Cannes Report: Greenberg on Campaigns vs. Platforms

CANNES, FRANCE R/GA’s Bob Greenberg used his seminar with Hewlett-Packard CMO Michael Mendenhall to extol the wonders of cloud-based computing, and take a few shots at how advertising is structured. Greenberg is well known, of course, for his broadsides at traditional advertising. He predicted that hosted services would revolutionize marketing, making it more important than ever for brands to earn media rather than buy it.

To Greenberg, platforms like Nike Plus and Fiat’s eco:Drive add to people’s lives rather than merely distract them. What’s more, they end up being more important than mere ad campaigns and can supplant them altogether. He showed a brief case study (with faulty audio) of Nike’s Human Race.

Thanks to the Nike Plus platform, Nike could do little in the way of advertising and still attract more than 780,000 participants in 142 countries. Yet such efforts are the exception to the rule, according to Greenberg. “The traditional media model isn’t well suited for the cloud,” he concluded.