Gavin Gibson is OMD’s Chief Strategy Officer.
Professor Beau Lotto and his ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’
I felt that the second day of the Cannes festival was a narrative similar to the Empire Strikes Back. If day one was all about the ‘blind sell’ and the future trend of AI, then day two was all about the potential pitfalls of relying on data without human common sense.
Professor Beau Lotto (Neuroscience guru), took this a step further and declared that data (at least the way we interpret it) is meaningless. In one of the most entertaining and thought provoking sessions so far at Cannes, Beau literally performed Jedi Mind Tricks (I’m stuck on the analogy now) on the crowd, where he challenged / demonstrated how the brain creates its own perceptions based on our experience bias. His premise being that the data we reference against definitive consumer behavior (predictability), is flawed due to how our brains interact with our ‘perceived’ world (lack of perception is closer to the truth).
His goal for the end of his session was to make sure we knew less than we did before going in… and he managed that in spades.
At the OMD Oasis, there was a topical panel made up of senior global digital and marketing leaders, discussing the opportunities and pitfalls of AI based learning. What was unanimously agreed upon, was that AI is something that will have a significant impact on our lives (driverless cars etc).
What the panelists did not agree on, however, was when this would have more direct implications for our Marketing world. It was well noted, and I tend to agree, that the industry is getting ahead of itself, and we still have fundamental areas such as unified measurement to nail before we start getting excited about a world of AI utility.
For example, while attribution modelling has come a long way, we still don’t fundamentally have aligned measurement terminology or platforms.
If the same energy was going into AI based business growth learnings, where time based econometrics blended with digital attribution / contextual learnings, we would be able to solve, (at least get closer to) answering the age-old marketing question of accountable ROI.
If we can shift the marketing conversation to how AI can provide the foundation analysis /predictability against business growth, we will stand a much better chance of fast tracking technology development.
To finish off, the media category shortlist came out today and there was an interesting blend of integrated campaigns and those that leveraged a relevant media environment. The three case studies I have selected are based on an innovative use of media environment… good reference to great case studies for what clever media partnerships can do.
The first is for Ikea where the media itself is in fact edible (Cook the page). The campaign was aimed to demonstrate to consumers that it was, in fact, easy to get creative with their cooking creations.
Asics leveraged a clever print integration within sports relevant publications, to enable consumers to test what is the best type of running shoe based on their foot type.
Cheap Flights in Europe have taken contextual banner placement to a new level where you are able to drag and drop the entertainment/spots content you are reading into the adjacent display banner and it calculates the cheapest flight for you to go to the sports event or closets music gig by your favorite artist.
Lastly, I couldn’t help but notice this case study from destination Mexico, which I feel is highly relevant for the Shoe (The OMD Bar). Simply, it is a science created cloud that literally rains tequila (you have to see it to believe it). If we could make it alcoholic ginger beer from the Q instead, I would be even more impressed.