Madison Ave Insights

Privacy & Data: 3 Predictions from FTC Commissioner Julie Brill

Posted in Advertising, Legislation, Privacy, Regulatory

Advertising Week has always been an important week to those in the industry, and last week I sat down with Advertising Week’s Executive Director, Matt Scheckner, to talk about this year’s Advertising Week and how it reflects the changing face of the industry.  When discussing Advertising Week’s mission – Matt named education as one of the most important factors, and that’s certainly “The Way I See It.”

For the third year in a row, Davis & Gilbert was honored to sponsor the 2014 Advertising Week annual privacy/data forum, “Mission Impossible IV: Truth and Privacy.” I hosted this forum in NYC, and had the unique opportunity to talk to those who have their finger on the pulse of how exactly data and privacy are impacting the marketplace.

In a two-part session, I once again spoke with FTC Commissioner Julie Brill on the current status of data and privacy, and we discussed a wide range of critical topics that impact the advertising industry.

In the second session, top industry creatives – from agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather North America, LatinWorks, and Venables Bell & Partners – shared their perspectives on how data and technology have altered advertising, as well as their roles, and what to expect looking forward.

The Way the Industry Sees It

At the end of the first session, FTC Commissioner, Julie Brill, left the audience with three predictions on the U.S. legislative landscape, European Union vs. United States on privacy, and the impact of the Snowden revelations.

Q
On the U.S. legislative landscape: will Congress ever enact legislation, or will the states continue to dominate legislative efforts?
A
A variety of states will continue to adopt data security and privacy laws, and pressure for federal data security and privacy legislation will reach a tipping point after more massive data breaches, greater awareness of consumer data collection, and an increasing number of consumers being affected by unexpected analysis of their data.
Q
European Union vs. United States on privacy:  will the divide grow wider, or will we come together?
A
On both sides of the Atlantic, the desire to realize the economic and social benefits of big data will drive regulators to create privacy and security safeguards that allow useful big data analytics to thrive.  Regulators will become more technically sophisticated participants in this discussion, and industry will recognize the need to address fundamental consumer concerns about big data.
Q
What are the lasting impacts of the Snowden revelations?
A
The industry is already responding to consumers concerns around privacy, and that will grow (rather than shrink) in the coming years.  Competition based on privacy attributes of products and services is already starting, and will blossom.

Keeping Tabs on an Industry Keeping Tabs on Itself

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Regulatory

We live in a world of product innovation. There is sea change going on in media and technology. It seems that there is a new media platform and revolutionary device announced every week. Advertising is the currency that allows the offering of free information and services in media to consumers. Consumers absolutely want free content and do not wish to pay for it. Advertising has evolved to keep pace with changes in viewing habits, device use, technology innovation and taste and content. To keep pace with the advertising evolution, there is a critical need for industry self-regulation. This is the role of the National Advertising Division (the NAD).

The best way to establish trust with consumers is to establish standards of ethical advertising behavior and enforce them, which is the job of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC). The ASRC is hosting its NAD Conference September 29 and 30 and its Children’s Advertising Review Unity Conference (CARU) on October 1. Davis & Gilbert is sponsoring the conferences, and among panels and presentations are sessions on best practices for native advertising, the use of social media and surveys in substantiating advertising claims, and creating sound policies for tracking behavior on sites that children frequent.

The Way I See It

  • I see self-regulation as being critically important to help accomplish three key goals:
    • One goal is to ensure a vibrant and well-functioning competitive marketplace.
    • Another is to ensure that consumers are protected and they get what they bargained for.
    • The third is to keep government regulation and involvement at a minimum.
  • The NAD has done an excellent job in helping to accomplish these goals. I see the need for the NAD only increasing in the future.

The Way the Industry Sees It

 

I sat down with Andrea Levine, a Senior Vice President at Council of Better Business Bureaus and director of the NAD Conference to talk about trends in self-regulation and the upcoming conferences.

 

Q
What is the role of the National Advertising Division (NAD), and what the key areas of focus and prioritization? Are there specific product categories and/or practices of focus?
A
NAD’s mandate is straightforward: We examine advertising that is national in scope for truth and accuracy. So, I would say our focus is constant – to assure that the messages conveyed to consumers are truthful, accurate and not misleading – regardless of the advertiser, the product or the medium.  We keep a careful eye on emerging industries or novel product categories and new – or repurposed – advertising channels. For example, NAD decisions have offered advertisers their first comprehensive guidance on Facebook “like-gating,” on native advertising and on claims made in Twitter feeds. As for priorities – it is always our priority to run a sound, user-friendly forum that produces strong, well-reasoned decisions and carefully monitors new claims and emerging issues.
Q
Why is self-regulation so important to the industry?
A
The self-regulatory system helps level the playing field for honest advertisers who make the necessary investments in claim substantiation; it provides a good education for advertisers who are less experienced and it gives consumers confidence that the claims they read or see are true.
Q
What does future of self-regulation look like?
A
We expect that monitoring will continue to be a significant part of NAD’s work, particularly in areas where questions are raised about the truthfulness and accuracy of national advertising. We also expect the number of competitive challenges to remain robust and expand to new industries and new products.
Q
What is the role of the NAD with the rise of new media – including social and mobile? What are the challenges faced?
A
Most of the advertising campaigns we see now include a social-media element – claims made on Facebook on a Twitter feed. As the social-media channels evolve, we will continue to examine claims where they are made. The lightning-fast evolution of social media is wonderful – fascinating and engaging – and it will continue to keep us all on our toes.
Q
What is the coolest object in your office?
A
One of my personal goals is to travel to one hundred countries. I’m making progress, and my office has a lot of little pieces of art that I’ve picked up as we’ve made our way around the world. But the very best thing I have is an origami box, made by my daughter from twenty-six business cards. I cherish it.

Advertising Week – Lights, Camera, and Action

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

It’s hard to overstate what a “thing” Advertising Week has become. Since it was launched in 2004 by the late Ken Kaess, then chairman of the 4As, Matt Scheckner, and a team that included Burtch Drake, Ron Berger, and Mike Donahue, the conference of advertisers and advertising professionals now comprises more than two hundred and fifty events and more than one hundred and ninety seminars and workshops over four days. This year’s attendance is expected to exceed 90,000 people.

And talk about spanning generations, last year, in addition to a parade and Advertising Week reps opening the trading day on the floor of the NASDAQ, the conference featured presentations as diverse as Sabrina Calouri, ‎Vice President of Digital & Social Media at HBO, talking about the “Game of Thrones” campaign, and Andrew Loog Oldham, former manager of the Rolling Stones, giving a master class on branding. Last year also saw Advertising Week adding a second venue in London.

Keeping the momentum going, the Advertising Week blog, launched in 2011, has evolved into the Advertising Week Social Club, an online source of insights and information with the goal to “be the most important ‘opinion column’” of our industry.

In addition, I am excited to share that for the third consecutive year, Davis & Gilbert is honored to be a part of the 2014 Advertising Week annual privacy/data forum, “Mission Impossible IV: Truth and Privacy.” I will host this forum on September 29 at The Microsoft Stage in Manhattan, and this year’s program will dissect privacy and how data is used in two compelling segments.

The first segment will feature a candid conversation with myself and FTC Commissioner, Julie Brill, on the current status of data and privacy in the marketplace and will discuss a wide range of critical topics that impact the advertising industry. In the second segment, top industry Creatives will share their perspectives on how data and technology have altered advertising, as well as their roles, and what to expect looking forward. For more information on this session, click here.

The Way I See It

  • I see Advertising Week as truly capturing the breadth and diversity of the industry. There isn’t a business, an audience, a media channel, or content provider that advertising doesn’t influence. And it’s the creativity and innovation of the advertising industry that has led the way in exploring the full possibilities of digital and mobile media.
  • I see Advertising Week also demonstrating the importance of the industry to New York. Along with fashion and entertainment, advertising represents some of the city’s most creative and successful professionals.
  • I see Advertising Week as an opportunity to connect and hear from some of the greatest minds in the industry as well as to discuss the most cutting edge and pertinent issues facing the industry.

The Way the Industry Sees It

 

I sat down with Advertising Week’s Executive Director Matt Scheckner to talk about this year’s Advertising Week and how it reflects the changing face of the industry.

Q
This is the eleventh year that you’ve produced Advertising Week. How has the event evolved from past years, and what part of that evolution are you most proud of?
A
The growth curve from 2004 to 2014 is straight up and it’s all grounded in the continued evolution of the thought leadership program. In the early days, there were just a handful of Seminars in one venue, the old Museum of TV and Radio (now the Paley Center). In 2014, we will stage right around two hundred and fifty seminars on seven stages, all in our Times Square “Hub.” Beyond growing in size, the scope of what we cover has expanded tremendously. Perhaps what we are most proud of is that there has never been a singular theme to the seminar program. Rather, we work the year round to deliver a broad spectrum of content tied to the most challenging, dynamic areas of the industry so we cover a very wide range of subjects. Going deep both horizontally and vertically is centric to our DNA and a badge of pride.
Q
What’s new and exciting for this year? What portions of the programming are you most looking forward to?
A
We continue to deliver a balance of what the delegates will expect, going deep on cross-screen, data, mobile, native, programmatic and video, for example, but we also go in unexpected directions and continue to build a bridge to the broader arena of popular culture. So for 2014, we are thrilled to have Tasting Table with us, in conversation with Mario Batali, Daniel Boulud, and Dominique Ansell, followed by Jamie Oliver who is coming over from London. We’re equally thrilled to have Lincoln Center on the program of the first time with an extended Seminar around marketing to the performing arts featuring Bravo’s Andy Cohen. And we’re excited to present the leadership of the new AMSG entity which enjoins music industry powerhouse Irving Azoff with James Dolan and Madison Square Garden who will appear together along with independent film icon, Harvey Weinstein. We’re also quite pleased to have Sir Martin Sorrell, Michael Roth, Yannick Bollore, Maurice Levy and Miles Nadal all on the agenda, along with Arianna Huffington, Marissa Mayer, and Sheryl Sandberg. There is also a big UK presence here in New York City for Advertising Week XI, a direct outcome of the success of Advertising Week Europe which returns to London for the third time March 23-27. Centaur is leading the way presenting Jessica Alba, and we also have Haymarket’s Campaign with their Editor Claire Beale in conversation with Sir John Hegarty, Chuck Porter and Tham Kai Meng, The Drum and D&AD all on the program along with The Lighthouse Company and S.I. Partners. And our buddy Chris Goldson of ITV is chairing a session as well. We love that trans-Atlantic crossover. Sustaining four full days is also something we really strive for and we are strong right to the end with the last seminar of the week on October 2 featuring Carolyn Everson in conversation with NFL Hall of Famer, Michael Strahan. So we begin with a bang Monday early morning, and end with a bang late Thursday.
Q
What do you see as the mission of Advertising Week? Is it simply an opportunity for advertising people to celebrate – and network with – advertising people, or does it have a broader, and maybe more subtle, impact?
A
It all comes down to education, enlightenment, engagement and entertainment. By definition, all of the night-time big concerts, comedy and dinners, etc. only really work as well as they do because that programming all sits on top of a day-time thought leadership foundation. Cause and social impact are also deeply engrained into the fabric of Advertising Week, which is why the Ad Council is bring celebrated this year as long-time President Peggy Conlon steps down and why we stage Seminars like “Doing Good Still Matters” featuring the founder of War Child and leaders from other major causes including the Global Poverty Project and ALS.
Q
How have you seen the industry itself change in the past eleven years?  Obviously the explosion of social and mobile media has altered the media landscape, but are there other changes you’ve seen that maybe overlook in our obsession with all things digital (and millennial)?
A
Well, it really is all about that convergence of technology, content and distribution. We have watched an amazing rise of new players, technologies and accompanying lexicon. Android . . . Behavioral Targeting . . . Big Data . . . BuzzFeed . . . The Cloud . . . Digital Video . . . The Huffington Post . . . iPad . . . iPhone . . . Instagram . . . Mobile . . . Native . . . Netflix . . . Programmatic . . . ubiquitous WiFi. None existed in 2004.
Q
The Advertising Week website talks about “paving the way forward” for the industry. Where do you see the industry and Advertising Week itself in the next ten years?
A
That balance between big ideas that resonate; leveraging technology to foster one on one relationships and how the next generation treats “Traditional” media and how content is consumed will continue to evolve. Business models are going to have to evolve along the way and over the next ten years, history tells us new players will emerge, and long established players will wither away. So for Advertising Week – both here in New York City and in London as well as other parts of the world as we expand –  staying a step ahead will be our mandate. And rest assured, we will continue to surprise, every year.
Q
What’s the most interesting object in your office?
A
A letter my Mom wrote to the President of a rather average company, Otis Spunkmeyer, asking where she could find their blueberry muffins in South Florida. “They’re really exceptional.” My Mom wrote. They are not actually exceptional at all, they are rather average. But I love her passion, and that passion is what drives us to deliver a knockout program every year. I also own the largest collection of original photographs from “The Honeymooners” and have a number of them in my office, but that letter from my Mom always gets me.

State of the Creative Series: Interview with the CEO & CCO at StrawberryFrog

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Direct Marketing, Marketing

For the “State of the Creative” series, we’ve heard from Chief Creative Officer’s at: Ogilvy & Mather North America, Weber Shandwick, GREY, 360i, and R/GA.

For my final post, I turn to StrawberryFrog – a New York City Advertising Agency – to get their thoughts. Drum roll, please…

In my final post regarding the “State of the Creative,” I sat down with StrawberryFrog to discuss the state of the creative today with the agency’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Goodson and Chief Creative Officer, Kevin McKeon.

 

Q
In this new era of data and technology, what has been the fundamental change for creatives?
A
Scott: Well, there are new possibilities for creatives today compared to when I founded StrawberryFrog in 1999. You can be a creative in NYC working on say Emirates Airline based in Dubai, for the global consumer. At the same time there’s a massive amount of noise and, increasingly, a wall of indifference. No one cares about a brand. It is not loved. It is not important. That is unless you can make a brand relevant to people’s lives, or the way they understand things. If you can make a brand speak in a voice that can resonate inside them and it speaks the truth that they recognize then suddenly people want to share that brand with their friends. Once that happens, it’s like a wildfire spreading. No one cares about a brand unless you find a way to speak to why you care about it. That’s why we love to do movement marketing.
Q
What does it mean to be a creative today?
A
Scott: Having awesome drive, being curious, never giving up, asking more beautiful questions (thanks Warren Berger), and being collaborative. Sometimes clients have great ideas. Being a creative today also means being able to use persuasive power to push off walls and limitations, to believe in yourself and your own ideas. Creatives are phenomenal writers: They said in the early days of the Internet that the written word would disappear. Thanks to Twitter and blogs – it’s back with a vengeance.
Q
How important is it for a creative to understand data?
A
Kevin: Well, clearly, the industry, and communication in general, is becoming more data driven. And that data is telling us a lot about the people we need to connect with – where they are, what they’re doing, how they behave and engage with brands. And everything we do, creatively, is about connecting with these people. So, yes, it’s critically important that creatives understand this data. Because it’s not about data, not really – it’s still about behavior, people, and what makes them tick.
Q
Is it harder to be a creative in this world today?
A
Kevin: I’m not sure I’d say harder, but definitely different. It requires a different, broader skill-set. It’s still about big, inspiring ideas, but you can’t just sit back and rely on what you know, the things you’ve been successful doing for the past five years or ten years. You can no longer just rely on your intuition, on your gut instincts as a so-called “creative person.” Now you have to be part strategist, part sociologist, part technology geek, part explorer, always moving, looking for something new. I think, in a way, you have to be smarter.
Q
In the market today, what does it mean to be the best, and what does it take?
A
Kevin: Well, I’m a bit of a purist, so let me start by saying it’s still about brilliant thinking. Beyond that, there’s really no single formula to being “the best.” Being the best is about achieving to some extraordinary degree what you personally set your sights on, so it’s not the same for everyone. The best storyteller, the best designer, the best at tapping into something deep and emotionally powerful, the best at selling in a great idea, the best at understanding what makes consumers tick, the best at understanding how to keep up with and humanize technology… It would be nice to be the best at all these things, but that’s a lot to ask. So start somewhere. Do everything in your power to be the best at one thing, and you’ll always be in demand in this crazy, evolving business.
Q
What is the coolest object in your office?
A
Our StrawberryFrog rooftop deck looking over Manhattan. It’s great for client meetings, brainstorming, and parties. It’s directly across from the New York Life, Credit Suisse buildings and Madison Square Park.

State of the Creative Series: Interview with the Chief Creative Officer at R/GA

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing

 

So far in the “State of the Creative” series, we’ve heard from Chief Creative Officer’s at: Ogilvy & Mather North America, Weber Shandwick, GREY, and 360i. This week we continue to examine what it means to be a creative in today’s world…

 

 

I sat down with Nick Law, Chief Creative Officer at R/GA, to discuss the state of the creative today.

 

Q
In this new era of data and technology, what has been the fundamental change for creatives?
A
The biggest change has been the growing complexity of media and the opportunities that this affords.
Q
What does it mean to be a creative today?
A
In our industry creative was once primarily about telling stories. Now that the media at our disposal is networked software, creativity now includes a range of systematic skillsets. Perhaps most importantly being creative today means collaborating with a wide range of other creative thinkers.
Q
How important is it for a creative to understand data?
A
Creatives work should be informed by the knowledge born from data. Often this means working with people who can decode what data is telling us. Regardless, good creatives take wildly intuitive leaps off this knowledge.
Q
Is it harder to be a creative today in this world now?
A
It’s always been hard. It takes knowledge, obsessiveness and courage to conjure something from nothing. The process has become more variable and less predictable; and so more challenging.
Q
In the market today, what does it mean to be the best, and what does it take?
A
This may sound crushingly obvious, but you’ve got to care about the final product to be the best. The only people who I truly admire in the industry are those with a body of great work. There are plenty of smart and insightful people with fancy titles. There are far less people who have consistently done great work. In my experience, the best are never happy until they’ve made something great, and put it out in the world.

State of the Creative Series: Interview with the Chief Creative Officer at 360i

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

So far in the “State of the Creative” series, we’ve heard from Chief Creative Officer’s at: Ogilvy & Mather North America, Weber Shandwick, and GREY. This week we continue to examine what it means to be a creative in today’s world…

 

 

 

 

I sat down with Adam Kerj, Chief Creative Officer at 360i, to discuss the state of the creative today.

 

Q
In this new era of data and technology, what has been the fundamental change for creatives?
A
We have more insight into consumer behavior than ever before, and we are living in a world exploding with content that needs to resonate for consumers to care and to be inspired to share.  Creatives are now using digital and social media as a powerful creative canvas.  To get to better creative and high-quality experiences, requires more collaboration in the creative process and the ability to build ideas and stories across touch points. But ultimately, it’s still about big, simple ideas.  Consumers don’t fall in love with technology, they in love with great ideas and great storytelling.
Q
What does it mean to be a creative today?
A
Creatives today can have a bigger impact on their clients’ businesses.  Marketers and their creative partners have opportunities to create completely new products and services that are integrated in to the DNA of the marketing ecosystem.  That’s a space where Creatives in the past didn’t have access to, but thanks to technology, user experience (UX), creativity and data coming together, creatives today can make a huge contribution to a client’s businesses.

Peel back the curtains and read the rest of the Q&A here!

State of the Creative Series: Interview with the Chief Creative Officer at GREY

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Media

Continuing with the series on the “State of the Creative,” we reached out Chief Creative Officers at some of the world’s leading ad agencies on: What it means to be a creative in today’s world? How many “legs” does an idea have to have when advertisers and marketers are targeting various demographics, each using multiple media devices and social media platforms? And does having all that data mean you or anyone else knows how to use it?

 

 

 

I sat down with Tor Myhren, Chief Creative Officer at GREY, to discuss the state of the creative today.


Q
In this new era of data and technology, what has been the fundamental change for creatives?
A
Broader thinking and a better grasp of the way people are interacting with the different forms of digital media. It was simpler for creatives when it was just television, radio, and print. We all knew exactly how people used those media forms. Now in order to really talk to someone, you need to fully understand the way in which they are engaging with these different media forms. It’s way more challenging and interesting now than it was then.
Q
What does it mean to be a creative today?
A
The same thing it has always meant. In our business, anyone who can creatively solve business or world problems is a “creative.” To draw huge divides between the creative department and other departments is old school, because the business challenges we’re facing now are so much more holistic. So everyone in the agency better be a creative thinker today.
Q
How important is it for a creative to understand data?
A
It is important that we all understand the way people engage with the digital space. As for understanding data, as long as we can read reports and know whether we’re reaching people and connecting with people, that’s the most important thing.
Q
Is it harder to be a creative in today’s world?
A
It’s absolutely harder, and one hundred times more interesting. There is no better time to be a creative person in the business world than right now. All creative industries, from music to Hollywood to tech to marketing, are merging. And, I believe our business is at the nexus of this convergence. We are collaborating in radical, unbelievable ways and we’re sitting right in the middle of it all.
Q
In the market today, what does it mean to be the best, and what does it take?
A
The best in our industry are brilliant story tellers. That will never change. If you can get people to engage with a story, you win. And if you can get people to talk about that story, and pass it around, than that story becomes part of the cultural conversation – and that’s the Holy Grail in our business.
Q
What is the coolest object in your office?
A
When you walk into our lobby there’s a message written on the wall in soft pink paint that says “Driver, surprise me.” It reminds us every day what we’re trying to do at GREY.

State of the Creative Series: Interview with the Chief Creative Officer at Weber Shandwick

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

As mentioned last week, we got to wondering, what does it mean to be a creative in today’s world? How many “legs” does an idea have to have when advertisers and marketers are targeting various demographics, each using multiple media devices and social media platforms? And does having all that data mean you or anyone else knows how to use it?

We posed these questions to Chief Creative Officers at some of the world’s leading ad agencies and will be posting their responses here over the next few weeks. Together, they should give us an interesting take on the state of advertising creative today.

 

 

I sat down with Josh Rose the Chief Creative Officer at Weber Shandwick to discuss the state of the creative today.

 

Q
In this new era of data and technology, what has been the fundamental change for creatives?
A
Well, I make a real distinction between data and technology. Data has meant that we know things we didn’t necessarily know before.  Creatives like knowledge. Sure, we have to let go of it, too, and just jam. But to truly understand our target to the degree we can in this day and age, because of data, we are empowered more than ever to discuss the validity of our ideas.  Technology, on the other hand, has simply expanded the palette for us with new media opportunities, new tools to express an idea with. A lot of times, a creative idea can start with, “Let’s be the first to. . .”  Technology allows us to break new ground more often.  That makes our jobs fun, interesting, innovative.
Q
What does it mean to be a creative today?
A
This is discussed a lot in the walls of agencies.  Creative, as an adjective, is something everyone is being pressured to become.  Account Management, Business Affairs and Planning are not, technically, creative disciplines, but the best people at those jobs are highly creative.  To be a creative, though, is not dissimilar to what it has been for a long time.  To be a copywriter, art director, designer, director, even a creative technologist – you study it.  You withstand years of critiques and going back to the drawing board.  You have more ideas killed than made.  Lots more.  And then you finally get an idea bought and you do everything in your power to make it according to your vision.  That’s the job.  It’s not nearly as romantic as it looks in the movies.  But that’s the dirty little secret.  The main thing creatives go through that no other discipline goes through nearly as much: rejection.  That’s built in to what we do. And it leads to greatness.  And that’s the only reason anyone would continue to do it.

Peel back the curtains and read the rest of the Q&A here!

State of the Creative Series: Interview with Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather North America

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

In case you haven’t noticed, things have changed a lot in the advertising and marketing industry. With bigger bandwidth and faster, smaller, cheaper digital devices, the world is staggeringly more connected. With home-grown, artisanal wine, cheese, whiskey . . . pants . . . the world is a lot more “local” as well.  And, of course, all of the choices you make – whether it’s the restaurant where you just ate, the starlet you just Googled or the selfie you just posted to Instagram – are obsessively observed, analyzed, and sold to by advertisers and marketers.

So we got to wondering, what does it mean to be a creative in today’s world? How many “legs” does an idea have to have when advertisers and marketers are targeting various demographics, each using multiple media devices and social media platforms? And does having all that data mean you or anyone else knows how to use it?

We posed these questions to Chief Creative Officers at some of the world’s leading ad agencies and will be posting their responses here over the next few weeks. Together, they should give us an interesting take on the state of advertising creative today.

 

 

I sat down with Steve Simpson the Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather North America to discuss the state of the creative today.

Q
In this new era of data and technology, what has been the fundamental change for creative?
A
Creatives now have the remarkable ability to learn from their work after it appears. We are never launched, we are never done and dusted, and we operate in a continual state of launch. We all get second (and more) chances to do it better.
Q
What does it mean to be a creative today?
A
The days of the copywriter doing the copy part and the art director doing the art part now seem quaint, childlike, and pathetically touching. A creative today takes on many more diverse responsibilities and possesses and uses many more talents. But these talents, although expanding all the time, are finite. We need to rely on experts, and part of our success is being good “expert locators” to do for us what we can’t do ourselves anymore.

Peel back the curtains and read the rest of the Q&A here!

Stuart Weitzman Turns Its Shoe Obsession into Success

Posted in Advertising, Marketing, Social Media

2014 has been a banner year so far for shoemaker Stuart Weitzman. The luxury shoe brand is a top choice for a dizzying array of starlets who love Weitzman’s combination of style and comfort – such as Beyoncé who has claimed to have danced a thousand miles in hers, and Kate Middleton who sported a pair of Stuart Weitzman wedges when the Royal Couple visited Australia – and the brand made a big splash with the launch of SWxYOU.

SWxYOU is a series of limited edition shoes that allow customers to customize their shoes by choosing their own colors and hardware. Of course, Stuart Weitzman, the man behind the brand, has always been an innovator, ever since he took over his father’s shoe business and famously started using materials like lucite and wallpaper.

The brand has also been making news with its successful expansion.  In 2013, Stuart Weitzman opened Zaha Hadid-designed flagship store in Milan, and 2014 openings include Hong Kong and Rome.  All told, the brand operates forty-four retail stores across the United States, sixty-two international stores, fourteen international shop-in-shops, and e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Hong Kong, making its footwear and accessories available in more than seventy countries.

Much of Stuart Weitzman’s recent expansion was fueled by careful data collection and savvy use of social media. The company uses offline data, such as in-store sales reports, in combination with online performance data, to gauge international audience preferences. It then uses those insights to drive promoted posts on Facebook in countries where it is about to open new stores.  For example, when Stuart Weitzman opened its new store in Mexico City, the brand saw 5,073 post “likes” and 46,128 clicks. It has since used similar campaigns to promote store openings in United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, and Korea.

The Way I See It

  • I see a revival of bespoke clothing and shoes. From Stuart Weitzman’s SWxYOU initiative, to suit and shirt makers like Indochine and Blank Label, brands are catering to customers by offering unique and individualized merchandise they can make their own via online templates.
  • I see social media remaining a key aspect of a brand’s marketing and advertising. Brands will continue to push out content via social media platforms – such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest – as a mode of connecting with their customer base. After all, many of us rely on social media to obtain the latest trends, news, etc., and brands have taken notice.
  • I see store opening events as not something of the past, but as a key player for brands. For all the handwringing about the demise of brick-and-mortar retailing, store openings can still be major events for brands that know how to play them right.  As Stuart Weitzman has demonstrated, smart social media promotion can drive foot traffic as well as virtual clicks.

The Way the Industry Sees It

 

 

I sat down with Wayne Kulkin, Chief Executive Officer at Stuart Weitzman, to discuss social media and world retail domination.

 

Q
What was the inspiration behind SWxYOU, and what have sales been like through that program?
A
Our business model has always been inspired by creating styles that can be customized by the various merchants around the globe. We gave the merchants the ability to choose from hundreds of thousands of variables in an array of materials, heel shapes, heel heights, sizes and widths as well as their choice of ornaments and finishes. We even give customers the opportunity to change the type of sole from leather to a variety of comfort materials like latex. So we thought in this world of bespoke ecommerce that we would give individual customers the same opportunity as a retail merchant – allowing her to have a wide range of colors, ornaments, studding, and heels.
Q
You partnered with SocialFlow – social media optimization platform – and use their Crescendo platform for your social media marketing. What did Social Flow bring to the table that made it a good partner, and what does Crescendo allow you to do that other platforms don’t?
A
SocialFlow and Crescendo are the firepower that helps us to cut through the clutter and ensures that people that are interested in the brand are seeing the content we work so hard to create.  We partner with SocialFlow to promote our posts as well as utilize day to day publishing through Crescendo. SocialFlow and the Crescendo tool use data and an algorithm that allows us to post content at the optimum time, to the most relative and engaged audience. Our publishing decisions are determined by looking at audience availability, topical appetite, topical saturation, and a risk assessment that includes audience and topical variability. Crescendo also provides an ad buying platform enabling clients to run ad campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. The product uses keyword targeting, refined by demographic targeting, to segment and target existing, potential and competitor audiences based on real-time conversational data. Through SocialFlow on Facebook we average thirty-five to forty percent higher engagement than when natively posting. Our results on the paid media side tend to be even stronger, with click through rates (CTR) as high as ten percent. Industry standard tends to be around one to two percent. Through SocialFlow on Twitter, we have an average engagement rate of approximately three hundred percent above retail averages and an average cost per engagement eighty-seven percent below retail averages.

Peel back the curtains and read the rest of the Q&A here!