Whatever form Brexit takes, it will have implications for both client marketing budgets, be that positive or negative, and for consumer attitudes and spending power. Consequentially, there are still debates and big questions for the advertising industry to be involved in. Thursday’s ‘Open Minds, Open Boarders’ debate aptly highlighted the issue of junior creative talent and the need to maintain diversity if we are to grow London’s creative community. However, I feel one of the most interesting underlying conclusions of this talk was that the implications of Brexit on the industry are all still uncertain and there is nothing we can stick our teeth into until the dust begins to settle.
A strong theme this year was the role of emotion in technology and data as well as remembering the human element at the centre of advertising campaigns. Ravleen Beeston of Microsoft looked at technology’s empathetic potential, demonstrating chat bots which can anticipate and mitigate potentially fractious moments such as splitting a drinks bill. Interestingly however, the debate around these kinds of innovations kept returning to the warning that we should not allow ourselves to fall into a bubble and design campaigns around technology consumers aren’t ready for.
Indeed, the ‘Future of Tech and The Millennial Consumer’ stage profiled businesses which were all firmly rooted in their audience understanding, be that to alleviate the struggling care industry or redesigning dating for queer women. In the case of Grabble, the business completely pivoted based on the new audience understanding that their audience wanted more boutique labels and they needed to appeals to a consumer with more disposable income than their original student target. A great example of audience truths designing the product rather than fitting an audience to the platform.