Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Highlights From ARF "What's Next" Workshops

Taddy Hall, chief strategy officer at the Advertising Research Foundation, just sent over some highlights of Day One at the New York session of "Advertising: What's Next" workshop series.

I'm dissapointed I missed this year's workshop because last year's was awesome. Fortunately, my colleague Sandra Parrelli is going to make it over tomorrow morning to blog the early morning panels.

Here are idea highlights and key quotes from this gathering of serious thinkers and leaders on Day One, courtesy of Taddy:

  • If you accept the principles of co-creation, all advertising is interacitve.
  • Companies need to think of themselves less as a monolith and more as a hub of a network of related interest-holders, united in the purpose of co-creation of meaning.
  • There is a big difference between exchanging information with customers and dialog. Many more companies stop at the former.
  • Insight has many definitions but two basic functions: 1)create a new category (starbucks, Kodak funsaver) and 2)change the rules of an existing category (wal-mart, schwabb).
  • Innovation focused on functional benefits is a race to the bottom that rarely delivers enduring growth.
  • Inverting the traditional innovation process -- starting with core human values and then addressing the desired customer experience and only in the final stages focusing on product attributes -- can be extraordinarily powerful.
  • Larry Lubin: Two-thirds of what we see is behind our eyes.
  • Grant McCracken: Culture serves to organize the world's content into meaningful segments. Culture takes the form of shared frames that are employed, often subconsciously, to explain and make meaning.
  • John Forsyth of McKinsey on interviews with CMOs: A shocking two-thirds do not own innovation (then what do they own??). Marketing ROI is a fool's errand. High performance marketing and market research firms measure performance with business metrics, such as EPS and profit impact, rather than departmental metrics like productivity or return on research.
  • Jerry Olsen: "Deep Metaphors and Human Insights"
    • Marketing has taken greater interest in differences rather than explore for unifying universals.
    • Universals can be understood as "deep metaphors" that are unconsciously held and shared by all mankind.
    • Metaphors are central to making meaning. Each of us use about 5 per minute of speech.
    • Thought works in images.
    • 95% of what the brain does is subconscious
    • Levels of metaphors:
      • surface metaphors -- figures of speech
      • thematic metaphors -- cultural frames
      • deep metaphors -- universals
    • Deep Metaphors:
      • universal frames
      • unconscious
      • foundational: they structure our thinking
    • Deep Metaphors can be used as Design Criteria:
      • architecture
      • design criteria
      • advertising brief
  • The day's program concluded with Jeff Hermann announcing the news that Nielsen is launching a Video Game Ratings Service.


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