Adrian Peter Tse
Sep 26, 2014

Social media is something we can stop ‘bullshitting’ about: Amir Kassaei

SPIKES ASIA – There’s no such thing as social media, according to Amir Kassaei, DDB’s global CCO, who may have set a record for the number of times a presenter said ‘bullshit’ during a single session at Spikes Asia.

Amir Kassaei
Amir Kassaei

Please see all of our Spikes Asia 2014 coverage here

On stage, Kassaei immediately defined the role of the modern marketer: “We make things relevant, not funky ads. We’re in the business of finding innovative solutions to marketing problems.”

(Offstage, Kassaei expanded on some of his thoughts in a brief interview. Please see: 15 minutes with Amir Kassaei.)

Kassaei played a video from comedian Louis CK, which talked about parents watching a school dance performance through their phones rather than directly. And Kassaei's key points throughout his seminar focused on a similar theme: keeping perspective about the value of technology versus the value of ideas: 

Evolution of devices

  • The 1st age: In the past, devices connected to each other.
  • The 2nd age: Now devices connect to people. “The social web or whatever bullshit definitions people are coming up with.”
  • The 3rd stage: In the future, everything will be connected.

The problem

  • “When everything is connected, people will know everything in real time. People won’t need Google for search. And marketers won’t be needed either.”

The solution:

  • Create a brand network: “I don't mean the bullshit social networks.”
  • Create brands with influence. Create relevant truth.
  • Know your role: As a marketer, don’t try to be a technology company.
  • Creativity + humanity + technology = influence
  • In the business of marketing: everyone is creative and ideas can come from anywhere. Have a deep respect towards humans. Technology is only a tool and it won’t replace the idea.

Big data is like teenage sex

  • “I listened to a song on Spotify with the word jeep in it. Next I started getting Jeep Wrangler ads. There’s where big data is today.”
  • Digital is an infrastructure. Social is a network and not a new media. Don't use it like a TV channel.
  • Example: Bic’s universal typeface experiment and universal pen campaign focused on humanising and maximising these structures to create something that would actually be meaningful to users.

Brands: A sum of all experiences with a company

  • “The real experience is much more important than what you’re talking about.”
  • Example: Heineken’s ignite campaign, an interactive bottle.
  • The challenge is how to monetise these experiences without doing more and more and getting less and less.
  • Remember the best ads don't feel like ads.
  • Create relevance not awareness
  • Example: Johnson’s baby ‘Hello my name means’ campaign.

Priorities as a marketer

  • Priority: Solve problems first, win awards second
  • Example: Harvey Nicholas ‘Sorry, spent it on myself’ campaign (see below). Good example of a campaign that works with and communicates an imporant insight about consumers.
  • As a marketer you are a filter to using technology in the right way
  • “Stop categorising ideas…a dangerous trend. Simply ask yourself if what you’re doing is the most innovative solution to a marketing problem.”

Campaign's Observation: Kassaei outlined some clear principles to think about, but they are after all just principles, not a prescription to navigating the future of marketing. Kassaei would be contradicting himself if he'd said there was a formula.

 

Related Articles

Just Published

8 hours ago

Restaurant chain unleashes vengeful kaiju upon London

How UK eatery Wagamama and agency Uncommon created a pissed-off, rubbery...vegan?

17 hours ago

Mindshare makes leadership changes in Malaysia

The agency group promotes Sheila Shanmugam to CEO and Chan Wan Lih to MD, replacing Animesh Kumar.

19 hours ago

Indonesia’s top 100: Affordable and accessible home ...

Korean brands stay on top while Nestle, Coke and Nutella take a hit.

19 hours ago

Indonesia’s top local brands: Inclusivity and ...

Indofood and Gojek remain tops, but Wardah, Telkomsel, Tokopedia and Eiger take largest leaps as truly Indonesian brands.