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Key learnings from Vision Bristol 2014

Key learnings from Vision Bristol 2014
IPA Director of Marketing Janet Hull looks back at what she learnt from Vision Bristol 2014 which focused on creative freedom.

I like the team at Bristol Media; Caroline Marshall and Paul Appleby, in particular. For the past 10 years, they have been doing a great job to build Bristol’s creative community.

Last week’s Vision Bristol event was no exception.

Held, as always, in the minimalist whiteness of the Arnolfini, it was chic and NOW in tone. The speakers were top drawer. The technology worked.The audience was wildly enthusiastic. We were fuelled by power snacks.

The theme was enticing - Creative Freedom.

The topics were many and various, but all around digital, social, mobile and the creative design process.

Here are my highlights:

Building emotional connection

Alex Hunter (No, not the former IPA finance director! The former Virgin America marketing guru!) talked about fundamental change in consumers’ relationships with brands. They no longer systematically narrow their choice. They add and subtract during an extended evaluation process.

Reassuringly, some old marketing truths, remain, albeit in a new digital 'always on' context:

  • the power of emotion.
  • the importance of ‘WOW’.
  • personal relevance.
  • and continuity.

“We get so caught up in optimising cost that we forget about the emotional connection that builds the relationship.”

More pictures, less words

Amy Kean, Head of MediaLabs, Havas London, shared new stats about advertising activity online:

  • less than 20% of social media stories generate emotional responses.
  • sponsored ads get nothing.
  • it’s the most extreme things that are getting through.

Her conclusion was there was real pressure on creative to be really good. And that meant more pictures, less words. LSE research demonstrated that young people prefer to talk in pictures rather than words.

Mad Men meet Math Men

Nigel Kwan, Creative Head of Marketing at Weve, focused on the new era of creativity on mobile as ‘where math men meet mad men’.

He explained the wealth of rich data being created in real time, and how this could be dissected to produce ‘actionable audience segments at scale.’ Engagement in mobile content came from using all the different sensors:

  • accelerometer
  • gyroscope
  • barometer
  • camera
  • microphone
  • touchscreen
  • proximity
  • light source

Compelling examples included Fiat 50 – geofencing a billboard to trigger a virtual reality tour on mobile; and Oscar Meyer bacon – digitising smells.

Live your brand

What wasn’t there to like about Jimmy Cregan; the ex Red Bull festival promoter, now co-founder and living epitome of the Jimmy’s Iced Coffee brand.

With the ethos of ‘Keep your chin up’, he wowed the audience with his tale of entrepreneurship. Now in distribution in Boots and most major supermarkets (Sainsbury’s is his next target), and ‘cool’ places like Selfridges, Whole Foods and the BBC, he’s turning over thousands of Tetra Pak Prismas per week.

You couldn’t fault his enthusiasm for marketing. With a strategy based on the four E’s of Earn, Engage, Entertain and Educate, he was using social channels to the maximum.

In the real world, tons of sampling, and an ambassador programme built from teenage skate boarding enthusiasts in Bournemouth spreading his distinctive content via YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

It was difficult to believe that the company still only employed three people; Jimmy (marketing), his sister (operations) and one bean counter. (He plans to double his headcount in the next year!)

Janet Hull is IPA Director of Marketing and Executive Director of Creative Pioneers.

Round-up of two days of creative freedom at Vision Bristol 2014.

Last updated 21/11/2014

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