TFOL At: The Future Of Advertising Conference

This week TFOL attended  The Future of Advertising event held at BAFTA. Organised by the APA, the IPA and The Marketing Society with the ambitious aim of predicting the future of advertising it was packed full of speakers giving their take on interesting and innovative ideas about the direction of

First up was John V Wiltshire who posed the question, ‘Are Brands The Fracking The Social Web?’. For those of you who don’t know ‘fracking’ is an aggressive, invasive technique for extracting valuable raw materials but without much care or attention to what is left behind. John felt, that  in many cases, brands and social media don’t mix. Interestingly however, he believed that Burberry was an exception, a great example of a brand using social media well.

The next speaker Bruce Daisley, Sales Director at Twitter, talked about ‘The Implications of the Mobile World’. Bruce spoke eloquently about how mobile has transformed our lives and provided some startling statistics to prove his case.

• the average person looks at their mobiles 150 times per day
• 38% of media interactions take place on mobile phones
• 25% of global web traffic will be mobile by end of 2013

Bruce also explained how Twitter was working hard to create advertising within the platform that looked and felt like the content and thereby respectful of  its environment. The launch of Vine was a good example of this, as it embodies the Twitter philosophy of  ‘constrained publishing’ which encourages great creativity from its users. Essentially Bruce’s message was simple and powerful – its about getting the right message to the right people.

Christopher O’Reilly of Nexus talked about how he was seeing greater collaboration between film makers and programmers within the advertising production world. Christopher showed some wonderful interactive campaigns and believed the key to success was ‘innovating beyond novelty’.

Next up, Neil Reilly of Passion Pictures spoke about how real-time animation was developing and creating some great marketing opportunities for brand characters like Compare The Market’s meerkat.

Simon Gosling of Framestore gave a really engaging presentation on his observations and learnings from a recent trip to Silicon Valley to meet digital mega-beasts like Youtube and Netflix.

Founder of Blinkx, Suranga Chadratillake, explained how when broadcast radio was first launched, it was explained to people as “newspapers that come through your walls”. Suranga suggested that, in many ways, history was repeating itself with internet television. The take away here was that when a new medium is launched it takes time for the right type of content to be generated.

“It was this big, honest” claims Tom Ollerton

Tom McDonnell of Monterosa spoke about the potential of second screen advertising. Although brands that try to get people to interact on a second device whilst watching a TV advert is still in its infancy, it offers many benefits including:

• It brings consumer closer to the product
• Helps to build a brand as well delivering a sales message
• The ability to collect hard data
• Provokes consumers into conversation about the brand and its advert

Jide Sobo of MEC Global provocatively suggested the only way to be creative was to be mobile. He offered 4 tips to brands on how to use mobile effectively:

• understanding the role mobile plays in your business
• use mobile to humanise your digital experiences
• think about mobile as your first screen
• integrate your customer touchpoints through mobile

Chris Goldson, Creative Sales Director of ITV, gave an energetic speech on areas where the broadcaster was innovating with advertisers and its programmes. Chris showed a hilarious old clip from Tomorrow’s World with its quite accurate view of the future technology.

The final and most engaging speaker of the day was Tom Ollerton of We Are Social. Tom gave some snappy insights from the world of social media marketing. The conference ended with panel discussion on the lessons learnt from a recent trade mission visit to Silicon Valley.

It was great to hear from an impressive range of interesting and informed speakers. The big theme of the conference was probably the growing importance of mobile.

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