Cannes Advertising Festival Seminar: Social media as an instrument of change

Credit: Campaign Brief

For those at the seminar who want further information, or for those who couldn’t make it, here are a synopsis, a list of key points and links to the case studies that I mentioned in my seminar at Cannes today.

SYNOPSIS: The advertising world is reeling from change – and it’s not just because they have yet to fully embrace social media in their brand campaigns. The problems in advertising are much more profound—they literally extend deep into the heart of capitalism. The core issue is that advertising and capitalism are dying the same death. Both are being challenged by powerful forces of social change in today’s new world: globalization, digitalization, social media and a loss of values. At the root of these pressures is also a powerful motivator: consumers want a better world, not just better widgets. This is motivated by a growing global consciousness that the world is faced with many severe crises, most of which are due in fact by capitalism’s myopic search for profits.

Today’s talk addresses what the advertising industry needs to do to reinvigorate itself, if not simply to survive. Advertising must first begin by helping brands recognize that the future of profit is purpose.  Brands need to convey to consumers that they add meaning to life rather than simply feeding self-destructive consumer greed. Instead, advertisers and their brands need to show consumers a sincere vision of a better future infused with values, consistency, and transparency. As such advertisers and brands must ultimately become architects of community, helping brands engage with consumers and build sincere relationships based on loyalty, empathy and trust.

The most powerful tool in this transition is social media, the focus of this talk. Advertisers no longer hold monopoly control over the story behind their brands, as consumers are now able to write, distribute and curate brand content around the web. Between social networks, video, mobile phones, and location-based applications, consumers now have the power, the channels of communication, and the personal connection to endorse or condemn brand messaging or behavior. Advertising needs to adjust accordingly. In fact, everything about how advertising communicates to consumers needs to be reversed—push must become pull, talking needs to be replaced by listening, and monologues must transform in to active, daily dialogues.

Ultimately, the future of advertising lies in making capitalism sustainable. To that end advertising must master social media and take control of the stewardship of their brand partners in this new intimately connected global community. By doing so, advertising will not only ensure its own future but transform capitalism into an engine of global prosperity.

Here are the case studies used in today’s presentation:

#1 ADVERTISING AND CAPITALISM NEED EACH OTHER TO SURVIVE.

1. Globalization: GOOD magazine transparency

2. Digitization: iPad magazines

3. Citizen media

4. Social issues

5.  Shifting Profit Centers

#2 CONSUMERS WANT A BETTER WORLD, NOT JUST BETTER WIDGETS

1. Search for Meaning

2. Caring and sharing, not just sales: Bernie Madoff

3. Dialogue and deep engagement: Zappos CEO

4. Social responsibility: Worldwide BP Protest Day

#3 THE FUTURE OF PROFIT IS PURPOSE

1. Vision: Coca-Cola Expedition 206

2. Values: Pepsi Refresh Project

3. Transparency: BP Spill & Birds covered in oil

4. Consistency: Sun Chips Biodegradable

5.  Benefits: HR, CSR, PR

6. Profit: Ethisphere chart

#4 ADVERTISERS MUST BECOME ARCHITECTS OF COMMUNITY

1. Technology is teaching us to be human again.

2. Own the relationship and you own everything.

3. Agencies must become day traders in social emotion: Tiger Woods data

4. Success will be determined by the quality of listening.

#5 REVERSE EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT ADVERTISING

1. Push is pull: Levi’s crowdsourcing

2. Monologue is dialogue: Nike/Livestrong

3. Talking is listening: Mountain Dew crowdsourcing

4. Image is authenticity: Dove Real Beauty

5. Center is flow

#6 CONSUMERS NOW CO-AUTHOR THE STORIES WE TELL

Technology:

1. Social Networks: The Conversation Prism by Jess3

2. Real time apps: Twitter

3. Location based apps: Foursquare and Twitter Places

4. Mobile apps: iPhone apps

5. Social Web: Facebook Open Graph

Roles:

1. Publishers: WordPress

2. Distributors: Retweet

3. Curators: Old Spice TV commercial

4. Disruptors: Nike’s, Write the Future

5. IP and R&D: My Starbuck’s Idea

#7 THE EVOLUTION OF REVOLUTION IS CONTRIBUTION

Mindset:

1. Adversarial to Interdependent: BICEP

2. Competitive to Collaborative: Nike Green XChange

3. Short-term to Long-term Vision: B Corporations

4. Self interest to Greater Good: UNICEF Tapwater, Earth Hour, Million Project

5. First principles to New media: Pepsi Refresh Project

Execution:

1. New species within marketing ecosystem: Crispin Porter site

2. Cross-sector solutions: Education, Technology, Branding: InterCulture.com

3. New alliances: Government, Private Sector, Philanthropy: Let’s Move Initiative

4. Intersection of media & social & mobile: Morgan Stanley Internet Trend Report, World Social Networking Map, We Feel Fine

If you enjoyed this seminar please subscribe to the blog to receive future posts. As for the rest of the week in Cannes, here are Part 1 and Part 2 of my blog posts that list seminars and workshops related to social media and the future of advertising. I hope you find this post helpful and please ask any questions.