Reader's Round-Up: 'Le' Drum

The Drum Network's Reader's Round-Up, is a new series giving you the chance to share your views on the hot topics featured in The Drum. The latest special edition of ‘Le’ Drum, guest edited by Publicis CEO, Maurice Levy, provides the trending issues which are shaping the media and marketing world's conversations- our members divulge their opinions…

'Mixing It Up' David Guetta on the importance of brand partnerships fueling creativity

Tom Poynter, group managing director of Southpaw, talks about Guetta's 'cocktail of creativity':

I read Guetta’s interview with some interest. I for one find him quite a fascinating character…. the gaunt rave stricken face from his past, the long greasy hair combined with his shifty eyes. But it is actually his creativity and the understanding that he is more than just a music artist that intrigues me the most. You can see from his work that he understands the power of creativity and the healthy collision that consumers, brands and artists can all play to create something amazing.

If you get beyond the madness of his efforts with Ne-Yo, his creativity and production values are very impressive. Whether it is delivering multiple content through dual screens on the track Dangerous or his creative influence at the world famous Tomorrowland EDM festival, he is consistently looking to push the boundaries. He is not alone of course and the likes of Tiesto, Van Burren and Deadmau5 have all realised their potential in being brave and creating cultural experiences beyond just music.

We have been fortunate ourselves at Southpaw to witness the power of a cocktail of creativity. For our leading beer client, Miller Genuine Draft, we have had the pleasure of working with many global DJ’s and artists to create brand experiences centred around music and good quality drinking moments. It’s amazing to see the level of creativity they bring to the table, how they can push our clients and the brand to experience new ways of working and to ensure the experience we are creating is going to be meaningful and memorable. It is artists like these that make marketing exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable.

More cocktails please!

'Making Content Meaningful' is digital content now worthless?

Simon Alexander, group account manager for London Advertising, on the worth of digital content in a world where we are inundated with resources.

In a time when everyone is posting anything and everything about their lives, and a toddler being bitten by his brother Charlie can become an internet sensation, there is an argument that digital content is at least becoming a little inane. However, the question is predicated on the assumption that everything needs to have a meaning.

When viewing content online, I want to be entertained and this can just as easily be done watching a cat walk into a mirror as it can a film with Jude law dancing to win a boat in a bet. Clearly not all content is created equal and the film with 10 million views is more valuable than the one with just ten, but as long as ten people have viewed it (or even just one person ten times), it cannot be worthless.

Scott Dylan, managing director of We Are AD, on 'content overload'.

We’re living in an age of content overload. Hundreds of thousands of movies, books, songs, TV shows and endless web content is usually only a few clicks away and often requiring little expenditure from the consumer. Even if you only download or stream through legal channels, sites and apps such as Netflix and Spotify mean that consuming culture has never been cheaper or more accessible.

The sheer amount of online articles available can be overwhelming with multiple sites vying for your precious clicks. Our rolling news and instant-gratification era has ensured that there’s a never-ending sea of web content – with wave after wave crashing down on us. Whether it’s particularly good content or whether we want it at all is usually neither here nor there. Sieving through unabashed click-bait, trigger-happy headlines, mediocre listicles or brand-indulgent content can be tiresome, almost to the point that we forget the vast amounts of quality editorial, interesting thought-pieces and genuinely entertaining articles that are available to us.

With so much of our lives now on computer screens, or even your wristwatch, the amount of opportunities and access to a potential audience is undoubtedly appealing to brands. But, in an age where it can be a struggle to get consumers to pay for quality material, how do you go about positioning your brand and getting people to view your own content?

In the end it all boils down to high quality content. Because there is so much out there, consumers are ruthless when it comes to what they view online. If a brand approaches digital from a purely promotional side (whether that’s blog posts, social media or video content) they’re unlikely to engage the audience in the same way than a brand who offers something new or entertaining. Digital marketers have to think smarter in order to capture their target audience because if you want people to read your content, you’ve got to provide something worthwhile. Otherwise, there are a million other things that will turn the heads of the public.

If people are viewing (and enjoying) your digital output then they’re likely to have a positive association with your brand. Building your online audience this way could lead to increased sales and investment, which holds huge value for a business. Another advantage of the digital age is that it’s provided a voice to niche content that would have struggled to be heard in traditional media. Perhaps the opinions of your business are only of interest to a very small sector, but by offering it online, you’re more likely to reach the people who really matter to your business.

So not all content is meaningful but people are engaging with digital content more than ever before. The potential audiences are there and they’re open to consuming information in a new variety of forms. If you provide truly interesting content which is helpful and impactful for readers, then, put simply, it will perform better and be regarded more positively in the eyes of your target audience.

Philippe Starck, award winning designer

Philippe Starck, the designer whose products punctuate the lives of many, from plastic chairs to lemon squeezers talks about which brands he would passionately like to work with. Michelle Hill, marketing manager for Vertical Leap talks about her favourite brand.

I think Naked Wines would be an awesome brand to work for as they seem to have so much fun with their marketing. They just say exactly what they want to say, real language - no marketing speak - as if they’re saying it in person over a glass of wine. No matter what I’m doing, their emails will fully distract me - I’ll read every word and the style never fails to make me smile. They manage to connect with me on an emotional level that is about so much more than just wine - I love what they stand for as a business.

Clearly, being surrounded by wine all day wouldn’t be an influential factor at all.

Martin Heffernan, owner of Chapter agency, reflects on the brands that they would most like to work for.

This is probably one of the questions we get asked the most at Chapter. It’s always a good ice-breaker with clients and for years we’ve been giving the same answer. There are amazing brands out there that you’d love to work with and people expect you to say Coke or Virgin (we’re actually lucky enough to be working with them) or Nike. But the brands we love to work with are those at a crossroads, ready to take a different journey. That’s when you can reboot, create values and strategies that genuinely get lived by and inspire everyone internally so that they deliver something amazing to their customers. That’s when our job gets exciting. And when we create work that really makes a difference.

'I see drones as birds' Henri Seydoux on the future of drones

Roisin Lonergan, social content creative and community manager of Impero, reflects on the pros and cons of drone culture.

Henri Seydoux asks if drones are “The Birds of Hitchcock, spreading fear and terror” and this depends on who flies the drone. If you control a drone then your fear is that it will crash. But for those on the ground there is potential for further terror if the drone is not used in an ethical way.

Using a drone in some contexts displays cowardice, a fear of entering the action. There has been recent speculation that drones will replace photojournalists and create “war porn”, a hideous word and concept. Other “terrors” concern privacy and war: from the disturbance of naked sunbathers to more sombre events like recent calls for to the UK to be more transparent about how they share drone attack intelligence with war allies.

Sending a drone out is a bit like doing a Google search – you can control your direction but it’s impossible to predict everything you’ll find. The difference is that most websites want to be found. But many of us do not want to be found, and recorded, as we go about our daily lives. There will be no “allow cookies” button as those unmanned aircrafts approach you.

Yet if drones are used in an ethical way they can be constructive and useful. The Migrant Offshore Aid Station employed them to track boats of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea and prevent further tragedies. And twitter used drones to show unique coverage of the Cannes Lions in 2014 and build relationships with attendees.

At Impero we used drone footage to show our building client’s stunning work. We were invited. And nobody hit us with a stick.

Set the pencils free!

Jamie Homer, head of design at Kolab Digital, talks about creative constraint in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks...

My thoughts on setting the pencils free!

I don’t think creative agencies are being too careful in the wake of the atrocities in Paris - or that there is a need for them to be now. However, although freedom of speech is critical, so too is the need to self–edit and be aware of appropriateness. More so with illustrators and artistic types, it was felt the need to step up the ownership of freedom of speech which actually presented itself as fighting back. I’m all for this. But not to the detriment of personal safety!

Therefore I guess the point I’m trying to make is that knowing where and when to exercise your right to freedom of speech and creativity is as much of a gift, as actually being able to assert that freedom and creativity.

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