Media Redefined: Media Loeries — in defence of the effective gimmick
by Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) If a brilliant idea is executed, and nobody sees it, is it still brilliant?
It’s a question which was top of mind as I viewed all the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners from the Loeries Media Innovation category this year. Red lights went off in my cynical mind as I scanned the winning agencies, and didn’t see one media agency.
This wasn’t the case a few years ago, and I felt defeated. Most of the other categories seemed designed to celebrate the “craft” of the artists, but surely a media award would have a more-robust filter in the “The Results” section? Something more than “and before we knew it, it had started a global conversation”?
Needs to take a back seat
Then I watched all the entries and was thoroughly entertained — some very clever technology fuelled innovations, based upon strong insights that either reframed an existing medium, or even more excitedly, created a new one. And I realised that the obsession with measurement and response needs to take a back seat when it comes to unashamedly creative awards.
In fact, I would go further and say that “The Results” part of the award-entry video should be scrapped. Not only is it irritating (watching 20 global news presenters talking about the same thing gets a bit tedious), but also, having sat upon judging panels, it creates a lot of discomfort in the room.
It is like viewing a company’s results before the auditors have taken a look: pointless, and who knows if they reflect reality? Unless there is Apex Award-like rigour applied, it’s all pretty much pie in the sky.
Show us the way forward
No, these kinds of awards should really reward and celebrate the ideas which show us the way forward and open up new kinds of thinking that shift the impossibility horizon. It’s the Apple moment, where something is presented which you had never thought of before and which you know will be hugely useful in the future.
The only measurement criteria applicable should be potential scalability. In other words, what are the possibilities of it touching as much of the target market as possible? A look forward, not a look back.
And it is this which turns a gimmick into an effective gimmick, one with enough reach that it actually has the potential to change consumer behaviour.
Two standout ideas
Two ideas stand out for me from this year’s Media Innovation Loeries, both winners of Silver.
First, there’s the Unilever Lifebuoy campaign, where a simple device’s attached to the handle of all shopping trolleys. Slide it once, and the handle is sanitised and all germs exterminated. Simple, massive insight, highly targeted and the potential to be attached to every shopping trolley globally.
Secondly, the Sureslim chocolate flyer, which challenged consumers to bring it to a Sureslim branch uneaten, for which they would receive a substantial discount. Complete media and message integration and, again, something which could be widely distributed and almost certain to result in a response.
Celebrate for what they are
So let’s celebrate brilliant creative ideas for what they are: often immeasurable things which shift mind-sets and which have a huge potential to change responses in the future.
Martin MacGregor (@MartMacG) is managing director of Connect, an M&C Saatchi Company, with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Martin has spent 18 years in the industry, and has previously worked at Ogilvy and was MD of MEC Nota Bene in Cape Town. He contributes the monthly “Media Redefined” column, in which he challenges norms in the media space, to MarkLives.com.
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