Be selective about platforms to avoid the content fatigue quagmire, says AKQA Tokyo’s Claudia Cristovao

Brands that are focusing on Line in Japan are seeing success

With content online increasingly superfluous to demand, alongside a trend for consumers getting social media fatigue, brands need to be smarter about how they use online platforms, according to AKQA Tokyo group creative director Claudia Cristovao

Speaking at Adfest last week, Cristovao discussed the issue of brands posting content online that’ll never be seen, not least by the people that it’s intended to reach.

Her key piece of advice to brands was that human input would get the best outcomes from technology at this stage.

“If you are more likely not to know what to do with it, there’s no start to it. There needs to be a human input that tells technology what to do and what to achieve, we’re still at that stage,” she argued.

She said AKQA as an agency did get very excited about technology but it was careful not to let it override the “meaning or impact”.

“I would say that tech in itself is meaningless. Brands who know what they want to say and have a fairly good idea of who they want to talk to will find the technology needed, because the message will make the technology necessary. Either it already exists or they have to make the technology for that. It’s a more exciting way of functioning than trying to attach yourself to the latest technology for no particular reason. Experimenting is one thing, but there is a line that tips into vacuous borrowing and there’s no point in that,” she explained.

Another piece of advice was to move away from the concept that you have to be everywhere online. Cristovao said that this was an example of where brands were already starting to see success. In relation to Japan, she said Line was becoming a platform in which the brands that really focused on it were seeing returns.

“I think there are brands that are doing Line very well; Line Business connect especially too, it’s a really interesting tool. I think that the brands that decided to downsize and focus already have a much better chance. Instagram is very interesting, particularly in Japan where it’s growing rapidly and is still very fresh.

“It’s not that the possibilities aren’t there, it’s about who is going to have the agility to know what to do with them, and who is going to give up this idea that they have to be everywhere, which was really not helping and creates the posts that go to die in cyberspace,” she argued.

She said that the platforms in Asia, such as WeChat and Line, have benefited from being slightly behind the likes of Facebook from a timeline point of view, allowing them to better bake in the monetisation side. This is an argument that many have agreed with, including The Economist, although Facebook is adding more features into its messenger products, such as Messenger and Whatsapp, to attempt to catch up.

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Charlotte McEleny

Charlotte McEleny is The Drum's Asia Editor, charged with finding all the interesting industry news and insights from the Asia Pacific region. During her year in Asia, she's covered topics as wide ranging as industry overwork to artificial intelligence, and interviewed top CMOs such as Alibaba's Chris Tung, and world famous creatives such as Rankin.

Based in Singapore, she travels the region regularly, attending and presenting at many top events, such as Spikes, Ad Week Asia and Innovfest.

Prior to her role as Asia Editor, she spent 10 years working across the London marketing trade magazines, even picking up an award for Best Digital Team at the PPA Digital Awards during her spell as digital editor at Marketing.

All by Charlotte