AdForum Worldwide Summit: Grey back in SA soon, Maxus could follow

by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) NEW YORK CITY: Day 1 of the AdForum Worldwide Summit is always a big day, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is often the only time the consultants have seen each other in a 12-month period and there is always a lot to catch up on. Secondly, on Day 1, we have a lot of energy and spirits are high.

AdForum Worldwide Summit: What’s on the NYC schedule

by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) NEW YORK CITY: On Saturday, I arrived in the Big Apple for the 2013 AdForum Worldwide Summit New York City, 6-11 October, a “by-invitation-only” programme for agency search and management consultants and global agency CEOs. Our role is to listen, ask questions and keep ourselves informed about what the agencies are doing to identify and embrace new trends, to give feedback and to bring our news back to our home countries to share with our clients and agencies there.

The Sell: The Invisible Gorilla in your shopper strategy

by Mimi Nicklin (@miminicklin) I am at the office. I know that I drove here (because it would have been impossible to walk!) but the truth is, I cannot remember the drive at all. An entire forty minute journey on auto drive. A scarily absent-minded, habitual, subconscious set of decisions that took me from A to B and achieved my set goal successfully, albeit without much conscious decision making. Not unlike the standard trip to the grocery store.

The Sell: 50 Shades of Same

by Mimi Nicklin (@miminicklin) It seems to me that in general people like to talk ‘shopper’, and agencies like to claim ‘shopper’, but that often underlying this trendy new money maker is a disinterest from the industry that is so powerful that the discipline is not only an afterthought, but avoided all together.

The perception is that the ‘in-store bit’ is the less interesting, less exciting sister of the rest of the communications mix.Whilst we know this is the final and critical point of actually selling the product, it gets dismissed, forgotten or left to the last minute. The shopper conceptgets left with no time to research, to create or to innovate, with a belief that an on-pack sticker or a busy wobbler will be enough to convert the habitual shopper mom as she flies down the aisle.

In a previous life I may also have fallen into this group of people so I am not totally naïve. I know that producing a TV ad is more glamorous than designing a gondola end, and I know that the photography behind a print adcan, literally, stop one in their tracks. However, I have spent thelast few days wondering why it is that ‘shopper’ in the USA, Europe and even Asia is a discipline full of change and innovation and excitement, yet in SAwe are so often stuck with‘matching luggage’ linked to the consumer campaign that fades into the clutter of retail messaging. Why can’t we see what the rest of the world is seeing so clearly?

The Sell: Shopper data — a ‘blockbuster’ debate between Minority Report and Zero Dark Thirty

by Mimi Nicklin (@miminicklin) I don’t know about you but I find it very irritating every time I read a newspaper article or report that quotes the Tom Cruise film, Minority Report, as a reference to how ‘psychic’ we are becoming when it comes to shopper data analysis.

The Sell: Giant Footsteps, Local Shoes.

by Mimi Nicklin (@miminicklin) I recently presented on this topic at the Shopper Indaba and enjoyed it so much I can’t help but write further on it. The premise here is that while the globe looks onto the emerging markets with interest, and deep pockets, it is questionable as to what we are really doing to ensure that our retail environment is learning from the giants out there (Tesco, Walmart) whilst effectively tailoring our stores and brands to local demands.

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