This week’s BRW magazine has another perceptive column by Neil Shoebridge, this time regarding the recent Cannes Advertising Festival awards. Shoebridge observed that this old-school ad-fest rewarded new marketing thinking this year.
The grand prix award in the film section…was not given to a television commercial, the usual winner in that category. It was given to Carousel, a short film and interactive website created by the Amsterdam office of digital marketing agency Tribal DDB to promote a new, extra-large TV set from Philips.
Australian ad agency CumminsNitro’s “best job in the world” promotion created for Tourism Queensland won grand prix awards in three categories…which made it the first campaign in the festival’s history to collect three of the main gongs. “Best job” relied heavily on the internet, word-of-mouth and media coverage to capture consumers attention.
The Philips film and “best job” promotion were examples of “engagement” marketing, as opposed to “interruption” marketing. It is not hard to figure out the difference: the latter covers marketing campaigns that interrupt people while they are doing other things, such as watching TV or browsing the internet, while the former hooks consumers by engaging them and establishing dialogue.
“The way the (marketing) world is heading is voluntary engagement,” David Lubars, chairman and chief creative officer of ad agency BBDO North Amercia and president of the film judging panel at Cannes festival, said. “The work has to be a magnet.”
It is heartening to see Cannes recognising the shift in marketing. Interruption is becoming less acceptable and less effective. Consumers react positively to great concepts and information that allow them to opt-in. The quicker agencies and media realise this, the better the industry will perform for its clients.