OFFF Festival 2017 Insights

Last week, we flew over to Barcelona to take part in OFFF Festival and to hear a keynote from Moving Brands Co-Founder and CCO, Jim Bull. We were also on the ground to hear what’s top of mind for some of the world’s best designers.

We were also in the right place to find out what some of the world’s best designers are thinking and doing. One thing, in particular, became clear, our digital lifestyles expose us daily to sensory overload. Our devotion to technology, with its constant bombardment of experiences and messaging, is dulling our senses.

In a world where brands are struggling to be heard, we need to harness the power of feeling to connect and encourage action.

Domestic Data Streamers opened the festival with a unique take on data – a topic we are all obsessed with. Big Data is often hailed as the answer to the world’s problems, from discovering life-saving medical treatments to, as Adobe showed us, taking the perfect selfie.

IMG_8599-copy

The challenge is, data doesn’t evoke many feelings. Which is a problem when we want to use it as a tool to build an argument or nudge people into action.

“The tools we have aren’t sufficient to understand and act on the amount of data we have access to.”

Domestic Data Streamers offered a simple solution: to connect, we need to find new human ways in which to present data. They showcased some exciting projects where they switched infographics for “info-experiences”. In one example, they represented data on real age and life expectancy with black and white balloons to significant effect.

By creating these simple experiences, large data sets can be made to connect with audiences more efficiently.

Similarly, Stink Studios demonstrated how they are harnessing the power of technology to create entertaining but resonating brand experiences, hoping to break apart the ‘creeping culture of sameness.’

By transforming a corner shop, they created a musical experience, sparked into life when unsuspecting customers chose Red Stripe from the chiller. What was exciting was the reaction it generated by making the end experience immersive and tactile.

Stink Studio's Musical Corner Shop for Red Stripe

New York based designer, Kelli Anderson reinforced the idea of lo-fi simplicity to create exciting experiences through the power of paper.

“I provide as little as I can, only what is necessary and sufficient. What happens between the user and the object is where the magic lives.”

What was brilliant about her projects is the surprise and delight factor inherent in her work. From her pop-out pinhole camera to her paper record player, her MO is to keep things as simple as possible, but in doing so, she sets the user up for a brilliant experience which makes you smile.

It is within these simple reactions that the power lies. By making someone feel, you can get them to act.

Kelli Anderson's Paper Record Player

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SportsPro Live Digital Sports Panel

Wembley Stadium, the home to some of the UK’s biggest sports events, became the setting for SportsPro Live. I joined a panel with Jean-Marc Paihol, the Global Head of Market Management & Distribution at Allianz, along with Louis Matignon, Multiplatform Solutions Manager at Eurovision, to discuss Digital Sport and how it is measuring up and following the footsteps of more traditional sport. 

I provided the panel audience with insights from a so called ‘millennial’, a word the panel seemed to agree was not in their favored vocabulary. For someone who’s TV isn’t plugged in and who’s daily consumption of content is all online, I shared my thoughts, experience and insights into how this audience reacts and consumes the content from these new digital sports. Whether it’s the viral sensation of Drone Racing, Virtual Golf tournaments or the FIFA Interactive World Cup, these digital sports are growing at a phenomenal rate and they’re being helped by how the audience consumers and supports them. Digital sports, esports specifically, is available nearly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Across social media, streaming platforms and news updates, esports is all-access which and some what of an edge over traditional seasonal sport. However, there also isn’t enough room for this always on approach, especially when it comes to massive events. The esports calendar is becoming busier, nearly too busy and a balance will soon be needed to give everyone involved enough breathing space to continue growing. This is where traditional sports can teach the digital equivalent how the balance could be found.

– Liam Thompson / Gaming & Influencer Exec

Where the Future Takes Shape

Arconic

Where the Future Takes Shape

Big Idea

Where the Future Takes Shape

Alcoa, an aluminum company with a 125 year history of engineering innovation, was launching a new brand in order to house its most advanced work. 

Our brief was to launch Arconic, and working with its brand promise of ‘breakthrough products that transform industries’, we arrived at the big idea — 
‘Where the Future Takes Shape,’ — a powerful platform upon which to start 
a conversation about the world’s technological future.

We created a digitally-driven campaign that tapped into ‘The Jetsons’ – one of pop-culture’s favorite reference points for the future. We set about remaking the iconic title sequence in live action with Star Trek Beyond director, Justin Lin and created a brain trust of leading futurists and Arconic engineers to consider what 2062 – the year The Jetsons is set – would really be like. 

The post Where the Future Takes Shape appeared first on The&Partnership North America.

Top Questions about Artificial Intelligence Answered

 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic at digital marketing conferences this year, and Social Media Marketing World 2017 was no exception. Talking about the future of AI can be mind blowing, especially when experts estimate that computers will rival (or even surpass) human intelligence in as little as 16 years. What shocked me more than these predictions was that this technology isn’t only applicable in the far-off future; there are actually practical ways to apply it to business today. Christopher Penn, VP of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications, was able to deliver some informative answers to the biggest questions about AI; where it’s going and how businesses should be taking advantage of it:

How do I know if my business could benefit from AI?

  • If you or your employees do the same task three or more times a day, AI could potentially solve it, because Penn predicts that if you do it with a template today, a machine does it without you tomorrow.

How can I implement AI for my business today?

  • You can get 1,000 machine-generated blog posts for as low as $250. Compared to the time it takes an employee to write one, there are a lot of money-saving opportunities for your business when using natural language generation software.
  • If you’re not ready to invest yet, there’s a free AI tool you can try right now. Anyone can retrieve immediate answers to marketing questions like, “How much does my competitor spend on PPC?” and “What keywords are they buying?” using GrowthBot, a machine-learning chatbot available now on Facebook Messenger and Slack. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

“Become the guy who helps the machines learn what great writing is.”

Is my job going to be replaced by a robot? How can I avoid this?

  • The harsh truth is, as AI grows, we will need fewer humans, especially at entry level. So business professionals should start developing multidisciplinary skills and think about learning a programming language like R or Python.
  • It will be a few more years before natural language processing starts to make content creators obsolete. To have a marketing career in an AI world, become outcome focused and let the machines do the heavy lifting. Become the guy who helps the machines learn what great writing is.

How can I convince my company and its culture that AI is important? 

  • “Scare them,” says Penn. Use competitors as examples to show how your company will either be leagues ahead or left behind if it doesn’t keep up.

You know the triangle where you have fast, cheap and good, but you only get to pick two? AI is going to change that. The reality is that computers are faster, cheaper and smarter than humans, so we should start finding ways to work with AI now. If you don’t, your competitors will.

 

How Diverse Are We?

Reporting on diversity is tricky for small organisations. Percentages can be misleading when a single hire or departure can shift the proportions in a category by 5 or 10 percent. And you need to be careful about what you’re publishing when percentages on charts might represent a single individual, you risk breaching confidences. Typically, as well, small organisations don’t have HR departments, there’s no one with specific training in what ‘diversity’ questions to ask and how to ask them.

Nevertheless we think it’s important to start monitoring our diversity and equally important for us to share what we can. That report is below. We’re afraid there aren’t any fancy bar charts, there’s not enough data to require them. There’s also a brief note on our method.

Doing this has made us wonder whether there’s a way we can join with other organisations to make this stuff easier for us all, perhaps we can share tools and techniques and create a useful set of comparison data. We’re going to look into that and write more soon.

 If you’re interested in joining in, please get in touch.

What have we learned from the data?

We need to be more diverse. We’re doing better than some in some areas; our creative department, for instance, is 40% women, but even that’s not the 50% it should be and that’s a highlight. We’re too male, too white, and too heterogeneous. We need to fix that. That will be part of our growth plan and we will report on our progress here.

Diversity at BETC London March 2017

(We’ve rounded all the figures so they may add up to more than 100%)

  • 60% of us are men, 40% are women. 
  • 33%of the senior management is female (ie there are two men and one woman)
  • More than half of us (57%) are between 25 and 34. 22% are 35-44, 13% are 16-24, 8% are 45-54.
  • We have no staff who would be defined as disabled according to the 2010 Equality Act and no one with a long-term health problem.
  • We are 57% white (of various British origins) and 26% white (from non-British origins). We’re 5% Black British, 5% Arab and 9% from mixed/multiple ethnic background.
  • 48% of us went to a state school, 26% attended school outside the UK, 26% went to a fee-paying school.
  • 78% of us went to university and 43% of us were part of the first generation in their family to do so.
  • 22% of us are primary or secondary carers for children. (So we’re pretty committed to be a family-friendly place to work)

Note on method

We did this by sending round a Google Forms questionnaire which you can see here.  

It’s based on this one (WARNING – Word doc) from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. They seem like the kind of organisation that would have thought this stuff through. If you’d like to use our questionnaire for your study please feel free. Get in touch and we’ll share it.