what tech means for strategists

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Is tech crowding out big thinking?APG Noisy Thinking Event

Well hello

Fanscinating question: touch on 3 areas

Look the question in the eye a bit. Interrogate it until it confesses the truth

2. Ask how do modern ideas create value

3. What do modern ideas want from planners, and what does it mean for everyone in this room


when did planning get so small?

Well lets look at this thing a bit as theres a lot going on.

A lot of innuendo and hidden glances.

Its got WEIRD BODY LANGUAGE this question

got the whiff of the LATE NIGHT TAXI DRIVER about it accusing, defensive, midly illogical

But it demands a reaction, so lets look it in the eye for a bit2

when did planning get so small?

is new tech crowding out big thinking?

I love the idea of crowding out like a bouncer on a Friday night bundling out an unwanted reveller

sorry mate, you cant come in techd out like that. It only big thinking allowed here. On your way

As if big thinking only comes in non-tech sized packaging.

And tech is somehow dirty, beneath other ideas3

when did planning get so small?

is new tech crowding out big thinking?

For a moment, lets leave the idea that big thinking is good at the door, as thats worthy of a whole other debate . Implicitly assumes tech is not big thinking

The question assumes a causal relationship: as tech has grown like weeds underfoot, our thinking has got smaller and smaller and is being strangled brief by brief.

Until presumably one day it will slip out view entirely Its an easy assumption to make.

Tech doesnt come in nicely honed endlines that shows how clever it is.

It doesnt showboat in your living room, begging for attention It just gets on with things.


Of course, this is absurd and downright dangerous line of thinking on a number of levels


Lets start with the obvious

Google. A kind of oracle of human nature and intent.

A service thats defined more than any invention since the history of mankind human intelligence what makes us tick

Surely a kind of big thinking, no? 6


Can we imagine a world without it ?


Or can you imagine a world without apple?

Without an ecosystem of apps, without the iphone, without tables?

A service which has defined the architecture of modern ecosystems

Big thinking, surely?



Or can you imagine a world without apple?

Without an ecosystem of apps, without the iphone, without tables?

A service which has defined the nature of design experience and architecture of modern systems

Big thinking, surely?9

Or a world without new platforms, like facebook, like twitter, like snapchat

That define nature of modern communication

That have their own behavioural ticks, languages and subcultures (#friendfriday, anyone?)

after all, if someone offered YOU 3bn for a service youd thought of, would you turn them down: no, sorry, the thinkings not big enough yet.



Investors seem to think so

after all, if someone offered YOU 3bn for a service youd thought of, would you turn them down: no, sorry, the thinkings not big enough yet.11

a new OS

Were now well into a post digital era: 5 years since eco-drive

Sense that tech different operating model in terms of output, inputs, thinking

Problems clients face are similar, but solutions quite different

Ways of working v.different faster, leaner12

whats the evidence?


Of course on the surface, its hard NOT to think our thinking has got smaller

Every hour theres some shiny new idea in out slipstream that gets industry insiders into a tweetstorm.

Nowdays, thats usually comes in a snack-sized format a social this, and app that, a MEDIA FIRST!!!!

An industry which fetishises the new over the unchanging, these get unprecedented airtime.



My personal favourite15

more noise

So of course its easy to lose sight of the big stuff were still doing

Because the signal to noise ratio has changed

So we need to distance ourselves, and stand back a bit to see the real picture16

hypotheses1. we should expect to see a decrease in commercial effectiveness

2. we should expect to see a decrease in creative inventiveness

So lets try and strip the question to its bare essence, and loot at the evidence objectively

If were to assume planning is about helping come up with big thinking and has been even half useful as a catalyst for our ability to create new ideas and produce work with a powerful commercial effect,

then surely if tech has crowded out big thinking, then17

is there wisdom in the crowd?

Ask them to answer

A WORLD PREMIERE of new findings

from adamandeveDDBs Les Binet & Peter Field from IPAdatabank18

commercial impact has increasedSource: Binet & Field 2013, IPA dataBANK


question 2what happens when digital runs with tv?

Ask them to answer20

atl/digital impact has increasedSource: Binet & Field 2013, IPA dataBANK


question 3what about tv in isolation?

Ask them to answer22

tv solus impact has increased tooSource: Binet & Field 2013, IPA dataBANK


Channel:WebsitesInteractiveSocial/viralMobile/AppsSearchIncrease in number of brand effects:17%15%-2%-5%-6%

digital works in different ways Source: Binet & Field 2013, IPA dataBANK

Digital & tech are pretty fat words

Unhelpful in isolating the nuances of different roles and behaviours of different channels

More work needed here especially around how to use and evaluate social24

is there a decrease in commercial effectiveness?


is there a decrease in commercial effectiveness?



has creative work got less ambitious?


Even a cursory glance at recent APG and Cannes shows living in GOLDEN AGE OF CREATIVITY

Meercat a campaign whichJL making the nation cry and buyTourism Icelandpromoting a country through personalised messagesBHF creating an appointment to view VW Fun Theoryusing a social experiment to create behavioural changeWalkersCrowdsourcing flavoursDepaul ihobo using an App to increase donationsSainsburysCreating a 50 minute documentary to sell a supermarket over Xmas


hang on, lets not forget the ones Ive forgottenkaiser chiefs the future is mediaval, met police choose a different ending, dove ad makover, british airways #homeadvantage, paddy power, royal borough of greenwich, refuge , doritos etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc




what about APG winners then?


What about APG Grand Prix winners?Columbian Ministry of Defences operation xmas

Objective: demobilise FARC guerillasIdea: putting xmas lights on trees in main guerilla routes in the jungle that lit up when passed

if xmas can come to the jungle, you can come home. Demobilise. At xmas everything is possible

Why: great understanding of personal & behavioural context30% uplift in guerrilla demobilisation


Banco Popular

Objective: instill hope in puerto Rico by fighting against welfare dependancy and subsequent reluctance to work

Strategy: Instill hope El Gran Combo salsa band to rerecord lyrics to its best known hit , and make it no1

Simultaneous broadcast, Facebook app, blogs, live concert, video documenatries, job fair33

Pause(play film)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F31Bqpz0r6o



Evidence shows, if anything, that modern strategic thinking is more ambitious than ever35

is tech thinking small thinking?



Of course, tech comes in different shapes in sizes, but lets start off with the obvious

Fuelband is the current tech poster child, but it shines a light on a the beating heart of the new opportunities for agencies

To not just sell but help

To use Platforms to create a new distribution channel

Not exacltly small (INSERT PROOF/DATA)37

Or the new john lewis campaign #bare and hare

Am sure youve all seen TV and have a point of view on it38

Not as many of you might have seen the spin offs weve done

Created an interactive book read by Lauren Laverne>>>taking emotional connections with the story and the brand to far deeper place

Using tech to get people to cry and buy = Small but powerful39

Tech is also starting to play complementary roles WITHIN campaigns

Heres one I worked on: VWs new Gold GTI campaign

Here we used a blended approach of comms + tech

Film was used to reaffirm GTI;s pioneering originality via a story (play My Way film)40

Using tech to add a new dimension to the user experienceExperiential enhancement of a product

Born from truth that music enhances our driving experience, takes it to another emotional level

Weve that that to its natural conclusions to take one of best drivers car experience in GTI and pimp it to make it even more powerful

Working with Underworld, weve designed a unique experience which adapts to the way you drive.

Small but powerful.


Not small just different

Conclusion: little evidence planning thinking has got small, but has been adapting/flexing in new ways