AMES conference kicks off, awards tonight

SINGAPORE - The Asian Marketing Effectiveness and Strategy conference is taking place today, with 200 delegates listening in on insights from client- and agency-side experts, not to mention Spock and Homer Simpson.

Wilson invoked Spock and Homer Simpson (photo by Qaiser Bachani, posted to Twitter)
Wilson invoked Spock and Homer Simpson (photo by Qaiser Bachani, posted to Twitter)

To kick off the morning session, James Thompson, MD of Diageo Reserve, spoke about campaign effectiveness and the power of storytelling.

Thompson stressed the importance of innovation and creativity and shared case studies from across the globe to highlight the importance of stories and their "naked appeal to emotions" as a way to light up a consumer's brain and make a brand memory stick.

He also warned against over reliance on 'big data' and stressed the need to look beyond the numbers and into 'human insights'. "We need to focus on the feelings we give to consumers, not what we tell them," he said. "Surprise and emotion are more powerful than rhythmic repetition."

Andy Wilson, BBDO and Proximity Asia’s head of strategy, said clients and researchers still don’t grasp the potential of engaging the feeling brain. “Clients are skeptical about embracing feelings," he said. "They don’t trust emotions, can’t measure it or articulate it."

But it matters, Wilson said, because emotions build stronger business, sales and share. “Ads that are emotional are far more likely to generate better results,” he said.

Wilson compared humans to Homer Simpson, not Spock: they are driven by passions, appetites and feelings. “That’s all the stuff we don’t talk about with clients," he said. "It’s this part of the brain that’s responsible for the way we behave.”

Getting more scientific, Wilson said the brain chemicals dopamine and oxytocin are responsible for a range of emotions and driving decisions. To prove this, BBDO and Proximity teamed up with “neuroecomonist” Paul Zack and did a pilot test in a lab that used examples of real advertisements. The results: ads that capture attention and emotional resonance released these neurochemicals and produced long-term memories.

Look for more on the AMES conference tomorrow, and in the upcoming issue of Campaign Asia-Pacific.

And tune in tonight after 9:30 for the results of the AMES Awards.



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