303 MullenLowe's Melissa Hawkett does New York as ADMA 30Below Young Creative of the Year

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Last year, 303 MullenLowe's Melissa Hawkett (near left) and HIF's Maureen Teague (far left) were named 30Below Young Creative of the Year, and 30Below Young Marketer of the Year respectively at ADMA's AC&E Awards. As part of their prizes, in May the pair travelled to New York to learn from industry leaders and visit some of the world's biggest brands and agencies. Hawkett reports on their eye-opening trip. 

Day 1. Oglivy
Our first visit was to OgilvyOne Worldwide. We were given a tour, and found out there are 2000+ employees and 11 floors. I was absolutely blown away. The agency has its own gym, bank, barber, cafeteria and in house production studio. It's not an office, it's a village.
We sat in on a Jagermeister stand up, and a Southwest Airlines creative review with John Long (Group Creative Director). The trip was all about data, and we learnt that for SouthWest, they used data to show that the price was the key selling point, which meant that the creative was centred all around the number - $49.

There was a lot of talk about influencers, and the power they have over captive and willing audiences. But, that influencer marketing is quickly becoming an oversaturated area.

We then talked artificial intelligence with Vicki Azarian (Executive Creative Director). She told us all about IBM's supercomputer - Watson. And explained Watson's role in IBM's Cognitive Dress project. Watson helped design a dress with British design studio Marchesa, by analysing the work of the designers, and selecting on-brand materials and colours. LED lights were built into the dress which then changed colour depending on the mood Watson read from tweets on the night of the Met Gala. 

Another really cool example of art made by Artificial Intelligence is the portrait of Paul Rand (above), the designer behind the IBM logo, which is displayed on the IBM floor. It is made up of lots of tiny emojis, which were selected by Watson analysing the tone of several of his graphic design books. 

Day 2. Google
Our second visit was to Google NYC. It has 4000+ employees, and their office space is the only one in New York to span the length of a whole block. Again I was blown away. 

We met Kate Brennan (Associate Product Marketing Manager for Google Play). She explained to us that each of Google's products have dedicated teams. And within Google Play, her focus is on Games. 

A current project of hers is focused on female gamers. Typically, games are marketed at males - think video games. However, Google used data to discover that 47% of mobile gamers were female, despite male skewed marketing. This led them to shift focus and tap into this audience. They created a girl gamer summer camp and invested in games made by women. One of Google's brand values is to weave social conversation into their business. In this case, they wanted to invest in global studies into sexism in gaming.

I was interested in knowing who does the Google Doodles, and found out this is their Brand Studio, which is an in house design team. This team is responsible for the Google brand on a global scale.

Kate told us about challenges faced when designing for a global brand. When launching the new Google Play brand, which was very minimal and clean, Japanese and Korean markets did not respond well. They were able to use data to come to this conclusion, and to discover that this market responded better to a more vibrant, busy 'Hello Kitty' style of design.

Next we toured the Youtube Creator Space. It's a studio space for Youtubers with over 10, 000 subscribers, and was set up as way for Youtube to give back to creators and to improve the quality of content. Creators are invited to a short course to learn film and editing skills and how to use the space. And then they have free reign of the facilities.


Day 2. Merkle
Our next visit was Merkle Inc. We met with George Gallatte (Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer) who talked to us about how data is paving the way for consumer based Marketing. From what I understand, this means data can help us talk to people on a more personal level. He explained to us how data can allow ads to be individually targeted and customised, not to data sets or lookalikes, but real individuals. 

He talked about how data can help us understand buyer decision journeys. These are the ways people interact with brands online - where they spend their time, and at what point they make a purchase. Knowing where a consumer is at in their relationship with a brand, means messaging can be targeted and relevant. 

Fun fact: Merkle have mapped 100% of people in the US over 18. And in the United States there is zero data privacy. 

We also spoke with Colleen Kuehn (Chief Media Officer). She told us about The Upfronts which is a media event where the advertising industry is given a preview of the new season of television programs, in order to buy airtime. And a more recent development - The Newfronts - which is similar, but for creative media opportunities in the digital space.

Day 3. Publicis
Today's visit was with Publicis. They have 8 floors and 2000+ employees. 

We were shown some new work for L'Oreal by Stefani Cotrill (Creative Director), which was all very hush-hush, and taledk about how vertical video is trending thanks to Instagram Stories. 

Tim Rich (Head of Data Science) talked to us about his role at Publicis. In two years he has grown a Data Science team from 1 to over 20. And this team has backgrounds in all areas, including; academia, technology, and the arts. Apparently one was a flute player. He says the one thing they have in common is a restless drive to do something new. 

Tim was really excited about working with the Creative department, and the potential data has to make creative more effective and evidenced. 

Key learning: If the strategy behind a creative idea is grounded in an observation that is quantifiable by data, then the creative is something that cannot be argued with.

Day 4. Estee Lauder
In the morning we visited the Estee Lauder archive. It is a collection of all advertisements, invitations, compacts, perfume bottles, jewellery and clothing produced for the brand. 

In the early days, Estee's advertising strategy was to go into hair salons and offer to do the customer's makeup. And her motto was to always give a gift. Her approach - talking to a captive audience, and building brand loyalty through product trial - was clearly very effective. 

Day 4. MediaMath
Our visit to MediaMath in the afternoon involved a tour and an explanation of their services. They have developed software for clients to manage their digital campaigns and analyse their success using the data collected. They showed us this really cool data collection tool called MOAT, which archives every digital ad posted by a company. It's great for checking on brand consistency, and for competitor research. However, it is US skewed.

This trip was truly a crash course on data in creative advertising. Each day of the trip was different to the last, and it felt like for four days straight, I filled my head with an endless stream of new information. Yet, I feel like I have only begun to scratch the surface of learning all there is to learn about data. I'm very excited about the potential it has to bring insights to the creative process and to make our communications more personalised and relevant to consumers. 

Thanks to ADMA for giving me this opportunity. I loved every second of it.


Josh said:

Awesome write up, Mel! MOAT is an insane tool... terrifying to see nothing but banners, all the time..

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