Survival Skills

Even as consumers gain more ability to dodge ads, solid creative content can penetrate. That was a common theme during the Clio Festival last week. Accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award, Bartle Bogle Hegarty co-founder John Hegarty said, “Our future will only be guaranteed if we deliver a better product. … The biggest threat to our industry isn’t TiVo. It’s the quality of our work.” Tham Khai Meng of Ogilvy & Mather in Singapore, print jury chair, said in a talk that a creative revolution was occurring in the East, much like New York in the 1950s, as East and West draw on each other for inspiration. Mark Tutssel, TV & Cinema jury chair and Leo Burnett deputy chief creative officer, offered one solution to retaining consumer attention: make ads irresistibly entertaining through captivating visual styles, such as Honda’s “Grrr” spot and Apple’s “Silhouette” ads (to illustrate his point, he inserted himself into a Silhouette ad, above). And Ty Montague, Content & Contact jury chair and co-president of JWT in New York, said integrated and innovative campaigns such as the gold-Clio-winning Rainier beer effort will survive in an increasingly competitive ad landscape because they are “invited into people’s lives” rather than pushed on them.

Content & Contact Debate

One of the most talked about Content & Contact entries at the Clios wasn’t given an award. It was a shortlist entry for Filipino shampoo Rejoice. Starcom created a hair-flip dance move and a catchy pop song, spawning a gold record and music video. At a talk at the Clios, Montague discussed the decision when an audience member asked him about foreign entries. Did the all-male, all-U.S. jury miss the message? Montague said no. Explaining that the dance reminded some jurors of the Macarena, Montague says, “It was clearly a massive success. But in the end, we thought other work was more innovative and broke new ground. I don’t know whether it was the right decision or not.”