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28th March 2012

What Are You Really Selling? MIXX Canada Speakers’ Predictions For Advertising’s Future

IAB CanadaOn March 27, 2012, IAB Canada held one of their MIXX Canada Conference Series Sessions on re-thinking the company/brand and what it means for the global advertising ecosystem.


Geoff Ramsy, CEO and co-founder, eMarketer, captured the theme of the day nicely with this metaphor.  Advertising is like fishing.  It’s not about finding the fish, but rather finding the right bait for the fish.

So, what is the right bait?  Jeff Rosenblum, Co-President and co-founder, Questus, says it’s not about convincing consumers what to think about your brand.  Rather, it’s about creating an experience; an experience that adds and makes your brand transparent and authentic.

Canadian Tire’s House of Innovation presented their idea of an experience.  They needed to prove that their products help makes lives easier because 74% of Canadians lack the time and money or knowledge to do more home improvements.  So what did Canadian Tire do?  Bought a house.  Not just any house, but a house that needed a lot of help and love.

For 99 days they have moved in, installed, repaired, mowed, painted and everything in between, creating 99 great DIY videos that anyone can easily follow.  And the kicker?  550,000 people visited the site and spent an average of 5+minutes in a campaign that cost less than double a traditional campaign, including the purchase of the home.

Creating Value

In the new era of advertising, its not longer about pushing the product, but rather creating the emotional connection and demonstrating how the product is relevant to the consumer.

Rosemblum highlighted an app that when you point it to a product, the app gives you information about the product that is relevant to you.  How?  You program your interests in the app so that it knows how likely the product you are looking at is of interest to you.  This is on the spot relevancy.


Humour was a theme that also was batted at.  Rosenblum stated that the Old Spice campaign was the WORST ad ever.  It is a well-executed ad that increased sales by 107% and will likely become part of cultural currency.  It made us laugh.  But what is missing is meaning.  It’s just humour.  How does this ad empower and bring meaning to the consumer.  Although humour is a great tool, its not the only tool.  He stated the need to look at every consumer touch point and see where you can add value.

For example, 1 in 3 households use a Unilever product.  They did a simple thing to their detergents.  Removed the water making the detergent more concentrated.  Imagine the amount of fossil fuels that were saved from shipping less water around the world.


Not surprisingly, Geoff Ramsy’s presentation was filled with statistics.  He highlighted 6 trends.

  1. Data complexity will only get worse.  He proclaims that in the future, the CMO will be spending more on tech than the CIO.
  2. Media Spending will continue its inexorable shift towards digital.  Double-digit growth will continue for the next several years.
  3. Watch for the renaissance in how marketers approach advertising creative.  We need to stop looking in the rear view mirror as we are driving.  Instead we need to drive towards magnetic content that is entertaining, relevant, informative and/or useful that creates value behind the product.
  4. Social Media is less about buying and more about owning it.  It’s about trust and the trust factor of recommendations from people you know. Add value to the conversation.  Your main focus is to post content that your consumers actually want to share.  Don’t count fans, count what they can do for you.
  5. Videoize your media.  Tell a story.  Create a laugh.  Dramatize a benefit.  Connect emotionally.  Use product demos, customer testimonials, case studies and how to videos to inform and educate.
  6. Mobile is closing the gap between the physical and digital worlds.   Consumers have real time info at their fingertips.  An app needs to be a utility and fun.  You are not competing with your competitors, but with app developers that have no brand to sell, but are creating great experiences.

RTB – Real Time Bidding

There was a whole section of the day dedicated to RTB.  This is a precursor to an all day IAB Canada event on May 22, 2012.  The rumbling in the chairs is that the session was too fast, with so much information; even the definition of RTB remained unclear.

According to their hand out, “Real-Time bidding (RTB) is an advertising technology that allows Digital ad inventory to be purchased and served on the fly – in real time. Instead of reserving pre-paid advertising space, Advertising / Agencies bid on each ad impression as it is served.  The impression goes to the highest bidder, and their ad is served on the page with open inventory.”

The biggest concern from the audience was about users blocking cookies.  If the user does not allow the technology to track them, then the inventory will not be published accurately.

CMO dashboards

We ended the day with Wendy Robinson, CEO and co-founder, Kneebone.

Her take is that CMO’s need to get data and technology to transform marketing.  Without the big data and the correct data, how are CMOs going to make marketing transformations that drive business transformations?

Your dashboard needs to work for you.  Have a dashboard thesis, get the data you need and ensure that it supports a business objective.

Her rules to live by include

  • If you don’t see it, it probably doesn’t exist.  Give visualization a chance.
  • Before you try to solve a problem, find out if it’s been solved before
  • When you can see it, you can transform it.

And…  to be truly effective the dashboard data needs to updated live.

Author: Laurinda Shaver an Interactive Producer, Digital and Social Strategist.  You can find her on twitter @laurindashaver, or on her site at laurindashaver.com.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 at 10:46 am and is filed under Editorials, Events, National News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  1. Village Gamer
    5:05 pm on May 17th, 2012

    Just testing the comment importer… you can ignore this comment 😉

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