Sunday, 18 March 2012

m&c saatchi

a few weeks ago we entered the seven floor building on golden square that is m&c saatchi. we were there to meet the deputy managing director, jeremy hemmings, who talked us through the agency mantra of ‘brutal simplicity of thought’ (incidentally a recent amazon purchase of mine). this, he explained, is based around the principle that it is easier to complicate than to simplify but when you isolate the most motivating message from a brief it has a more profound impact in communicating.

jeremy talked us through some of m&c saatchi’s previous campaigns and pointed out how they take the surt (simple universally recognisable truth), add it to the defining truth about the brand and that this is what leads to their proposition. he was proud of m&c saatchi’s cheeky approach to advertising and showed their dixons ad to demonstrate this, which had a small run but which led to a large amount of PR as they played on dixon’s underdog status encouraging people to browse in shops like selfridges and john lewis and then buy the product cheaper on the dixons website. i agree with not attempting to turn the brand into something it’s not but i’m not sure that putting down retailers who offer a different service is the way to go about it. all the same, that’s one example and it was very interesting to have the opportunity to interact with one of ad lands big names.

me at m&c

jeremy then passed us on to dusan hamlin, the joint ceo of m&c saatchi mobile, another one of the many branches that come together to form m&c saatchi. dusan spoke to us about the challenge of providing exciting content on a small screen. in his opinion 2010 was the year of the iPhone, 2011 was the year of the tablet device (pda’s) and that in 2012 smartphones are set to outsell the combined sales of pc’s and laptops, he believes that this is set to be the year for android. frustrated with my blackberry i took dusan’s prediction and marched my blackberry down to the shop last week to exchange it for an android. we wanted to know more about the future of mobile and how you sustain innovation in an area that is moving so fast. dusan went into the fact he saw the future lying in remote access and cloud based computing, also how m&c saatchi use mobile today and how this can be utilised by marketers; apps for branding and acquisitions, sms for crm (customer relationship management) and loyalty, and qr codes for retail marketing and connecting the digital world with the real world.

i got a couple of questions in, one that still bothers me is why so many advertisers put qr codes on posters on the tube. why? dusan said that some are linked to contact information, not necessarily a site but surely you still need signal to even connect to that. i don’t think qr codes will be a around for much longer and i pity the fool who has tattooed them on their body.

dusan spoke about the close relationship that they have built up with apple which means that every app that they have ever built has been listed by apple. apple have a list of 100 bloggers that they list as key influences within the mobile industry. by m&c saatchi mobile getting these bloggers to plug the product, apple will hear about it. dusan also discussed the trial and error nature of viral videos. it is best to do ten things and have two of them work rather than intensively labouring over one final piece due to the speed of change within mobile. this is something i need to relate to my own work as i have a habit of getting tied up in the finer details when i need to be just churning more work out and vetting it later.

the main message that i took away from our morning at m&c saatchi is that in industry, especially within areas such as mobile, everyone is still learning. for me this represents an exciting if not daunting challenge.

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