#kaktus2018 – Chad Warner: If there is a trend in marketing, it is best to be realistic

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Chad Warner, Integrated Creative Director, McCann London (UK) will be a lecturer at this year’s KAKTUS 2018 festival, which will be held on November 12 and 13 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Belgrade. He will, at the festival, speak on the topic “Being obsessed with creative reinvention”. On this occasion, we talked to him how brands can choose the right channels of communication with consumers, why integrated communications, and whether ideas can survive without realizing.

1. What is your recipe for successful creative work?

– There are loads of ways to answer this. Here’s one way.

First and foremost the business and brand objective. Sounds obvious I know, but that can slip away quite quickly. Being obsessed with solving business objectives using creativity is the ultimate goal for me creatively.

Second, a genuine truth. Today, more than ever, we need to be far more deeply rooted in what’s going on in people’s lives and the cultures they live in.

Finally, I’d always prefer ideas to start with trying to invent or reinvent something. Most of the time we’re working to fit ideas in channels that have been decided for us. It’s how we rethink that channel’s role, connect other channels, merge other technologies, or just think within that channel in a way that hasn’t been considered yet. That’s always a great way to start.

2. How can we use what we already know to create something new? Can an old idea be recycled and how?

– I mean for the most part, everything is an evolution of other ideas. Some creatives live their lives pointing out ideas that have already been done. Others never look back and keep evolving and re-originating.

I’m sure someone’s put people on a billboard, but not in the way that Xbox did with Survival Billboard. User generated content was used on TV, but not to the complexity and craft that TalkTalk did with the X Factor idents. Statues in advertising aren’t new, but putting them in the right place, for the right reason, at the right time is completely new and original – Fearless Girl proved that in spades.

3. Why should brands have an integrated communications strategy? How can brands choose the best communication channels for them?

– It’s not really a choice. The world has decided. We’re in a brilliant time where consumers are defining how we get to speak with them – without them even knowing it. That makes us work harder. Work smarter. And care about what they care about more than ever.

So instead of us thinking that we choose the channels, let’s ask ourselves why consumers love the channels they are using. That’s the right starting point to letting brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives. That’s the point where we’ll get the respect and attention (back).

4. Does an idea exist without execution? What do you think?

– I think that big ideas like Priceless, Just do it, Think different can live after a while without execution, but surely they need some sort of execution to begin with?

Even if there is some example of ideas that haven’t needed execution, it’s execution that shows a brand belief in an idea. Brands need to put their skin in the game a lot more these days.

5. What is the top trend in the marketing industry in UK this year?

– I think the trend, if there was one, is being real. The UK is going through a time of massive change with not only Brexit, but the continual progression of technology in our lives. Tinder, Uber, Prime Now, Alexa, Deliveroo and other services that are automating parts of our lives are all taking a toll. In good and not so good ways.

But I think one of the bi-products of it all is everyone wanting to be just a bit more real. Coming down to earth. Celebrating and appreciating the everyday. Human contact. Human things. It’s not a time for fantasy. I personally like that.

6. What can we expect from your presentation at the festival Kaktus 2018?

– Happiness. Fun. Honesty. And hopefully some inspiration. I’ll share some work and thoughts on having a slightly obsessive passion for reinvention and craft within creativity today.

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