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Sep 20, 2011

Lowe and Partners on populist creativity

SPIKES ASIA - Day three of Spikes Asia 2011 saw Lowe and Partners global CEO Michael Wall, and Lowe Philippines ECD Leigh Reyes co-present ‘For the many not the few: populist creativity in Asia’.

Wall... believes 'populist creativity' is important in Asian societies
Wall... believes 'populist creativity' is important in Asian societies

Wall kicked off by saying that just because technology is fragmenting audiences, Lowe still prefers to think of audiences as 'the many', not 'the few'. “Because it’s an approach that works in ways that we can see as well as feel,” he said.

“It’s become unfashionable to say it, but good, effective advertising and marketing does not have to be about targeting ever-decreasing niches of people.”

Given that Asia will, by 2020, be home to more than half of the world’s middle class, Wall believes that populist creativity will be essential for success here.

Reyes went on to share some insights into China, including the recent example of a copycat Apple store in Kunming City.

Stressing the importance of trust, she went on to share work done by Lowe for client Alipay. “At the very core of that creative lies empathy, that most human capacity to feel and connect with what other people are going through.” She went on to share the success of Leo Burnett’s Koh Panyee FC campaign for Thailand’s TMB.

Venturing into naughtier territory, Wall shared an IDEA Cellular TVC – starring Abhishek Bachchan –expounding 3G services’ merits as a form of birth control, particularly during India’s frequent power cuts. “Well it’s certainly less drastic than a vasectomy…” he quipped.

The session then moved onto the topic of online media, with Reyes stressing that appealing to the masses does not mean creativity for mass media. “That’s not the key. It’s not where a message lives that makes it effective, it’s whether it connects with the people who receive it.”

A number of strong examples followed, including the Intel 'Museum of Me' project, and Japanese confectionary brand Ezaki Glico.

Wall said that when campaigns take flight like that, brands become ‘networks of the unacquainted’ — a phrase coined by MIT anthropologist Grant McCracken.

Concluding, Wall reiterated that, in Asia, the planet’s most populous region, the ‘For the many rather than the few’ philosophy is especially pertinent.

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