Next Generation – Day 3: Communications

Day 3 of the ‘Next Generation’ programme was devoted to understanding and exploring Creston’s Communications division. So once again, the Marketing Sciences ‘Next Genners’ made our way to Creston head office.  Ready to greet us at the other end was a team of people from some of our sister companies (EMO, NBG, TMW and TRA), who were ready to take us through a range of presentations covering key aspects of communications.

The day started with Daren Kay (Director of Innovation at TMW) and Chris Pearce (MD of TMW) welcoming us back and giving a brief overview of the day. They then kicked off the session with an introduction to Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence (Consensus, Liking, Scarcity, Authority, Reciprocity and Commitment) and how they are relevant to not only our Next Generation brief, but to communications in general. A few weeks before this session, all participants of the ‘Next Generation’ programme were asked to fill in a questionnaire on the ‘Power of Influence’ and the results were then compared with Cialdini’s original research to demonstrate how these Principles of Influence actually work

We were then given a brief overview of each of the agencies within the Creston Communications division and some of the work they each did. It was really interesting to see the different kinds of work undertaken and clients worked for. Personal highlights included the recent Lynx campaign by TMW, and the OXO Tower stunt for the launch of the PS4 by Fever.

Next up was a talk from Beth Pope (Joint MD of TRA) and Lee Nugent (CEO of the Nelson Bostock Group) covering what should (ideally) be communicated in all client briefs and getting ideas from insights. This last part explained the ‘why, why, why’ technique for getting insights and ideas from data, which we were then given time within our groups to use on any data or insights we already had before breaking for lunch.

After lunch, we returned for one final presentation about ‘The Bakery’ with one of its co-founders, Alex Dunsdon. The Bakery is an accelerator programme that brings together innovative technology companies with clients and their agencies to solve their marketing challenges. After a brief overview of The Bakery and the idea behind it, we were shown examples of technology that could be used to answer our Next Generation Clearasil brief. One of these was TouchCast, a platform for the creation and playback of interactive videos. Using TouchCast you can create a video and then link to relevant websites, or other content, that will appear inside the video without stopping playback to create a more immersive, interactive experience.

Next up was a talk from Dmitri Aksenov (CEO of FinGenius and MD at LBM) about Digital Genius, an automated text service using Artificial Intelligence. Digital Genius uses a proprietary AI engine and language processing platform to deliver relevant answers via text, mobile or social networks.

Finally was a presentation about Future Ad Labs from Howard Kingston (CEO and co-founder) and Andy Williams (CFO and co-founder). First up, they discussed PlayCaptcha which instead of the ‘captcha’ devices normally found at the bottom of forms on websites, asks the person to perform a brand related task such as dragging a scoop of Vanish onto a stain. This offers guaranteed engagement, a higher success rate than normal captchas and 90% recall of the brand involved. Howard and Andy then went on to discuss PlayRoll, which replaces advertising before video content with a brand related task which consumers complete in order to continue, rather than watching a short advert.

We finished off the afternoon with more time in our teams to continue working on our pitch, generating more ideas with some of the things we had heard about that day giving us a fresh perspective. Afterwards, we once again headed upstairs to wind down in ‘5@10’ (Creston’s dedicated watering hole) with the rest of the ‘Next Generation’ gang.

I think today’s session really helped to familiarise us with the Communications division as a whole and everything the Communications division do, and also sparked some new ideas for our final pitch. As always, the Next Generation Class of 2014 will be updating you on our progress throughout the Next Generation scheme, so check back for future instalments!

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Lucy Morris
01962 842211
Article date - 06/06/2014
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