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The One Show is an annual advertising award show organised by The One Club for Creativity, the same organisation that is behind the ADC Awards. The 2019 iteration was held this month where Nike won Best Of Show and Wieden+Kennedy won agency of the year. Together with the One Show Pencil, both awards are among the most coveted accolades in the history of the industry.
Today we’re speaking with Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club for Creativity, to see what are his thoughts about the recent One Show and the industry’s state of being in general.
The One Show finished, lots of great campaigns as always… Can you pick out 3 of your personal favorites and tell us why is that the case?
It was a great year for breakthrough creative with some amazing work winning One Show Pencils this year, but I have to start with our 2019 Best of Show: Nike “Dream Crazy” by Wieden+Kennedy Portland. Nike has often taken risks, but this was a big leap of faith even by their standards. They took a stance on what the brand believes, and stuck with it even at first when some consumers were posting videos of themselves burning their Nikes in protest and saying they would never buy them again.
W+K developed a campaign that connected with people around the world, you didn’t need to be a US football fan to understand what Colin Kaepernick stood for in the campaign. It transcended borders, languages and cultures. That’s why it also won the Gold One Show Cultural Driver Award, recognizing influential ideas and executions that had a major impact in their respective cultures and environments, and exist outside the traditional categories in advertising and design.
Another favorite piece of work was recently featured in Forbes for winning this year’s coveted One Show CMO Pencil: “Truth Is Worth It” for The New York Times by Droga5 New York. The campaign was selected by a jury of 10 leading global CMOs as the world’s single most impactful idea on a brand’s business from the past year from among the 19,445 pieces of work entered from 73 countries.
In a world of free and sometimes fake news, Droga5 came up with an emotional campaign that solved a really difficult business challenge for the Times: getting people to pay for editorial content. They went beyond a simple “please subscribe now” and conveyed the message that readers need to join the greater mission to save journalism by supporting it financially. The campaigns’ different executions showed in vivid detail all the work that goes into how Times reporters uncover the truth, sometimes even putting their lives in jeopardy.
After two choices that reflect serious issues, I’ll go a little more lighthearted for my other favorite: “Whopper Detour” from FCB New York on behalf of Burger King. FCB came up with a genius way to troll the competition, and in doing so, drove 1.5 million downloads of the Burger Kind mobile app in just nine days, propelling it from #686 to #1 in the app store. And it impacted the bottom line: according to Burger King, it resulted in their highest store traffic in four years, their mobile sales tripled during the promotion and have doubled ever since.
In the end, agencies are producing great creative ways to solve huge problems for brands.
How do you see agencies evolving in the next couple of years?
Agencies have changed dramatically over the past three-to-five years, and this trend will continue. They still need to become even more nimble. With fewer agencies-of-record relationships nowadays, agencies need to be willing to do more project work. That’s how “Whopper Detour” came about, as a project for FCB New York.
Agencies also need to work with other specialists in social, digital, data and consultancies to provide integrated solutions for a brand. Assemble different teams to be in the room to solve the specific complex business problems which come up with each project.
What is the biggest hurdle big agencies have to cross in that period?
There are two big hurdles today. First, how to get brands to value and pay for the creative solutions. Creativity is an agency’s intellectual property. It has intrinsic and financial value, and agencies must stand firm and make brands understand that they must pay for creative ideas. Second, but related, is agencies can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars pitching new business while also giving away their intellectual property for free. This is simply not financially sustainable. It’s not uncommon for a half-dozen agencies to be pitching a brand’s business, all giving away their ideas for free. No other industry does it this way, and it’s simply wrong. It also fosters a race to the bottom where, unfortunately, there often seems to be an agency willing to give away or cut fees more than everyone else.
Where do you see the next big disruption in the media/marketing sector?
We are in the nascent stages of voice, data and VR and AR. AR in particular has opened the door to an exciting whole new world of creative possibilities. But what we’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg, as creatives and brands continue to explore new ways to reach and captivate their target audiences. VR and AR might mature when 5G is really available, but it is currently limited by the hardware and speed on mobile devices.
Reflecting the fast-growing use and importance of AR and VR in creative marketing programs, The One Club recently partnered with Snapchat to sponsor a pair of submission categories covering those areas for this year’s ADC 98th Annual Awards. We’re dedicated to elevating and celebrating the great work in those area. Data is already becoming a huge factor, we will see voice maturing and becoming more natural as the data gets better.
If you can change one thing inside the agency life, one thing that will make a significant impact, what would it be?
I would have to say enhanced Inclusion and diversity, and gender equality. The more diverse agencies are, the better the communication and solutions will be for brands. We need to have agencies and teams that are gender balanced and diverse, and that reflect the culture at large.
As a non-profit organization, our mission is to support and celebrate the success of the global creative community. The One Club takes revenue generated from our global awards shows and puts it right back into the industry to support a wide range of professional development, education, inclusion & diversity and gender equality programs.
Just one great example of that is our Creative Boot Camps, where multicultural students from diverse backgrounds in locations around the world have the opportunity to work with the best agencies and creatives, and showcase their creative talents. During the four-day bootcamps, participants are introduced into the industry, learn about the creative process in advertising and how to create and present a campaign for a real client.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned over the past 3 or 4 years?
If you are not constantly learning, you will become outdated and irrelevant very quickly! Stay curious, be open-minded, pay attention to both industry and consumer trends. Surround yourself with people smarter than you and listen to what they say. Learn applications or coding. When a new platform or social media channel emerges, jump right in and explore. Get to understand data and analytics. Be constantly inquisitive, and don’t fear failure.
June 5, 2019 at 07:10AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs