Peter Bidenko, ECD of Impact Proximity and Integrated CD of Impact BBDO Dubai, blogs on day four of judging with the Direct Jury in Cannes.
When I came here I was hoping to see work that was completely different. Direct marketing about three or four years ago went through an innovative period that changed the industry. While the basic rules of communicating to people as individuals (that’s why they call it direct) stayed the same, a whole lot of new channels and new thinking opened up.
Suddenly people were using it in different ways, big integrated campaigns popped up, digital started to be used extremely intelligently and human involvement in campaigns became prevalent. Then the last few years it seemed to plateau. 360 campaigns became formulaic, linking PR to a campaign became clichéd and strategies just seemed to copy other strategies. While there’s a lot of that sameness here, there are a few campaigns that rise way above.
Yesterday seeing all the finalists spread out I got my wish. It’s a small percentage but the level is beyond anything that’s been done before. Here are three observations.
One trend is to take someone from one emotional state to another. Grab them at a time when we know how they’re feeling (angry, sad, expectant) and shift them to another emotional state. It’s a hard one to explain, but it’s very powerful.
Another is the use of technology. The brilliant ones have an idea that then uses the technology to create impact. The far from brilliant ones take a technology and force an idea into it. Also the buzz word for the moment is Augmented Reality. I need to look into that.
Another is ambition. There are a few big campaigns that set out to affect cultural and political change. They look like they’re succeeding.