It’s a numbers game but with heart
"If we take the emotion out of our industry, nothing will succeed."
Head of Content at Resolve Lauren Gibb speaks passionately about the challenges facing creative agencies in a world where rich data is at their fingertips.
Gibb, who has worked in a variety of media, creative and strategy-centric roles is determined for the industry to keep creativity as a focus in campaign planning.
"We are in the business of communications and persuasion. If it's just about the numbers, how can we expect to achieve that?"
The golden age of a laser-like focus on just a 30-second TV commercial, glossy magazine ad or radio campaign may be a thing of the past.
But the challenge now for people like Gibb is to produce content that can be repurposed across a range of formats and audiences, while not losing impact.
The audience numbers don’t lie, but hold on to your creative instincts
"Before we had digital analytics we could focus more on the craft. When you’ve only got a TV ad for 30 seconds for a brand campaign you can really focus on making this the most poignant, the tightest messaging, the most creative idea which is going to drive attention, which is what everyone wants to do.”
Gibb says the challenge is to maintain creativity and avoid being dictated to by the outputs. She readily points out that data can unlock exceptionally creative ideas for brands:
“That’s what we’re grappling with now. When we think about humans, they make decisions based on emotions. Because of all the new platforms and data that’s suddenly available to us, it’s a struggle to balance that out. You are constantly grappling with what you must do and the context in which your creative is going to be seen."
“The challenge today is that you can’t just think about a 30-second ad, you have to think about the Tik Tok cutdown. You can't think about creative in isolation."
Originality is still possible in data filled world
While Gibb sees value in the use of data to empower decisions, she admits it can be taxing on the creative process:
"I've only ever known a data-driven creative and media landscape. Numbers must coexist. I've heard horror stories of campaigns focused-grouped into oblivion. We are often trying to game a system in order to be seen. We abide by the rules of the algorithm or the rules of the platform. It does make it quite difficult to stay original."
“We are lucky to be in an agency that has creative and media under the one roof so we have that knowledge share others don't.”
Transcript - Pending Approval podcast Ep 23: The balancing act with Lauren Gibb
Glenda [00:00:00] Before we get started, we'd like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we produce this podcast, Gadigal Land of the Eora Nation and pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging.
Speaker 2 [00:00:13] May I have your attention, please. This is Pending Approval, advertising from the inside out.
Glenda [00:00:23] Hello and welcome to the Pending Approval podcast. My name is Glenda Wynyard and I'm your host. For those that don't know, I've spent about a million years working in media and advertising, so I kind of guess that that makes me a little bit of an expert at the subject with me as my co-host, strategist Jack Geraghty.
Jack [00:00:42] Hello, how are you?
Glenda [00:00:43] I'm great, how are you?
Jack [00:00:44] Very well, thank you, very formal start to the podcast.
Glenda [00:00:47] I know, Jack, I know.
Jack [00:00:49] We're on our second one already. I think we're going strong. I think.
Glenda [00:00:52] We are and you've got a friend, today.
Jack [00:00:54] We have the amazing Lauren Gibb with us today, Head of Content at Resolve.
Lauren [00:00:58] Lovely to be here, guys.
Glenda [00:00:59] It's good to see you, Lauren. It really is. Now, Jack, what's been going on in the world of advertising from a millennial's perspective.
Jack [00:01:08] It's a big question. We were deliberating over this before. What's the sort of hot topic at the moment? I think it's hard not to talk about chatGPT and everything that's happening in the AI space, seeing that Julian Cole, who's a pretty notable Australian come New York and I think strategist, is that right? I think based in New York.
Lauren [00:01:27] Oh, I thought it was London.
Jack [00:01:29] One of the big two but anyhow, he's been sharing some interesting things about the use of chatGPT from a strategist's perspective and how you can potentially leverage it for insights and that sort of thing with the with somewhat mixed results, I think I sort of felt.
Lauren [00:01:44] A bit of LinkedIn drama.
Jack [00:01:45] A bit of Linkedin drama, there's been some shade thrown around the validity of this, whether you should be using it. I'm yet to actually give it a crack, but I think it'd be interesting to see what it spits out, seeing, you know, insights from different people's perspectives on brands so yes, that's kind of the main thing. I think it's popping at the moment a lot.
Glenda [00:02:04] I like Julian Cole too. I think he's very and I think Mark Polad is another one that I think is really great. I look forward to you getting them on the on the podcast one day.
Jack [00:02:15] Coming up next.
Glenda [00:02:15] Do you think they'll come up next?
Jack [00:02:17] Oh, God, I don't know. I mean, I might have to I might have to do some schmoozing, but, you know, anything could happen.
Glenda [00:02:22] So, Jack, this is our second podcast. We've survived that first one.
Jack [00:02:26] We did.
Glenda [00:02:27] Studio Pat, our producer sitting in the box there.
Jack [00:02:31] It's great to have the Studio Pat on board, isn't it? Producer in the house.
Glenda [00:02:36] He's even gone flesh. He's no longer sitting beside us and he's got this whole exterior part not really sort of coming through.
Jack [00:02:45] Is Producer Pat too good for us.
Glenda [00:02:47] I don't know because he's just told us he's just got rid of one of his podcasts because he's getting more famous. So he can't do it all anymore. Can't do it. We'll have to have him on as a guest one day because he'll be able to tell us and show us what to do properly.
Jack [00:03:01] Show us the ropes on the old podcast. I think there are definitely a few tricks I could use to make this whole thing a bit smoother but yes.
Glenda [00:03:09] Laura is laughing. She doesn't know what's going on so, you two, what are we going to talk about today?
Jack [00:03:15] So today I think building on from last episode, we sort of spoke a lot about the place of creative in advertising. And I think it's really good to bring you on, Lauren, Building on from that conversation is, you know, obviously the Head of Content for Resolve. And I think kind of one of the things we wanted to talk about is the relationship between creativity and data and science in the modern world of advertising. And I think it's a kind of fine balance that we sort of have to grapple with every day. And sort of the main point here is, as I've written, is when everything is measurable with numbers and data, how often do we and how often should we trust our gut instinct and rely on creativity and emotion to drive outcomes? It's a big question.
Lauren [00:03:55] It's a big question. Do we have the answers, I don't know.
Glenda [00:03:58] I don't know. But before we even get started, Lauren, what I like to do is I like to set the scene for a few of our listeners or viewers and actually give them an idea of what you have done in your career and what's led you to where you are now. So can you give us a bit of a bio?
Lauren [00:04:16] Absolutely, so my name's Lauren. I've been in the media marketing advertising industry for about seven and a half years at this point. A bit of a background on me, this is probably the perfect conversation to have me personally, because my career has kind of been defined by this huge question. You know, I've always been a slashie. I started off as a social media exec at a media agency before shifting into a more creative, strategic role. And then I ended up here. I went client side for a little bit, didn't like that. So now I'm making agency side, but it's been very much framed by that conversation. You know, how do we find the good balance between media and creative in a world that's going very much in a different direction to perhaps what would have been maybe 30 or 40 years ago where, you know, creative was king. Media also kind of helped that get there. But now the conversations have obviously become quite blurred with the amount of access to data we have. And, you know, the importance of landing an idea with an audience to sell, ultimately sell an idea or an objective or a product to someone. So that's a little bit about me. I don't know if that answered.
Glenda [00:05:19] No, I've got one more important question. Do you wear Crocs?
Lauren [00:05:25] So I have been on the edge of buying crocs. I had one in my cart. Do you know the artist SZA? She had a collaboration with Crocs, and they have these little, like, gibbet things, have you seen what they are, you can, like, add little charms to your Crocs. I almost did it. I'm still almost. I've seen some platform ones that are really cool. I don't know where I'd wear them, though. I'd say that's all my thing. I'm like but can I actually go there, like, what would I wear?
Jack [00:05:52] It is more of a debating topic then, you know, this relationship between media and creative or something. But I was championing my Crocs last episode, and I was quickly shot down by Glenda.
Lauren [00:06:02] They're having a, they've done a very good job of shifting from fishermen's shoe they wear to the beach to now high fashion you know. They've done a very good job.
Jack [00:06:12] I think that apparently Justin Bieber was doing a promotion with them and they've got the platform ones, the Balenciaga, like, they're really having their time.
Glenda [00:06:21] I'm mortified because my dad, Warren, in the Bay of Islands and New Zealand, wears nothing but Crocs and he loves them. And so I'm now putting you with his socks and his Crocs now putting you right in the same space.
Lauren [00:06:37] Sounds like.
Jack [00:06:39] Socks and Crocs are the next step for me. Maybe that's for the winter season.
Lauren [00:06:43] I got shared an ad which was a Croc with a sock inbuilt.
Jack [00:06:47] Wow, okay.
Lauren [00:06:48] You wear it with an anklet, and it's really cute and pink.
Glenda [00:06:51] I feel like we're giving Crocs way too many, too much air space here.
Jack [00:06:56] Yes, I mean, we'll rein it back in here and we'll continue to build on, I guess what we're talking about, which is that relationship between media and creative. And as we've sort of done, we set the scene a little bit for today's discussion. But I think, you know, the big thing with this is talking about the value of numbers and data and our relationship with numbers and data in 2023. And I think obviously that impacts a lot of the platforms that we work with both on the media and creative side platforms where, you know, they are directly attributable to the consumer, you can see how many people are looking at them specifically at each point in time. It's obviously evolved a lot from advertising of yesteryear, which typically revolved around kind of four key platforms, which for were your press, your out of home, your radio and your TV as well. And what I kind of wanted to put to both of you, really, but as a discussion point is if we were to wake up tomorrow and all of a sudden the only media platforms that we could work with were TV, out of home, radio and press. And naturally consumption patterns from, you know, a population perspective adjusted accordingly, would our jobs be easier or harder as advertisers?
Lauren [00:08:02] I think from my perspective, anyway, you know, in my experience, I've only ever known a data driven media and creative landscape. So it's a tough question to answer but when I think back to conversations I've had with creative directors that I've worked with, it's always been like, you know what was great about focusing on these kind of channels before we had the insights from Facebook and what digital analytics and Google Analytics, we could actually, you know, focus on craft as the main thing. You know, when you've only got a TV ad with 30 seconds for a brand campaign, you can kind of go, okay, we can really focus on making this.
Jack [00:08:41] That's it, yes.
Lauren [00:08:42] The most poignant, the most tight messaging, the most creative idea that's actually going to drive attention ultimately, which is the key thing we always want to do. I think it would be in this day and age, harder. Just also in terms of how clients, it depends what perspective. If we're talking from agency perspective, it would be easier because we could go, right, I can just focus on doing X, Y, Z without all this other information kind of coming in.
Jack [00:09:12] You know, it's a double-edged sword. So I think one of the things clients love more than anything is attribution and the ability to be able to directly see where their investment is going. But I think in that sense, yes, you say from a client's perspective maybe that's perceived as harder. But I think in some ways the complexity of the advertising world, because of all this attribution and granular data metrics and everything it does, I think naturally move us a little away from the simplicity and the emotion of some of those, you know, what the creative on those platforms could afford us previously. So I don't know. It's a tricky one. I feel like we could talk till the cows come home.
Glenda [00:09:48] I think there would be more emphasis placed on the creative and less emphasis on the budget and so I seriously, seriously believe that it would in some ways be so much easier because it would allow you greater creativity. So those and because attribution like it is in it's truest sense now it would be very it's a very different type of attribution. So I think having lived through those years, when I first started in advertising, there was no Internet. So let's be, you know, let's put it into perspective here. You delivered material to magazines six weeks and in two months out and eight weeks out. So you know, your deadlines were way forward. They were just different. It was just a different kind of world that that we lived in and so I personally think that the emphasis on creativity was much stronger back then. And so from your perspective, I think it would be much better for you to experience that. And I think that's what we were talking about with Sue on our last podcast.
Jack [00:11:00] And I think purely from a creative perspective, for sure, it's hard to deny that, yes, it would be, you get a lot more freedom, I think, on those platforms as well.
Lauren [00:11:09] Freedom, but also the ability to just focus on the task at hand. I think there are so many creatives that are now slashies that have to also think about the TikTok cut down and the display asset. And then you've also got to think of how that's going to translate from a 16:9 to a 9:16 like there's so many complexities surrounding it but you can't actually just go, okay, I'm going to solve this problem in front of me.
Jack [00:11:33] You kind of start to think less about the idea and more about the way the outputs, the way the idea can be moulded into 30 different shapes and sizes, which is a, you know, there are pros and cons for that but yes, that's interesting.
Glenda [00:11:46] So I think when you think about those simpler times and you know, you ponder about them and you think, gosh, would it be better or worse, I just, I don't think you can live in the past. I think you actually have to keep evolving and move forward. And I think there are pros and cons from a traditional and a digital media perspective, but I just call them current platforms because I actually don't think when I'm planning and I'm looking at media strategy, I don't ever think of will this be TV or will this be cinema or will this be of TikTok or whatever I think of video. And then I think, how does that actually, you know, what are those ten tentacles that actually come out from there And how do we actually do that because like one of the most redeeming qualities about the digital age that we're in and this is from my perspective and particularly from a, you know, I love analytics and I love media and I love research and things like that. So I love that measurability that we can actually get out of a lot of the channels these days. I think it's just amazing what we can do there. And you were referencing that point before Jack, but Lauren, if you think about it from a creative perspective and you think about measurability of ads in 2023, right now, if you're able like do you like we can our data analysts can look at everything from sentiment. They can look at whether or not the colour of the ad is working or isn't working. Do you find that that is actually helpful or do you find it to be a hindrance to the creative process?
Lauren [00:13:30] To the creative process, it can definitely be taxing at times probably how I would describe it, but I guess when you actually think about the objective against any type of type of creative, if like if it's a conversion asset, for example, that we're seeing in real time for an event that's coming up that we need to sell tickets for those creative optimisations coming through, it makes total sense to go right. We know this is coming out. We know that this is what we have to do in order to reach this set of objectives that makes sense. It's when you think about, you know, wider or larger campaigns like brand campaigns and stuff like that, where I've heard of many kind of horror stories of people taking big campaigns that they've worked on for six months to a focus group and just getting focus grouped into oblivion because of, you know, all this kind of external data and voices and import kind of all coming in and shaping that from an external perspective. So I think there's definitely an element of, you know, you're in this position slash you're a creative for a reason because you're the expert, therefore, you know, you should be making those decisions. But at the same time, it's not to say that having that external output, depending on objective, isn't something that, you know, is going to increase performance or is going to actually, you know, get us closer to achieving whatever we need to achieve for a client. So I think it's objective dependent.
Jack [00:14:57] Yes, I think that's an interesting point as well around having kind of the authority, but also sort of assuming the role in knowing your role, when to go with the creative and trusting the creative versus leaning in to all the measurement and all the data and all the everything because I know it's interesting, often, you know, the amount of campaigns that have gone live after a focus group is, you know, torn to shreds and then it's, you know, exponentially increased sales because they said we just trust this. We think it's going to work. And then it does. I think it's, yes, a really fine balance but having the authority and the ability as a team and as a creative team, but also working with media to kind of yeah that balancing act between the gut instinct and the emotion and what feels right versus what the data's telling you, I think, yes, it's tricky.
Glenda [00:15:40] But sometimes it's just the public. So back in the day when magazines were huge and we had a lot of magazine advertising, we had Starch reports and we would get the ACP were very prolific at it and they would always Starch like what ads were appearing in Australian Women's Weekly and things like that. So you'd get a lot of feedback from the public. And some of the best ads from the public's point of view were ads like Weight Watchers and things like that where they actually they could see and they got the information straight away. So they understood exactly what it was that was being sold. It wasn't the big, beautiful DPS ads and things like that in those days. And so I look at that and I think it's actually the same now. And in this one-second world that we live in and the digital world, you've got one second to cut through. And again, you've got to tell somebody exactly what they need to do straight away. And I think that is a lesson from the past that is actually so relevant now and because the creatives they get so upset because the double page spread didn't start well, but actually it told them nothing. It was a big, beautiful car and a bit of a logo in the middle and nothing else, you know, like, anyway, lessons to be learnt.
Lauren [00:17:02] The objective, it always comes back to it, I think.
Jack [00:17:05] But I think yes, it's interesting as well and I think there's no right or wrong answer within all of this, but I know from our perspective as I guess from campaigns that we've worked on, having that real time optimisation is definitely worked in our favour. I know from campaigns like STEPtember, for instance, has worked really well being able to see, you know, in real time with weekly optimisations what's working for fundraising?
Glenda [00:17:24] Well, but in those fundraising campaigns like STEPtember for instance, we aren't optimising on a weekly basis, we're optimising on a daily basis and multiple times throughout the day. But to bring it back to creative, not only are we optimising media, we're optimising creative and we're working in real time. So I know that our team often, Lauren, as you'll know, they get upset with me because I might sit in a meeting going, oh my gosh, you know, I want this ad, this to come through this kind of creative. And our digital team gets upset because I'm changing audiences all the time because we're optimising, we're dropping things off, we're bringing stuff back. It's an absolute nightmare for the people that work around us because it is so, it's life, you know, and it's a beast. And whenever you're working like that, I you know, e-commerce is very similar when you tend to work in those kind of campaigns and it's all that hands on nitty gritty piece. You can, you know, people lose the plot.
Jack [00:18:28] Yes, but I think as well it's different when it's a sort of conversion piece or a fundraising piece specifically back to what you were saying before. And I think having the understanding of knowing when you need to let it sit in market, even if it is just a social asset, knowing what it needs to sit to actually let the you know.
Glenda [00:18:45] The algorithms to do their thing.
Jack [00:18:46] To do its work, I think that's a balancing act as well, because I feel like sometimes if you're just constantly chopping and changing, then you never actually really accrue enough data to have a statistically reliable.
Glenda [00:18:56] Well, it depends on the scale so you can't do that for everything because some clients invest more than others and so it's that through. But look, with a larger campaign, like a Steptember, you can definitely do that. Although to your point, a platform like LinkedIn takes longer to build the learnings and the algorithms. And before you can make a shift, then you can in something like Meta. You need to think platform-specific. And I think that's and that's what a lot of clients lose. They don't understand that you can't just make these sweeping changes immediately. You actually have to get audiences time to populate all, you know, some of that sort of thing goes on if you don't have the scale.
Jack [00:19:39] Well, there you go and that actually leads me to my next point. I like the way you used Meta there. I had to put a little prompt in here. I'm still stuck in calling it Facebook, but, you know.
Lauren [00:19:47] My head's FB, IG.
Glenda [00:19:50] Media first mate that's fine; I'm not a slashie.
Jack [00:19:54] Well, as I said so, you we know, self-serve platforms like Facebook or should I say Meta allow us to optimise in real-time and make, you know, as many creative changes as we want, you know, can do ten in the space of a day if we're so inclined. And you know, from an advertiser's perspective that's great in these digital new age platforms. But to kind of circle back for a second on something you mentioned before, Glenda, we're talking about; I guess the abilities that we have with these new tech platforms. Are you starting to see that with more traditional platforms that it's kind of muting the creative capacity we have on there? I know you mentioned that with things like special builds and out of home or even top tailing a, you know, a TVC ad run, is that something that you're trying to sort of seeing less and less of these days?
Glenda [00:20:38] Are you seeing less and less because I personally, I think the media owners are getting lazy in some respects, but you can optimise to real-time outdoor so and so with digital billboards and there are some fantastic examples where pre-Olympics they actually, they found out the route that a lot of the Olympians were going on and they had messaging, you know, in support of them and on their way to training and all, you know, when they were leaving for the Olympics and stuff like that. There are great case histories around there where it's all being real-time and it's all been optimised. You can't with a static site but the problem with these digital billboards is that you don't actually get the level of recall so ad recall that you do with a static billboard. Now TV we can also optimise in real-time because we've got BVOD and we've got streaming services where we can actually then go into and actually do it. And I go back to my point before I don't see YouTube as just being YouTube. I see YouTube as being part of the video.
Jack [00:21:45] Screens approach.
Glenda [00:21:46] It's a video approach so what can you actually use in those zones and even now with TV, you've got to turn around straight away. Like if you wanted to deliver new material, you could have that new way at live that day. If you're really working with the networks and making sure that you can do it so you could be changing ads daily, if you wanted to in linear TV.
Jack [00:22:09] Always a six-week.
Glenda [00:22:11] But that's because you've come out of big agencies and to be honest with you, with all the process and bullshit that goes on in a big agency and I don't want to knock them because I've worked in a big agency and loved my big agency experience, absolutely loved it. But you have processes and divisions and people that have to do things. We don't have that. So we can be fluid and we have a very different, you know, relationship with our media partners and things like that and they can do it. Radio, you can change out radio, audio grabs and everything on straight away and do things like they are much more fluid than you think and even going back in the day when I did L'Oreal Fashion Week, we actually created a live magazine and had it released on at the end of the week with one of the magazine publishing partners. You would struggle to do that now and it's not because of the fact that they can't do it. The problem you've got now is process. And they've you know, a lot of them have. Well, I actually think a lot of the technologies they're using now have actually dumbed them down. And so I think the media owners need to think about that a bit more. I really do.
Jack [00:23:29] You learn something new every day. I always had a six-week lead-time drilled into my head for TV, but I guess anything can happen when you're Glenda Wynyard have the relationships.
Glenda [00:23:40] Totally, you make it work, don't you, but you can actually do that. And the amount of times we get delivered material late 5:00 on a Friday night, and we've got to make sure that they're on the air on Sunday that happens all the time or on Saturday. Don't forget we work in a lot of political campaigns, a lot of fundraising campaigns, all that sort of thing so we have to be really fluid.
Jack [00:24:03] I think kind of in retrospect, maybe I appreciated that six weeks because then it ensured that the client couldn't do that quite as easily drop a 5am material for a Saturday morning start. Well building on that and again, it was sort of going between each side here, sort of talking to traditional and then digital or current platforms. They're all I mean, I don't know what the difference is anymore. There's so much sort of crossover. But one of the things I wanted to talk to as well is something that I think might be slightly underutilised in some of these more traditional platforms or things like out-of-home or radio, something I've noticed from my experiences in, you know, the conversation around measurability, there's often talks around in out-of-home and specifically I know JC Decaux has a platform they use called optics, which allows you to sort of analyse a piece of creative fire in terms of almost like heat mapping where the where the viewer is looking. And from my experience I found this often it's one of those things that comes up in conversations, you know, when they'll come in and present. And then almost invariably when it comes to campaign time, it might, you know, come up in conversation with the client or between the creative and the media agency. But they often get cast aside. And I sort of just wanted to ask you two what your experiences was with that, because I feel as if there is something that's often underutilised and I kind of think it often comes down to, you know, this sort of too hard basket around lead times and budgets and that sort of thing. Have you two had a similar experience?
Lauren [00:25:27] Yes, I think it's like with those kind of things, it always does come down to budget and time, I think. But on the flip side of that too, you know, if you're in a large agency where that information actually isn't being shared, then if creatives don't know what is available in media and vice-versa, then, you know, you're not actually, there's no way that it can happen because unless people are actively getting other teams involved, it's always going to be seen as something that's either too hard basket or requires a lot more collaboration, sometimes isn't available.
Glenda [00:25:56] I think there are two major issues, number one is we have so many tools and resources, sometimes we forget to use them. And number two, I think the segregation between creative and media has actually, with so many clients, like it's not so much in our instance, we're all working together, but side-by-side but in other situations where you're working with an external creative agency, sometimes you're not brought in until after the creative has been completed. And so in the old days you used to get the media sorted first and then you would do it. Whereas a lot of the creative is actually briefed in without even any consideration to the media channels they're going to be used. And I think that's the wrong approach to take.
Jack [00:26:44] Yes and I think that's one of the things I love about the way we work as sort of an agency group is that fluidity between the media and creative. I think that's something I think we've had similar experiences as slashies, if you will, is, you know, having understanding the value of both media and creative and now having the ability to kind of bring those worlds together, I think is really powerful. So it's yes, it's quite refreshing to be able to do that in the ways that we do. There you go, well, I wanted to take a little bit of a bit of a step back, getting you almost a little bit a little bit philosophical here in a way, if you don't mind me. But there is this quote that stuck with me from this book something an economist wrote. But I think it really quite nicely encapsulates kind of this dichotomy between the art and the science that we talk to all the time in our industry. And what it says is economists have come to feel what can't be measured isn't real. The truth is always an amount, count numbers only numbers count. And so this is from a book called Whose Reality Counts by Robert Chambers, and with this I sort of thought with clients and agencies often focusing on the short-term, how do we feel about the validity of this statement in the context of advertising in 2023 when everyone is so focused on attribution and they are actually seeing the value of their investment into sales.
Lauren [00:27:58] I mean, if we can talk just about the quote in general, I hate it. I think if the world is made of economists only, it would not be very nice world.
Jack [00:28:07] It won't be a nice world, no that's true.
Lauren [00:28:09] No, but I mean, again, it goes back to, you know, what are we all trying to achieve and what the human being like, I think, even stepping further back from that, like we're in the business of communication and we're in the business of persuasion. And if we only focus on the numbers, how can we expect to achieve that? And, you know, I think when we think about how humans make decisions, it's all based on emotions. So to take the emotion out of this industry absolutely means nothing will succeed, basically, because we don't, we're all human beings, we are all flawed. We all make decisions how we want to make them. And by ripping that out of the process, or in this case, you know, only numbers count and only numbers are real. I just think they must co-exist in some sort of way. And I think that's what we're kind of in the throes of now with, you know, all these new platforms and all this data that have all of a sudden become available to us. And I think, you know, you could ask any creative and they'd go, yes, it is a struggle because you're constantly grappling with, you know, what you must do or the context of where your creative is going to be seen at the same time, still keeping true to what you're trying to do. You're trying to get a human on the other end to ultimately do. So yes, I hate those things.
Jack [00:29:25] And don't get me wrong, I don't agree with it. I just think it's a really nice way of encapsulating one side of this argument that why I wanted to include it because I think it is quite provocative.
Glenda [00:29:34] When it comes to digital media, it's all about the numbers, even an awareness campaign, clients and digital are very quickly bringing it back to the click through rate and did I sell the product or did I generate a lead? It's all those accountable metrics that's coming into play and they forget that actually this was an awareness piece. It wasn't about, it wasn't about click through rate.
Jack [00:29:57] I think it's that sort of thing where and I think this quite really talks about it's sort of talking about our audience or talking about people in general as ones and zeroes more than flesh and bone. And I think that's one of the biggest travesties in our industry. And I think that's why I think for me with a creative head on, I think it's quite a quite a provocative statement. But I think it's interesting because it's very anti-emotion in a lot of ways, I think that sentiment.
Lauren [00:30:23] It just assumes that all we're trying to do is get that click or get that sale, get that short-term gratification that, like you said, Glenda makes clients happy because they can take that to their CMO and CEO and go, look, we're shifting the dial, but actually not taking into consideration that person might go, huh, that's interesting, come back three months later and go, oh yeah, actually, I remember that thing. I might actually go and like, investigate that. So there's a whole other side to it that I think we just forget. And I guess it's that short-termism versus, you know, wanting to make long-term impact that ultimately drives that conversation.
Glenda [00:30:58] Absolutely and you think about it, particularly when brand start to struggle or certain industry categories start to struggle. And I look at the technology sector, for instance, it's going through such huge change, those that were manufacturing hardware and items that were purpose built for offices, for instance, that declined and that industry has been accelerated hugely through COVID and lockdown and new ways of working so people working from home and things like that. So in order to actually retain sales or actually increase sales, you actually have to have a stronger brand and where that sector has been very, very reliant or those that work in a lot of that sector, they are very reliant on the actual click through rates and whether or not they've got lead gen and all the rest of it and they haven't built their brands. So they've lost brand power, do you know what I mean to help sustain them through this period while they move on to cloud-based solutions or whatever they're going to move to but, you know, like those clients really feel it. And I don't think until you actually go through something like that, do you actually understand the value of brand and actually what you will lose if you don't have that heavier top of funnel layer and you just focusing on this end bit.
Jack [00:32:19] There you go, well, then building on that, I do have another quote.
Glenda [00:32:23] Of course you do.
Jack [00:32:26] But I think this kind of talks to almost the other side of the fence here and this is something ad mogul, I guess you could describe him, William Bernbach described, well said in one of his books, I can't remember exactly where, but talking about undertaking campaigns with a numbers-based approach. And he said doing it this way, your campaign often fails to stand out. He said that one of the disadvantages of doing everything mathematically or by research is that after a while everybody does it the same way. But I think that's really interesting, too, I think, especially as we look at, you know, the data capabilities we mentioned, you know, chatGPT upfront, do we think we run the risk of losing originality a little bit if we start to lean into this sort of data-centric robot AI generated world, I think that's an interesting thought, too.
Lauren [00:33:09] I kind of thought around that outside of advertising. You know, when you think about content creators, for example, on Instagram or TikTok, you know, if you're not creating content for the algorithm, then you won't be seen, therefore, you're not getting the attention. So it's not just in advertising that this is happening, it's kind of across the board. You know, we're all trying to do something in order to gamify something not gamify but you know what I mean? Like game a system in order to be seen, you know, we have to abide by the rules of the platform. We have to abide by the rules of the algorithm. There are so many kind of parameters that we all of a suddenly need to abide by where, you know, it does make it quite difficult to stay original. And it is an uphill battle, you know, when we go back to that conversation around creatives kind of thing, stifled by all these parameters being put upon them, how can you be original in that moment thinking, okay, well, I have to do something that's going to fit this brief here or it's going to work on TikTok, and then it also has to work on TV and how is that going to get then trickle down across Facebook and LinkedIn and all these other channels that you can see how something that originally, if it was just a TVC, might have had a lot of punch, than having to, you know, trickle down into a lot of things can be quite difficult. And I don't think a lot of people can nail it just yet now.
Glenda [00:34:26] But don't you think that the time is going to come where you're going to get specialist creatives, creative strategists who actually just focus on executing the idea into like Facebook versus TikTok, because they actually understand the algorithms a lot more. So they write, they rewrite the original creative with the platform in mind, you know, to me, that more of that needs to be done.
Lauren [00:34:57] Yes, I guess, I don't know if people could afford that. You'd should have like eight different creatives on their team.
Jack [00:35:03] One per social media channel, well specialist strategists exist.
Glenda [00:35:07] You don't, you just don't know, I just feel that there's.
Lauren [00:35:11] There's a lot of pressure.
Glenda [00:35:12] There's a lot of pressure, yes, on single creative to actually one size fits all. We're just going to cut it and then the 30-second ad like you say, and then we're going to stick it across TV, BVOD, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok.
Jack [00:35:27] We're in the digital age, there is just so much more nuance to every channel that's emerging every day. I think in the sense that like, as we say, we're sort of touching on this last episode, but I think a lot of us are still sort of stuck in this mindset of everything starts from a 30-second TVC and then you kind of just adapt everything from there, which I think you still can do to a certain extent. But they say, you know, design your ads platform first. But I think with every day there are more and more sort of specific to each of these like social platforms specifically kind of require for you to cut through on them. So it makes it really difficult to, I guess, the distinction between that and converting a 30-second ad into a 30-second radio ad, there's a huge disparity between the way it needs to be manipulated for the different social platforms versus that of yesteryear. So I think there's a big job to be done there. I think probably a lot more thinking that needs to go into that, I think in a lot of ways.
Glenda [00:36:23] Radio still has got a big audience, Jack.
Jack [00:36:25] I'm not suggesting that it hasn't, but I'm saying to.
Glenda [00:36:27] Bigger than Facebook.
Jack [00:36:29] Okay, is it?
Glenda [00:36:31] Yes, I'll show you the numbers, same with TV, everyone forgets, number one for driving awareness is still free to air TV, everyone forgets that traditional broadcast TV, they're all watching the news.
Lauren [00:36:45] I don't watch TV, do you watch TV?
Jack [00:36:48] Not a great deal, no.
Lauren [00:36:49] I just look at it from my personal experience, but the numbers are like.
Glenda [00:36:53] The numbers are through the roof, look what happened during COVID. It's just the way people consume television is different. Do you know what I mean? They're choosing, they can watch it through YouTube. They can watch it through a broadcast TV set. They can watch it through catch up TV, you know what I mean?
Jack [00:37:13] With the perception of that as a medium, that is, I think, as we both just did, our natural reaction is to think of linear, traditional broadcast TV. But if you're thinking of it as including BVOD and including everything else, including, well then, sure. But I think everybody when people say TV is in decline, they think about traditional. They don't think about all of the accompanying ways you can consume it like through BVOD.
Glenda [00:37:37] There are more people watching free to air TV than there is watching BVOD.
Jack [00:37:41] Yes, I could see that.
Glenda [00:37:42] Yes, do you know what I mean or any of the pay-TV platforms or any of the streaming services or anything like that, YouTube is also underrated. So everyone goes on about TikTok and all the rest of it, but actually YouTube, its reach is massive.
Lauren [00:37:58] People spend time in YouTube.
Glenda [00:38:03] But I think it's a different type of time that they spend on TikTok versus YouTube, you know, YouTube, they actually watch long form content. They actually engage. They're learning, they're watching music, they're watching old, my parents are watching all those old stuff at the moment. I didn't even know they knew what YouTube was but you know what I mean, like they are able to go back and find old content that they could engage with. And, you know, so you're getting it's very, very broad where I think TikTok, is they scroll.
Lauren [00:38:33] You're in it because you're in the.
Glenda [00:38:34] You're scrolling it, but you know, you're not engaging, you know what I mean, you're not engaged with that particular channel. It's not deep involvement.
Jack [00:38:44] YouTube is more of like a session viewing in a way, where TikTok is far more, deliberate, exactly that's it. There you go but I think as I was saying it's kind of just doing old things in new ways. I know I said that last time but I think in a lot of ways our consumption patterns are still quite similar. Maybe TikTok is not quite the same, but I think YouTube kind of in some ways takes that place of that more session view a bit, maybe it's more personalised. You don't have quite the same.
Glenda [00:39:08] No, it's more personalised now, like you mass personalisation is huge, but I just feel that, you know, it goes back to what I was saying before, I don't think of it as TV, I think of it as video and then where it happens to be distributed. But I do believe that there should be different formats for YouTube from what you are going to play in TikTok, because I think it's a different type and it comes back to the content. So often in media, it's not so much the channel, from our point of view, we're relying on creative to actually give us the content that's going to work for the channel and I think that's something I think creatives don't actually get exposed enough to what type of content we can actually you can be using and producing because there are some really cool formats that you can be using a lot of these different platforms.
Lauren [00:40:00] That goes back to that knowledge share again, like we're lucky enough to be in an agency that has both creative and media under one roof but you know, you think about creatives in a big creative agency working in another huge media agency where they're not actually having that knowledge share and you can see why, you know, the TVCs are the main thing and then we're going to just do some social off the back of that is the kind of it's stock standard way people tend to go about it because, you know, there isn't that knowledge share and there isn't that access to, you know, those best practices and but yes, I get it.
Glenda [00:40:29] So, Lauren, we're actually coming to the end of our podcast, and with that comes the burning question of the moment, what is the most useless invention of all time in your view?
Lauren [00:40:44] I think it's banana cases.
Glenda [00:40:48] Banana cases?
Lauren [00:40:50] Yes, I think it's rude to Mother Nature to suggest that a banana needs an additional case. I think it's the worst thing ever invented and. I think I was thinking the other day, I was like, how, how, why, first of all, why does this exist? And I was like, oh, it's probably because of like kids lunchboxes and, you know, you put a bit of fruit in the bag, you forget about it for two weeks. Then it's like, nice surprise for mum at the back of the school holidays. I feel like that's just like part and parcel of being a kid.
Glenda [00:41:20] Do you want to know what my most useless invention is, 3D TV.
Lauren [00:41:25] Oh, I forgot that was a thing.
Glenda [00:41:29] Do you know why? So I always relate it back to the briefs that I've had over the, you know, millions of years I've been in advertising. And one of them was Sony gave me this brief for 3D TV. And when they briefed it to me, the marketing director told me in the team, the marketing director turned around and he said, this is just a novelty. It's only just to stir interest in the market, he said, there's not even the content for people to watch in 3D. It's literally the odd movie, and that's about it and where is the 3D TV today? Gone, like the script.
Lauren [00:42:09] It's like 4K for a while there was no TVs that could play 4K and it was just like, this is beautiful, but where can I watch it?
Glenda [00:42:15] Exactly, anyway, at least we got high definition, right?
Jack [00:42:19] That's true.
Glenda [00:42:21] I'm amazed how you can actually just see the blades of grass on the TV and you would think I come from the black and white fuzzy TV, no remote control, Dad used to stand in front of the TV with his jeans halfway down the crack of his backside, and he'd stand in there and he'd turn the thing and you'd be trying to watch, you know, whatever was on Gilligan's Island or something and he'd be standing there changing the channel and you couldn't see around it.
Jack [00:42:46] Well, I find myself getting a bit awestruck in the Harvey Norman TV.
Lauren [00:42:49] Is this at JB Hi-Fi?
Jack [00:42:51] Wow, look at that crane jumping out of the water in Africa.
Glenda [00:42:56] And do you find as you get older, you need a bigger TV?
Jack [00:42:59] Yes, I'm actually the market for TV at the moment, and I'm kind of stuck between like, is it like a 45 and a 55? And I think I don't know, I'm starting to have to wear my glasses more. So I think maybe in an investment for myself, I probably need to.
Glenda [00:43:11] There's a correlation thing that my friend Roz, who's also a strategist, one day we should get her on and we'll do a non-PC version and just get all these people, different random people that we know to actually say something, although everyone's nervous we'd get cancelled. But she's got a whole theory about men and their TVs as they age, it's hilarious. It's so funny.
Jack [00:43:33] I'm intrigued. Well, there you go. Well, we will wrap it up.
Glenda [00:43:36] I think so.
Jack [00:43:37] Okay, well, look, Lauren, thank you so much for coming on our second episode. It's been absolutely delightful. So as I said, Lauren works with us, Head of Content at Resolve. If you want to find Lauren's details, they'll be in the bio. And of course, if you want to get in touch with GW or myself, please see our contact details in the bio too. And I think as I said, we mentioned, we'll put in a link to some of that September work that we discussed as well.
Glenda [00:44:01] Yes, I think so, they'd be great. it will be a good and interesting case study for people to watch. Look and if you want to join the Pending Approval community, please sign up to our mailing list and join in on the conversation at mediaprecinct.com.au/pending approval and if you've got any questions or anything like that you really want answered or you've got an idea for not a new host, unless you don't like Jack, obviously you're stuck with me, but a different guest, please let me know and I'm more than happy to chase them up and get them. So goodbye, everybody do come back now.
Speaker 2 [00:44:40] May I have your attention, please? This is Pending Approval, advertising from the inside out.