IAB Engage 2017: Afternoon Session

Posted on: Tuesday 17 October 2017

Check out the highlights from an amazing afternoon of IAB Engage 2017.

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Katy Newton, Experience Designer

Like VR creators, magicians tell interactive stories in front of a live audience in a 360-degree space where anything can happen, and where the need to direct the audience’s attention is critical to the experience. There are many connections between magic and VR, and by transposing magicians’ strategies and insights into creative techniques for VR, you can develop a potentially powerful new visual vocabulary for VR. The secret to magic is making the audience feel as if they are part of the process by seeding the emotional expectation in the audience early on.

Dan Hagen & Rick Hirst, Carat

Where do agencies go from here – we’re at a genuine turning point. Just like Tiger Woods, media agencies have lost their mojo and it feels like we’re always on the defence – which is wrong. At the same time, media has never been more important as a way to connect with people. To get the mojo back, we need to restore our pride in what media expertise is, to look more long term and to put people first – both internally and externally. We also need to be more client-centric, which involves simplification (hard in an ever-increasingly complex media ecosystem), and more transparent (particularly about how we make money) about where their money is used. This involves better metrics on illustrating the value.

Calle Sjoenell/Facebook, Iain Tait/Wieden+Kennedy, LA Roynane/Stink Studios 

Capturing people’s attention is getting harder, we’re scrolling through daily feeds on Facebook and Instagram, the equivalent height of Big Ben. To get scale of attention you need to be quick to capture it. There’s no particular formula to doing this but the industry is getting bogged down in detail and data and it’s all become a bit joyless. Designers should be having more fun with these platforms and experimenting. 

One area where we’ve got video wrong is using the same people who are good at creating a two-minute story to create something that needs to engage within two seconds. The key is designing something that people (a) regard as really valuable and (b) want to share.  

Mok O’Keeffe, The Innovation Beehive

Successful innovative companies display four key characteristics. One: they create and articulate a very clear direction and instruction around where innovation is to take place that permeates throughout the entire company and is directly in line with what the business is trying to achieve. Two: they create the right environment for innovation to thrive. This is achieved primarily through leadership, which tolerates and recognises failure. Innovation rarely succeeds the first time. Three: having a structure and process which facilitates the curation of new ideas by realising that the engine of innovation is every employee in the company. Four: by providing the right tools and techniques that enable innovation to succeed, including ‘hard’ activities like training and ‘soft’ ones such as encouraging risk-taking.

Jennie Price CBE, Sport England

A communications campaign was tasked with closing the 1.8 million gender gap between men and women playing sport in 2014. So, it started with insight as to why women were less likely to do sport and one key theme emerged - the fear of judgment. Thus, the creative aimed at tackling the complex elements of being judged, which required communication to be real and not patronising. The agency stopped people on the street and in gyms to find real people with real concerns, and the results included a 1.6 million rise in women either starting exercising or doing it for the first time in a long time. The second phase of the campaign was even harder to maintain this type of growth, but managed to generate a further 1.6 million rise in women exercising.

Professor Brian Cox OBE, physicist

Scientists use big data to understand the history and structure of the universe so they can try and predict the future. Essentially, it provides a framework of understanding the past, present and future. The lessons and parallels here for marketers when understanding consumers is obvious. 

Cox shared the reality of our multi-planetary existence in the not too distant future and the fact the sun may explode finally in 5 billion years putting an end to our time on earth.

Furthermore, science provides a lesson for the digital marketing industry; Einstein boiled down incredibly complex theories governing time and space into relatively simple equations and ideas. If that could be done nearly 100 years ago then surely all the bright people in the digital industry should be able to explain the mechanics of serving online advertising and getting to grips with accurately measuring the effectiveness of it.

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