Landsberg’s talk was full of quotable moments like “ideas are a commodity”, “If content is king, then context is emperor” and “The days of one size fits all are over”. Each of those bold statements helped paint a picture of how the marketing environment has changed in fundamental ways.
The old model, he explained, was top down; a big creative idea came from a big creative agency and then fed into TV, radio, print and maybe some outdoor; and that was about it. But the landscape, he contends, has become democratized.
“Ideas can and do come from anywhere,” Landsberg said, which means they are a commodity. So rather than top down, agencies need to start thinking about working from the ground up.
To work in that environment his suggestion is to become fast and flat. And he quoted American Nobel Prize chemist Linus Pauling, saying the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of them. Brands don’t have to stick to one big idea anymore for advertising; they can micro target and execute many strategies without alienating core consumers. The trick is to stick to the brand purpose, with that mission filtering down to many different executions.
His advice is to recognize that the best idea can come from anywhere, (from yourself, your client or some unknown person on the internet). Any video, text, music or what have you that’s uploaded to the web is content and advertising is just on of those many forms. So be ready to use it and react to it all.
“There are as many Nike brands as there are sports”, he said, showing examples of how the athletic apparel firm has many product types and campaigns to hyper-target micro markets. But they all still come back to the brand’s core mission to “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world,” he said.