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Am primit acum ceva vreme cateva mailuri de la oameni cu experienta in jurnalism care doreau sa se reprofileze. Povestea nu mai este una de actualitate. Pe masura ce cotidienele tiparite au dat coltul unul dupa altul, o buna parte din jurnalistii care nu au fost cooptati in echipele editoriale de online au inceput sa caute alternative iar PR-ul, un domeniu legat intrinsec cu jurnalismul, parea o idee buna.

Sunt cateva intrebari pe care l-am cantarit inainte sa raspund oamenilor care ma intrebau cum sa faca sau daca au vreo sansa sa intre in PR (ma rog, pe langa intrebarea esentiala “de ce ma intrebau pe mine care nu am nici experienta de PR si nici experienta de jurnalist, poate doar oarece experienta de management in industrii creative?”)

1. De ce nu orice ziarist a putut face trecerea la scriitura online?

2. De ce ai alege un ziarist peste un PR-ist cu acte? (zic cu acte, pentru ca odata cu lansarea pe orbita a departamentelor omonime din SNSPA, Universitate Bucuresti etc, PR-ul a devenit o “specializare institutionala” si oricum suntem in faza in care practicam PR organizat de suficienta vreme incat sa putem gasi CV-uri cu greutate destul de usor)

3. Ce trebuie sa faca un ziarist ca sa poate fi luat in considerare, ca sa depaseasca bariera?

Evident pentru ca nu e domeniul meu, am citit putintel si am intrebat trei oameni care conduc agentii de PR (toate varate adanc si in digital ca sa fie imaginea completa). Din raspunsurile lor am dedus cateva indicii si inca cateva puncte de lamurit

In primul rand trecerea de pe offline pe online pare sa tina mai ales de chestiuni bugetare decat de orice altceva. Media nu e o piedica pentru un ziarist bun insa combinatia dintre ritmul absurd al netului, salariile mici, concurenta neloiala a agregatoarelor si piata de publicitate care e inca in crestere de la mic mai mai putin mic, fac munca de jurnalist online mai stresanta, daca e posibil, decat cea de jurnalist tiparit. Nu credeam, ascultand povestile unui coleg care a lucrat la EVZ in zilele sale de glorie cand se tipareau anchete dupa anchete despre derapajele puterii, ca poate fi ceva mai stresant decat sa predai la 2 noaptea, sa astepti sa iasa de la tipografie tremurand sa nu se intample ceva mai relevant care sa scape editia de maine. Odata primul ziar iesit insa puteai sa rasufli usurat. Pe net nu poti rasufla usurat niciodata. In plus, imi inchipui ca e si frustrant sa vezi cum un SEO-ist bun te poate bate la rank in pagina de cautare ;). Cam atat despre trecerea in online (mai sunt o multime de considerente insa nu pot face un articol fluviu)

Din cate inteleg din raspunsurile prietenilor mei sefi de agentii insa, alegerea unui ziarist peste un om cu experienta in PR este una destul de complicata. In ziua de astazi, PR-ul a depasit de mult media relations. Aici e clenciul. Pe vremuri un ziarist care trecea in PR era the perfect catch. Avea prieteni ziaristi si stia cum sa vorbeasca cu ei, stia cum sa scrie un comunicat de presa ptr ei etc. In ziua de astazi influentatorii sunt online si daca nu esti jurnalist online probabil ca nu ii cunosti. Media relations e mai mult blogger relations sau online media relations si nici aici lucrurile nu sunt la fel de simple. Pentru ca un ziarist de pe vremuri receptiona un pitch de story altfel decat o face un blogger astazi. Spre deosebire de ziaristii de atunci, bloggeri sunt part time ziaristi, part time antreprenori.

Reiau ideea “PR-ul dincolo de media relations”. Ziarist fiind faceai un oarece management al resurselor cand iti scriai articolele dar un om intr-o agentie de PR trebuie sa faca event/relationship management care e o combinatie complicata de media relations, creative concepting, copywriting, project management, etc. In plus, din cate imi povestesc amicii mei, exista temerea ca un ziarist nu va putea sa se desprinda de conceptul de “responsabilitate” fata de audienta si sa intre in pielea unui furnizor de servicii care poate negocia bugete si poate modifica ceea ce a propus astfel incat sa obtina un okay de la client

Nu in ultimul rand, o obiectie importanta ridicata de cei care mi-au raspuns este ceea ce unul dintre ei numeste a fi “obiectiv printr-un filtru subiectiv”, in speta a intelege si a subsuma datoria de a transmite un mesaj nevoilor si cerintelor brandului. Aici e o intreaga discutie si aici mi se pare ca apare de cele mai multe ori o disonanta cognitiva.

Ca puncte in favoarea unui ziarist citez :

“Skills editoriale
Relatii- ii stie foarte bine pe fostii colegi
Capacitate de a disemina intre informatie si stire
Capacitate de a ‘vinde’ o stire prin forma”

“Story-angle, foarte bune reflexe de documentare si verificare a informatiei,
potrivirea povestii cu publicatia unde ar fi cel mai bine sa apara, foarte bune
abilitati de negociator in relatia cu fosti colegi jurnalisti.”

Ce ar trebui sa faca un ziarist? In primul rand un CV care sa scoata in evidenta aspectele conexe “scriituri”: project management, capacitatea de a conceptualiza “stories” ptr a vinde angajatorului si dimensiunea creativa a jobului, skillurile de copywriting adaptate noilor medii, abilitatea de a genera strategii. In al doilea rand, sa se implice, in perioada de cautare a unui job, in social media si sa incerce sa promoveze ceva acolo ca test si studiu de caz. In al treilea rand, sa faca un efort de a intelege teoria “palariilor” si sa incerce sa treaca un mesaj de comunicare prin diverse audiente ptr a realiza cum se modifica acesta atunci cand obiectivul tau nu e de informare ci de persuasiune.

Mai sunt multe de vorbit evident.

Multumesc Bogdan, Veronica si Eliza ptr ajutor!

De ceva vreme ma gandesc cum ar trebui abordata social media atunci cand vine vorba despre branduri care au un capital de imagine pronuntat negativ si potential de risc foarte mare. Nu sunt putine domeniile in care gasesti asa ceva: producatori de medicamente (spre exemplu cei care produc Ritalin, folosit in SUA ptr a “calma” copiii, producatori de arme, companii care pot polua masiv etc.). Vedeti deci ca nu ma gandesc ca McD te ingrasa sau cola iti ingalbeneste dintii.  Pentru acest tip de companie/brand social media poate fi un butoi de pulbere gata sa explodeze sau mai bine zis un cuib de viespi care poate rabufni la cea mai mica miscare.

Cum ar trebui ele sa procedeze?

Prima intrebare pe care mi-o pun ca om de comunicare este “e necesara intrarea in social media?”. cred cu sinceritate ca acest lucru trebuie evaluat foarte obiectiv si marketing managerul tb sa reziste tentatiei de a face social media numai ptr ca toata lumea o face.

Un al doilea lucru extrem de important este o intelegere foarte clara, numerica si exhaustiva a atitudinilor existente in social media fata de “punctele sensibile” din universul brandului/produsului/companiei. cat de grava este problema? cat de multi oameni doresc sa intre in conversatie? Cati au acces si influenta? cat de multi din consumatorii nostri sunt parte din conversatie?

Am avut la un moment-dat tendinta sa listez ca punct important si evaluarea gradului de autoritate pe care il reprezinta social media in procesul de relationare cu brandul/produsul/compania. Imi diagnostichez copilul pe baza celor auzite aici? Imi risc recolta pentru ca un anonim din Wisconsin povesteste ca i-au luat pantalonii foc de la ingrasamant? Initial am vrut sa raspund cu nu. Dar mi-am dat seama ca, INDIFERENT DE CATEGORIE, opinia social media, pentru ca pare dezinteresata, pentru ca e gratis, pentru ca e covarsitoare, VA CONTA.

Am trecut deci la urmatorul punct, evaluarea pregatirii organizatiei pentru social media (social media readiness). Desi nu este un punct esential, e cat de cat relevant sa stii daca organizatia te va sustine sau intelege de ce vei implementa lucruri care pot “zdruncina” status quo-ul.

Finalmente, m-am gandit ca ultimul pas si cel mai important este sa stabilesti daca ceva, orice, din amprenta ta digitala te ajuta la conturarea strategiei de social media. Exista vreun locsor de lumina? Ai facut ceva bine? Cineva a inteles corect mesajul tau si daca da ce ai facut atunci ca sa se intample asta?

Daca raspunsul este nu, atunci nu-ti ramane de facut decat sa dezvolti proactiv instrumente, continut si initiative online care sa inceapa munca dificila de rezolvare a problemelor tale de imagine. Strategia se numeste DO vs ARGUE. Spre exemplu, in loc sa raspunzi pe forumuri la acuze, strange-le pe toate, gaseste un leitmotif si ofera un instrument prin care oamenii sa isi raspunda singuri la intrebari. In loc sa dai retractari incearca sa anunti ca ai lansat ceva care sa antameze punctul nevralgic.

Raman cu cateva intrebari inca neraspunse: multi mi-au spus ca trebuie sa actionezi “transparent, deschis, onest, sa vii in intampinarea conflictului”. Ma intreb daca e o idee buna. Foarte multi mi-au sugerat discutia. Si aici ma intreb daca punerea unor subiecte sensibile in “agora” e rezonabil.

Voi ce credeti?

LATER EDIT: Titus, intrebarea era pur teoretica ptr ca am citit un studiu care spunea ca tot mai multe dintre companiile FTSE 500 incep sa isi bage degetele in social media :). Pana acum numai cele cu potential pozitiv au incercat dar pe masura ce creste presiunea de a intra si ptr restul problemele sunt tot mai mari

image via (thanks!)

Trec in fiecare dimineata in drum spre birou pe langa o spalatorie cu program extins care se deschide pe la 6. Si pentru ca imediat dupa spalatorie e o intersectie si de cele mai multe ori prind rosu, am timp sa ma uit la baietii de la spalatorie care isi asteapta clientii fumand o tigara sau band cafea din nelipsitele paharute de plastic Nescafe. Viata mea si vietile lor sunt la fel de rutinate: eu stau in masina si ma uit la ei, ei stau pe bancutele de lemn si fumeaza si beau cafea in asteptarea masinilor murdare.

Ma frapeaza in fiecare dimineata acelasi personaj. Spalatoria nu e suficient de “cool” incat sa aiba tricouri personalizate pentru angajati asa ca baietii spala masini in hainele de acasa si asteapta in hainele cu care au venit imbracati. Dintre ei unul e mereu la fel imbracat si mereu suprinzator (ca Romania, deh). Desi probabil ca te uzi din cap pana in picioare spaland masini, el poarta mereu blugi pavoazati cu niste inscriptii, putin mulati catre glezna, putin scurti sa arate aceeasi glezna, camasa sau tricou de “baietzas”, mulate sau cambrate cu guler inalt si scrobit la camasa, pantofi cu varful lung si putin incovoiat de la mers, geaca de piele. In fiecare zi.

Nu inteleg ce face omul asta la spalatorie insa mi se pare neverosimila prezenta lui in fiecare dimineata, in “ambalajul” asta de casanova de provincie. Am facut scenarii peste scenarii, ca vine zilnic direct din club, ca de fapt nu e spalator ci patronul, etc. In realitate omul isi trage repede niste cizme de cauciuc si un halat si isi face treaba grabit dupa care revine la vestmantul initial si se reaseaza pe bancuta, sorbind languros din paharul de Nescafe. Imi aduce aminte de alt personaj antologic, taximetristul de 24 de ani cu Dacia “intersanjabila”, un om care mi-a povestit de la Obor pana in Dristor, mergand printr-o aglomeratie absurda cum are el doua randuri de lanturi, doua randuri de stickere si doua randuri de casete pentru el si Dacia lui cu care, in timpul saptamanii, face taximetrie iar in weekend merge pana in satele cele mai infundate din imprejurimile Bucurestiului ca sa impresioneze fete de la tara “care n-a vazut ele masina cu stickere si baieti de Bucuresti cu lant la gat”.

Concluzionez trist in timp ce plec de langa spalatorie, ca suntem “falosi” nu numai la nivel inalt, cu oficiali ai statului care umbla in pantofi de mii de euro si cu masini nejustificat de scumpe, ci peste tot. Genul asta de disonanta intre ce facem si ce aratam este prezent peste tot. De la baiatul de la spalatorie care nu poarta hainele bune la munca ptr ca e mandru de ce face ci pentru ca vrea sa spuna “eu sunt aici din greseala, de fapt as putea fi manechin la Botezatu” pana la ministrii care nu sunt capabili sa isi faca treaba dar isi etaleaza vilele si copiii trimisi la scoala in tari straine. Traim disociat: suntem undeva dar de credem mai sus. Din pacate nu cred ca traim aspirational: nu suntem undeva si ne vrem in alta parte, ci pur si simplu ne amagim ca suntem deja acolo si in loc sa muncim ca sa ajungem real unde ne vrem, inlocuim “semnele” locului acela cu simulacre. Ne fac cu ochiul toate furaciunile, ne incanta falsul reusit. Dar cel mai grav este ca stiinta asta ca suntem acolo in aparenta, ne impiedica de la cel mai important lucru: sa facem ceva sa fim acolo cu adevarat.

Ce inseamna asta pentru marketing? Probabil ca platforme de comunicare bazate pe ideea de ambitie, de munca rasplatita, de valoare reala pot ramane unele de nisa. Probabil ca pentru un brand mass market, promotia cu cateva telefoane lucioase o sa mearga mai bine.

Ma intreb insa cum putem sa impacam si capra zi varza? Cum putem sa vindem si sa transmitem si ceva sentiment corect (da, stiu ca suna habotnic, insa cred ca e treaba celor cu acces la comunicare in masa sa se gandeasca putin si ce fel de “educatie” fac cu mesajele lor). Cum naiba sa facem o excursie la manastirile din Bucovina la fel de faina ca una la Nisipurile de Aur bulgaresti? Deci revin la intrebarea mea leitmotif: cum crestem o clasa de mijloc in tara asta?

Va aduceti aminte ca am reportat niste premii de la Okian? Aici. Ei, pentru cele patru am gasit un stapan demn in persoana lui Adinel Chirita care nu numai ca a raspuns bine si in extenso dar a si ales “diplomat” o campanie pentru un produs Google. Adinel, felicitari pentru ca intelegi strategie dar te pricepi si la PR :)))

 

Or at least if it wants to remain something of an option for people like me. I know a while back I used to suggest that Facebook’s smart layout is one of the reasons it has been so successful but hear me out, I have developed some more theories 🙂

The question is why are people online? And the obvious answer in the age of social networks is “for networking, meeting people, getting in touch”. Herein lies the success of social networks, where people do mostly two of three things: watch other people, do things to get attention, get information. The whole social network thing is a long and pointless tease for people who want to get together with other people. Piggy backing on this online conversation we have brands who obviously will flock wherever there is a lot of people present.

So essentially social networks are like malls: you put nice clothes on and walk around pretending to look at brands’ windows in the hope the right people will see you and you will see the people you want to see.

So what happens in malls? You see the people you want to see, you smile (poke), you talk to them (chat), you hook up (relationship status change) and you purchase things (brand pages likes). Could you do this forever? Is this the rest of your life or is this just a precursor to more “real” things? And how much of brands’ income actually comes from malls? Well, in Romania a lot, still,  but look at a market like the US where malls are falling from grace with this new economy of restraint, and basically because people realized they only went because of the walking not the shopping. There brands have moved to places of more substance: like online shops, or their own locations in small but trafficked areas.

But back to social networks. I have 1500 friends. Three to four more add me every day. I accept everyone. Last time I have clicked on a link or a profile was three months ago. I log in to facebook five to seven times a day but spend less than 1 minute there unless i have mail or notifications. I scroll down, I see nobody I know, no interesting posts – mainly updates on people’s moods, no relevant info. I log out. Facebook does not do it for me anymore. I have come to rely more and more on Twitter and my RSS.

Because I am tired of the mall. I am not seeking for a date, a boyfriend, people to hook up with anymore. I have all that. So unless I can find what I think is ultimately the point of internet – CONTENT, USEFUL APPS – I am out of there.

Why do I think FB needs to upgrade its layout? Because unless it makes Top News the default homepage and allows for smarter ways to display content, it will turn into an immense chat room with a bunch of status updates and profile pic changes as content. Unless it makes “share” the predominant button, demoting Like, it stands no chance to take on google or the rest of the “content-managers”.

And one last thing about Facebook – remember when it was cool because it was new and only the smart ones were there? It was like a niche TV station, like Discovery or something. You went there because you got the trend setters. Well, now, everyone is there. So it’s more like PRO TV, it has a hit now and then but generally it;s just a place you say “yeah, I have a profile there too” about. Soon it will be common. And then, I wonder, will we be holding seminars about it anymore or just griping that, unless PRO TV, we cannot really correctly measure advertising results on FB so maybe we should use it less…

Food for thought.

W+K London is hiring a planner for Nike. Yeah, I know. Now, lots of us have things to do here and families and stuff but still I think everyone would stop for a second and think what if. Inorder to get the job, the applicant needs to answer some key questions about what a planner is and what he does in 2010. I think these questions are simply cool to ask ourselves even if we do not apply, so I am posting them here and challenging you all to try to reply.

  • What’s the biggest myth in our industry?
  • Define an insight.
  • Define an idea.
  • What is Planning?
  • How will W+K be making money in ten years?
  • Tell us something interesting.
  • Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why?
  • What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why?
  • What’s the biggest issue facing football?
  • What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?

I’ll be doing my own bit of answering but meanwhile, feel directly tagged Diana, Razvan, Stefan, Stefan, Costin and Elena (sadly none of you can be reached through your blogs anymore :()

FIRST ANSWERS FROM ELENA

What’s the biggest myth in our industry? That things are changing. Fast.

Define an insight. An useful truth.

Define an idea. Something I wouldn’t be ashamed to use as my life motto.

What is Planning? Educated common sense.

How will W+K be making money in ten years? By making people pay to see/ take part in its “advertising”.

Tell us something interesting. Talking on TV about the communist times a woman said: “Of course I
didn’t make money. Money were not fashionable back then”.

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Nike Here I am (Sofia B) – because they repositioned dancing instead of repositioning Nike. That and exactly 12 other campaigns till now.

What’s your favorite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? “Before” – because it escaped the “Yes, you can” Nike logic and still gave me goose bumps.

What’s the biggest issue facing football? The stake keeps getting smaller. It used to be about ideologies, then about countries, then about teams, now is more about players.

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? That his parents are wrong. Take “parents” as a metaphor. Please.

ANSWERS FROM ANA BULGAR

What’s the biggest myth in our industry? It’s all about sales :)

Define an insight. – the gut feeling in your stomach

Define an idea. – the outcome of a sum o thoughts produced by a community of minds

What is Planning? – being aware of the past, present & future and taking actions accordingly

How will W+K be making money in ten years? by finding the right people that will become W+K and are willing to share their lives publicly for it

Tell us something interesting. – we are fundamentally replicators

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Life :) because it’s the most interesting product in the world

What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? NikeID – I love the shared ownership idea of the brand

What’s the biggest issue facing football? – authentic experience (forgetting why it exists)

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? – believe in yourself

ANSWERS FROM COSTIN

What’s the biggest myth in our industry? That advertising  can change everything.
Define an insight.
A source of business for brands and glory for planners. Oops!

Define an idea. The sudden end of stupidity. I can’t remember where I got this from. It just got stuck in my head.

What is Planning? Always thinking about how exactly it will work.

How will W+K be making money in ten years? It depends if it is before or after buying the Nike business.

Tell us something interesting. I think Facebook is successful because, among other reasons, it gives people inspiration on how to live their life by studying the life of others. I may write a book on this when I grow up.

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Disney Pillow Talk and Atletico Madrid “It keeps me alive”. Both are built on incredibly strong emotions.

What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? Nike Hurt and Nike Beautiful. Because it shows you can really do fabulous advertising by using negative emotions.

What’s the biggest issue facing football? That the game got more physical rather than technical. Now there are less and less players like Maradona, Romario, Gheorghe Hagi, or Messi. You know, the small, the surprising, the spectacular, the technical ones … the ones who made me watch football in the first place …

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? Whatever the hell the kid wants.

ANSWERS FROM STEFAN

* What’s the biggest myth in our industry? Real people are not influenced by advertising.It’s wrong. We have an incredible power to change a lot of things from opinions to behaviors.

* Define an insight. A blessed observation.

* Define an idea. The perfect tagline of too many thoughts

* What is Planning? The only possible job for a too inquisitive mind.

* How will W+K be making money in ten years? From a new agency structure based on a small crew of creative people from different areas.

* Tell us something interesting. Nike plays in lifestyle industry along with many other brands from many markets. The competition is fierce and the share of mind is getting smaller everyday.

* Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Gatorade Replay. Because it is based on a very simple observation of everyday life.

* What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? Write the future because Nike owned the championship in people’s mind not in commercial contracts.

* What’s the biggest issue facing football? Players’performance is related to marketing activities not to sport success

* What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? Something to be re-written. again and again.

MY ANSWERS

  • What’s the biggest myth in our industry? – that people care as much about the super bowl ads as they do about the super bowl 😛
  • Define an insight – an insight is the active observation of a new or yet unexplored way in which the consumer interacts with or relates to a product, situation, fact
  • Define an idea – an idea is a way to create positive tension between a brand and an audience so much so that the audience feels the urge to interact with the brand in a way
  • What is Planning? – planning is the art of making insights into business tools
  • How will W+K be making money in ten years? – in 10 years W+K will be an idea brokerage house, acting as an intermediary between brands and idea creators and getting paid a commission for every new idea and every new idea creator spotted; it will also thrive from talent development – training and coaching potential idea creators
  • Tell us something interesting – ever since internet came along the life span of fads/trends has decreased exponentially making it possible to envisage one second wonders in the economy of the world wide web
  • Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? – Crispin’s Got Milk campaign because it’s textbook insight, into idea into pop culture.
  • What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? Nike Basketball, because it genuinely gives me goosebumps every time I watch it (weirdly enough more so than the one about the future). Because for me it’s a great example of what advertising can be and what makes a brand a brand.
  • What’s the biggest issue facing football? – Those who watch the “big” games on the telly play it better and more for real than those playing in on the telly in the “big games”. Real football should be relinquished back to the people. after all nike is about the people, the www is about the people, and we are the first generation which is going to live longer than the generation we fathered because those damned kids don;t exercise enough.
  • What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? – I have the power

ANSWERS FROM ADRIAN

What’s the biggest myth in our industry?(advertising, that is) – Everybody knows advertising, right? There is a saying in my country that here everybody is an expert on politics, advertising and football. Now that’s a myth! So, according to that I should be an ideal candidate for this job because I already have two of the requested characteristics.

Now, if I were to talk about myths in advertising I’d say that the one I hate the most it that advertising is necessary only when business is slow. Unfortunately this is the biggest mistake a brand manager could do and I see it very often. Advertising should be continuous and coherent throughout the marketing process. A planner should be able to argue and convince any brand manager by his insights that advertising is needed in different forms.

• Define an insight. – I am going with the guys that say that an insight is a feeling of deeper understanding on this one. Understanding of what drives peoples’ behaviour in a certain situation. I also think that an insight is more likely to appear after long periods of using a product or embracing an idea combined with research. Embracing ideas, developing experiences and actually using the product are conducting to deeper understanding. Of course, time is always an issue and a planner doesn’t always have the luxury to embrace an idea or develop serious experiences and this is where qualitative and quantitative research step in to produce a clear and deeper image of that simple reason to believe.

• Define an idea. – Ideas are subjective. Most of the people perceive things differently due to different ways of thinking and education. So there is no universal definition of an idea. It could be an opinion, a judgement, a point of view or even a simple thought. So if you ask me to define an idea my answer would be “it depends!”. In other words if an insight is a feeling of deeper understanding than an idea could be an expression of an insight or even what lies beneath that feeling of understanding.

• What is Planning? – Planning is the connection between the product or brand and people’s daily lives. Judging by that, a planner must understand the right path that a brand can take directly to the consumer’s mind.

• How will W+K be making money in ten years? – If I tell you this how much will you be willing to pay me? Seriously!

• Tell us something interesting. – I actually think that Ray William Johnson could be a great brand ambassador for Nike although he basically just sits in front of a camera and comments on internet viral videos.

• Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? – It’s actually a Romanian TV ad for fois gras. You can see it here but unfortunately there is no translation in English. Although I think it is easy to understand what’s it all about … the little girl is being neglected by a not so attentive father who forgets to wake up in the morning, who is clumsy and doesn’t know how to dress her or fix her hair and on top of that who forgets to pick her up from her ballet lessons on Wednesday. In the end he fixes all his mistakes with a tasty snack. It seems very simple but there is a lot of strategic substrate in that ad. The father is faced with these problems because the Romanian mothers are changing, developing and this is an incredible insight. The crisis or their needs for personal development and professional success makes them work more. The fois gras is just a fast solution for the father and it’s more like a symbol of his way of thinking, trying to “buy” his daughter’s good will. It’s cheap, it’s tasty and it comes from a can. What can be easier than that for a clumsy father? Personally I admire the courage of the guy or girl who came with the idea for the t-shirt the main character is wearing. It’s more than a statement, it’s masculinity all the way!

• What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? – It’s Joga Bonito: Cr. Ronaldo vs. Zlatan Ibrahimovici featuring Eric Cantona because it’s not about wining, it’s about playing the game and enjoying it.

• What’s the biggest issue facing football? – Clubs are missing symbols. There are no more emblematic players like Ryan Giggs, Pep Guardiola, Fernando Hierro or Alessandro del Piero which played almost an entire carrier at the same club. There is no loyalty, no attachment. The main drive is money not pleasure of playing the game. Focus is on winning and not on having fun and this is why the game seems to be more like a battle. The question is are we that competitive or are we just enjoying violence and struggle more the technique and finesse. So if the player is an aggressive money driven migrant how can he be a symbol?

• What does Just Do It mean to a kid today? – Dreams are achievable.


ANSWERS FROM DAN [BODODEA]

• What’s the biggest myth in our industry?

o The Advertising site tells the story of humans on Earth: the excitement, vibrancy, reaction confirm that you are “Simple Man” (pure human being) and and not some Divine leaven.

• Define an insight.

o The gradient that reach people’s hearts; the evidence that you was there
• Define an idea.

o A personal but clear proposal to others to see the world, simpler, better, more useful.

• What is Planning?

o On the one hand, the planning is a discipline of summaries, clarifications, of patience, projections, has specific knowledge and tools, but on the other hand, has the naturalness and science of involving and motivating people to do things with purpose.

• How will W+K be making money in ten years?

o By positioning as a “guide through the tribes”
• Tell us something interesting.

o The World will share in millions of tribes, and then Nike will run stronger than ever
• Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why?

o Power to the people (What if a billboard could be more than just a billboard?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc3Eqa8TMjM – because it is not just a simple way to send people a great idea (the power lies in people), but even subtle attach a new meaning of the advertising

• What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why?
o NikeID – Because Nike decide to show that Nike shoes are not made by teens, but their fathers

• What’s the biggest issue facing football?

o The players have too advanced equipment (shoes and strategy) to leave room for talent. Where is the talent and how much are the shoes?

• What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?
o Mean: “Just follow it”

ANSWERS FROM DAN [SENDROIU]

What’s the biggest myth in our industry? That Cannes Lions is an Advertising Festival. In fact (most of) Cannes is to advertising what air guitar is to actual music.

Define an insight. It makes the brand ring true.

Define an idea. A brand’s opinion. May be wrong, but it should at least be interesting.

What is Planning? Applied curiosity.

How will W+K be making money in ten years? They won’t be charging money anymore, but likes for their FB page. Seriously now, they’ll still be making money from ideas in 10 years time.

Tell us something interesting. Did you know that true randomness is extremely hard to generate? No software can do it. You need some actual physical device that measures a natural phenomenon and translates that into bytes.

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why? Tap Project. Because it just works on so many levels.

What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why? “Before” because it’s made from stuff that was there but nobody else thought of using and it’s brilliant.

What’s the biggest issue facing football?We’re all clinging to heroes but it seems to me that teams are becoming so important that there’s increasingly little room left for individual (on the field) shine.

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?If it’s his dad’s favorite slogan, Nike is in trouble 🙂

ANSWERS FROM IOANA G

What’s the biggest myth in our industry?
post-rationalization is a bad, bad thing.

Define an insight.
something that makes you feel a bit of a manipulator

Define an idea.
a brilliant thought with a purpose, easy to explain to everybody

What is Planning?
the science of being fascinated; promoting fascination to people

How will W+K be making money in ten years?
how about not making it, but collecting it and spending it on saving the earth?

Tell us something interesting.
physical rewards turn people off. proved.

Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why?
ooh. I can’t pick one. monster.com, pot noodle (and most of the apg papers built on the dirty human side, which is, well.. so insightful). “the great schlep”, for it’s informal efficiency. toohey beer economy, for its simplicity.. this question really frustrates me, I can’t pick one.

What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why?
Beautiful. I bet my money on showing the beautiful side of negative emotions.

What’s the biggest issue facing football?
losing the honor of representing the modern wars. trivia all the way.

What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?
the culture of experiencing all kinds of stuff. and being in a hurry.

ANSWERS FROM DANA

◦                What’s the biggest myth in our industry?

That there are some things that advertising, by itself, can’t do.

◦  Define an insight.

A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before.

◦  Define an idea.

Something that alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity.

◦                What is Planning?

Something invisible if done right and something really obvious if done wrong.

◦              How will W+K be making money in ten years?

By sharing their mind-reading skills

◦                Tell us something interesting.

One in 10 Europeans is allegedly conceived in an Ikea bed.

◦                Which piece of work do you wish you’d made, and why?

“The best job in the world” – 1. Earned media coverage valued at over AUD$400 million; 2. First ever campaign to win 3 Grand Prixs (Cyber, PR and Direct); 3. Love at first sight.

◦           What’s your favourite piece of Nike work from anywhere in the world, and why?

Nike Basketball – made me think I could fly.

◦           What’s the biggest issue facing football?

The game and the passion are about to become extinct because of ignorant investors.

◦      What does Just Do It mean to a kid today?

“You’re way smarter than your mom & dad”.

I am so happy I have a reason to write about planning. And the reason is the 2010 Planner Survey published by Heather and brought to my attention by Dana, who’s a digital planner with Grey Romania. I am embedding the survey below and obviously have some comments of my own (if you want to download the survey, visit Heather’s blog here)

The Planner Survey 2010

View more documents from Heather LeFevre.
Despite what some have said Romania is faring well still with 14 planners having answered which means that there should be at least half as many plus around. One thing which we need to take away from the numbers is not the amount of planners but rather the degree to which they are connected to a larger, more global community of the trade and the degree to which they are in contact with people who do the same thing as they do in other countries. This survey does not get distributed officially in all agencies in the world so if you filled it in you have HEARD about it from your community. In that respect Romania has quite a number of involved planners. Naturally Brazil blows my mind with the number of people in the know, but on the other hand, while we all appreciate the quality of made in Brazil ads, I still have to dig deep to think of an known planner there.
Memo to self: learn more about planning in Brazil.
What I find intriguing is that only 30% of respondents are just planners and just that. The rest – a whopping 70% are directors of something :D. It’s either that mid-level planners are not as in touch with the community as they should be or that their seniors are not teaching them right OR, and this, I find worrying because it’s something we are certainly facing in Romania – there is a shortage of new faces and the new generation of planners is keeping us waiting. I think this is somehow happening in Romania because, what with the crisis and all, there is less investment in raising a new generation and the seniors have also decided maybe it is time to look to something which gets more money.
The third thing I find intriguing is that despite the time passed, feeling is still evenly spread between those who think planners get respect and those who think we don’t. I would have expected that by 2010 there’d be more planners feeling they are well respected and needed in their agencies. In this respect, Heather has a previous post where she points out a weird discrepancy between Romania and the rest of the world. The post is here, and basically it shows that, unlike countries with hundreds of planners, Romania has planners which feel they are quite respected and needed. This, I think supports the theory that those planners which were around four years ago, are still there and no new ones have surfaced.
Which brings me to a previous post of mine, which I’d like to re-mention here. Come on, guys, let’s try again 😀
Finally, I find it strange that the percentage of planners who choose to use social media to express themselves – Twitter and blogs, is so small seeing that they mention those same tools as being among the most frequent ones they have to include in their thinking.
And naturally, a bit of bragging at the end – LOOK MOM, I got mentioned in the planning survey among the good guys. Look look, it’s me – there!!

2009 has been a year when on several occasions I have had to look people in the eye and say, yes, we can do this without being 100% certain we could. It was also the year when, leaving behind the sweet non-committal years of strategic planning, I have had to put a price on what I believed to work or not.

Scamp places planners last on the list of people who should be asked to comment or have a say in the final form of a TVC (read here), and, somehow, he may be right because, unless the kind of planner you are makes you take responsibility for your recommendations, sometimes the environment can release you from the burden of a final decision.
Not so in 2009, when, after being asked how much I was willing to pay if my agency screwed up a project, I again found myself in a situation where the full burden of a budget was placed on one thing alone. In December 2009 I was asked if I thought replacing the full offline budget (non-trade) of an FMCG brand with online activities was going to increase its brand awareness and brand profile sufficiently to warrant a volume increase. In a crisis year.
I said yes and I am confident that we can make it happen BUT I find myself aware of the scarcity of tools at my disposal to give me the confidence I had offline that my answer was not hasty.
Think of these:
First, we cannot/will not/ have not measure[d] the impact of online over brand. Second, we have approximate tools to recommend media planning and split of budgets according to website clusters. Third, we are fully unequipped to complete the conversion funnel online for anything other than items which can be sold online. Fourth, we cannot measure something that has become more than 50% of the online time of users: social media. Fifth, most relevant social media channels are NOT monitored in Romania. Sixth, we are slowly but surely losing the credibility battle online now that concepts such as branded content, brand utility or brand spaces have but been buried by the financial crisis.
So, do I feel confident? No. Do I think I have my work cut out for me in 2010. Hell yeah! 😀


APG UK is as active as ever and they have published a book entitled The Gold Standard, which contains all the award winning cases from the APG Creative Awards.
“Since the APG Creative Strategy Awards began, in 1993, fifty-one papers have received the accolade of a Gold Award, out of around 900 papers submitted. APG chairman Matt Willifer has brought these papers together into an unparalleled collection of great strategic thinking: thinking that is not just impressive on paper, but which has directly resulted in great and effective work. The papers have been arranged, not chronologically nor by original judging category, but by the different strategic approaches demonstrated. This book thus provides a structured framework to show the different ways, and points in the process, where great strategic thinking can really make a difference” says the APG.
If you would like to get this book APG Romania is considering ordering a big batch so let us know by writing to contact@apgromania.ro. We do not know if we can get it for free but we’ll try to get preferential price 🙂

For some time now I have been writing strategy editorials for Strategic.ro and promising to translate them for the blog. Obviously, I have not had the time so I am simply posting them here with links so you know what I have been thinking about.
1. Bucharest makes us pay a heavy toll, in that it puts us in a mindset where we seem to think that only what happens here is relevant
link
2. The crisis has been sucking the very creativity out of communications and somehow we are missing out on the opportunity to tell stories.
link
3. How online may be more effective in doing some things, but it will never beat TV in doing others.
link
4. Measuring efficiency online and how we need to go beyond CTR and clicks and become involved with engagement and affinity measurements
link
5. How new planners have to switch quickly from a “boom” frame of mind to a “moderate” frame of mind.
link

This year the APG in Romania is planning to put forward an interesting document to help the advertising industry with reviewing efficiency. This document, which is the brain child of Stefan Stroe and will be written in cooperation with a number of APG members, is a “how to” for the Effie competition happening every year in the ad industry. The work is aimed at unveiling the most common “tricks” in writing a brief and enabling both writers of briefs and judges of briefs to get a better idea of what a correct and persuasive brief is.
The first draft of the document is being finished this weekend and there will be a public workgroup in the coming two weeks to get input from any planner or person involved with brief writing interested in joining. I will come back with details about this soon.
APG is also planning to put together the first Romanian Battle of Big Thinking so anyone interested n helping with that is welcome to pitch in ideas.
Finally, we are looking for some smart and savvy student of communications to help us out with logistics and keeping on schedule. We cannot really pay anything at this point but you will get to hang out with planners, plan meetings, contribute to texts and manage a website – which all are good things to have in your resume.
For interested parties you know the e-mail …

I have been counting the times clients have asked me to do something that will engage the customer with the brand. Lots. And by engagement they mean getting the customer to do something for or with the brand, to create something, send something, read something. I have this inkling that maybe consumers do not spend enough time or interest on brands to justify all of this interest in engagement. So, I did a little test on myself and a friend’s 11 yo. I tried to calculate how much of what we do daily is driven or inspired by a brand.
In my case, a paltry 7% most of which revolves around my Apple gear which requires upgrades, beautification etc etc, or Internet brands (the latest being my quest to find a good way to donate because wikipedia had asked me).
My friend’s 11 yo however spend even less time engaging with brands. Even if they are human brands like the pop singers she seems to love. Actually what she does it engage using brands rather than with brands. She does not do things with brands, but to brands meaning that brands become part of her daily cultural experiences. She uses brands visual ID to make her own decorations, she cuts down logos, pieces of ads and makes collages, etc etc. She takes part in contests when they give her something she needs. It’s all about her being free and unconstrained in her creativity.
So, somehow I think that all this frenzy about engagement for a bunch of consumers who really spend minimal time caring may be just a waste of time. Because really, there is not enough time in the day to become involved in all the things brands expect us to do.