We get too concerned with automation and lose sight of creativity: Ross Jauncey

“We have never seen a more amazing time to be in world creativity. Today, we need creative minds who can march into the unknown,” stressed Ross Jauncey, Head of Create with Google, while delivering his keynote address on Day 3 at Goafest 2019. 

He regaled the audiences with various campaigns such as Kupu by Colenso BBDO in New Zealand which was developed to connect with consumers using an interactive app. The app helps people learn TeReo Māori translations by exploring the objects around them. Jauncey further added, “Creative is a similar language across the world with ideas that are passionate and to that effect your values are just as important as your product.” He also shared a three-point checklist for brands: “Keep your ad relevant, don’t get complacent and focus on a big idea that will stand out.” 

Adgully caught up with Ross Jauncey to discuss more on the changing aspects of creativity, India as a digital market, privacy concerns and much more. 

With communication becoming personalised, how does the creative community need to change the way they ideate?
There’s a choice or balance between personalisation and big storytelling. Sometimes a story can cut through everybody’s interests without being personalised, and other times a personalised story would have an impact for this particular campaign. If you look at something like the Meyers 6 Second Sale that I shared, there is no question that those ads were more relevant being more personal. 

Often times clients or partners may try to jump the gun to try and get personal without asking whether in this particular use case it is going to be valuable. There are certainly stories that don’t need to be personalised for anyone. The stories are strong enough so that you don’t need to personalise it for anybody. 

Before you chase down personalisation, it is important to ask yourself – Is it relevant? Is it worth the trouble of doing it? Will it get the better result? Or is it an idea that we can take to scale without worrying about personalisation? 

In India, every 150 yards there’s a different India. How would you advise creators to ideate in this country?
You have to embrace the differences. I spoke on stage about understanding what version of India your customers are in. What is the content they are consuming online? And as a brand do you make them feel that you are part of their version of India? 

Voice search is a big talking point in India. How do you think it will impact our advertising?
Voice is the future of search 100 per cent. According to Google, 30 per cent or more searches will come through Voice. We always talk with our brands to start that journey early. Do not wait to figure out what your brand is going to do in Voice until its too late. When mobile web came, a lot of brands thought they didn’t need a mobile version of the web and fell behind. When they finally joined other competitors, they lost because competitors were well and truly ahead. 

We often try this exercise where you stand back to back. One person is a disgruntled customer trying to find solutions and the other person is Voice. They have to think about questions like will you try to be funny all the time, even when it is something serious? There are brands that have started to express themselves on Voice on simple apps and have begun to understand the challenges. With Voice, there are no logos, only sound, so how do you exist only through sound. It is a huge challenge and gives your creative writers a whole new purpose. More importantly, they understand what people really want from the brand. 

You learn a ton of stuff from Voice that people want from your brand. So, it is really important to get Voice moving. 

Data is the new oil. How will privacy be protected?
I am very proud of how seriously Google takes its privacy. In the spirit of creativity, data can inform the trends if you’re advertising, but I don’t think as a company we want it to get too specific and make people uncomfortable, which makes them less inclined to share any data. 

Key concerns for digital global advertising?
My key concern is that we get too concerned with automation and programmatic and lose sight of creativity. We have to be honest that creativity has this power to cut through and it can work in conjunction with these other things. We have to hold true to the fact that creativity is a very powerful thing and it has to be an important part of everything we do. We have to realise that in the race to become more digital, we tend to try and cut creative away. If everyone got to a perfect campaign that was meant to reach the right audience at the perfect time then it would become so normal that only an ad that is different would cut through. 

How do you view the growth of advertising in India? How does it differ from the global market?
India is relatively immature in terms of digital spends. They are one of the least mature digital markets and growth wise have the longest to go compared to other countries in the APAC. India is waking up to it now and there is no doubt that it will shift. When it does, no doubt it will have a huge impact. 

In a competitive digital landscape, how do you marry data, tech and creativity?
There is a challenge with the volume of the landscape. Whether it is TikTok or Facebook, we all want you to create a bespoke work for our version of a digital platform, because we know the campaign will work harder when you do that. Obviously, there is a pressure on the agency and how they produce the work to make sure that all that is done well. But I do think agencies can do a better job of knowing the core assets that it would take to run a digital campaign in India and make sure that it is baked into their process. 

What we are seeing is that a core ad is still being made, but they are thinking about what secondary production team can capture moments in the film that can go on other platforms when they should be thinking about that well beforehand.


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