Day 1 @DubaiLynx

Dubai Lynx, the region’s most anticipated marketing event, launched yesterday at 11:00AM with speakers from around the world. The first day seminars focused on storytelling & building.  The day kicked-off with Joe Alexander, the Chief Creative Officer of The Martin Agency, who detailed the craft of copy and building a brand story. Storybuilding is known to be a one-way communication method based on a beginning-middle-end structure, he explains. However, this one-way model has transformed to a circular one where consumers became “interactive players in the story” Alexander clarified. This circular model will turn the audience from selective readers who might be interested in advertising into ones engaged in experiences they’re interested in that are sometimes branded. Alexander continues his seminar by emphasizing on the role of copywriters in building a story and encourages them to take every idea to wherever they want as long as it is a great one. After displaying different case studies of successfully built stories- Geico’s Hump Day ad, Oreo – Wonderfilled concept, Moen jewelry campaign, Benjamin Moore Paints – Scary Good Job campaign- Alexander wrapped his session with five key copywriting & storybuilding lessons:

1-    Great copy builds stories with never ending plot twists

2-    Great copywriters build big strong platforms for very tall stories

3-   The best copywriters are like construction workers, they use every tool available to build their stories

4-    Every brief -even B2B- is a chance for copy to build a more engaging story

5-    It’s not enough to simply re-tell a great story. To make it last, a copywriter must rebuild it.

The international creativity festival continued with an inspiring emotional seminar by Jaime Rosado, JWT Puerto Rico’s Vice President & Regional Creative Director, entitled “Brands that are doing great are the ones that are doing good”. Rosado highlighted the power of brands in spreading the good amongst a society bombarded and filled with bad news. “Humans are good by nature”, and that’s why brands should use their talents to create a better society. There are no excuses to be afraid, and no excuses to not use these talents to create the good, Rosado explains. Make a Wish a Greater One campaign that helped a two-year old boy to fight Leukemia, as The Batkid is the proof! And we should all do “good” not for CSR purposes but for Love. Banco Popular campaigns & Ford’s endless race are great examples of loving & building a better society.

From creativity to emotions, du’s CEO Osman Sultan brought us back to the changing reality! Yes, the world does not [and will not] stop changing, Sultan explains. The world moved from focusing on Labor, Capital & Land to Ideas, Knowledge & Creativity. Change itself is not the issue, but the speed at which the change occurs is what scares everyone everywhere, he clarifies. A rapid change would cause disturbance; a sudden & quick change would disturb the status quo of any individual or entity. However, change can be disruptive; misused flows of money are disruptive, they can cause financial crises.  But the change will continue to happen and new technologies will be invented creating new capabilities & new behaviors driving to new business players & new business models to respond to these newly generated acts. However, what will never change the need to communicate; content is used in experience & lifestyle, the format is changing but the substance remains the same. The change is that users only had the capability of buying & using the content, now they’re co-creating this content & influencing. Each user can become a broadcaster these days. It is the user that is feeding the content in the business model today taking it from a world of unshared certainties to one of shared uncertainties. This is how the abundance model will be constructed & one of the pillars of a smarter world; smart apps will come from citizens & individuals rather than being forced by brands & technologies. Finally, Sultan ends his presentation with one of his favorite Yahoo quotes: “There’s a new master of the digital universe, You” or as him and du like to call it “The new YOUniverse”.

Roy Haddad, WPP MENA Director, ceased the target audience era for a new one full of experiences to emerge. “Consumers are not loyal to a promise… They are loyal to an experience”, Haddad affirms. Mass production should no longer exist; we’re back to a “one-to-one economic system” as he quotes from Don Peppers & Martha Rodgers. He confirms again that the consumer is your brand’s new broadcaster, thus we should all be focusing on cultivating relationships by targeting interests, intents & instances & putting them in a contextual environment rather than mere demographics. Brands should switch from “message delivery to engagement by bringing the brand experience to life”.  How to manage this entire experience? Tap onto the right insight, live the brand experience, manage relationships & define the brandscape that will create a world of memorability, distinctiveness, cohesion & flexibility. And if you’re still not convinced about targeting and building an experience, check out these four reasons Roy wrapped his presentation with:

“Targeting the experience:

1-    Puts your brand and the consumer together on his terms

2-    Keeps your brand in their lives, whatever the channel

3-   Opens new creative opportunities

4-    Delights & surprises, not annoy

And the first day was put to an end with a very interesting seminar by Google’s Marketing Manager & Creative Partnerships Leader; Mike Glaser who showcased the beauty of combining Code, Copy & Art when creating a new idea. And here are five learning outcomes resulting from bridging between code & creativity:

1-    Choose proven & available over new & shiny: It’s faster, simpler & as effective if not better

2-    Build a prototype & you’re halfway home: always know the consumer, define what they want, brainstorm around that and you got yourself a prototype

3-   It’s time the big guys start learning from small guys: Big companies should always learn from new startups as they explore new market behaviors

4-    What people want in real time isn’t the same as what brands are trying to give them in real time: What they want is emotional reward, relevance & snack-ability

5-    Pursue paradigm shifts


Written By: Nuhad Hamdan