SapientNitro in Cannes: We're Different. No, Really, We Are.
Adforum's Angela Natividad sat down with SapientNitro's Freddie Laker and Darren McColl along with Omar Epps, all of whom were on a panel Monday at Cannes Lions and spoke to the topic of who's a better marketer, brands or celebrities. At least in the seminar, it appeared celebrities won out.
The interview on the whole is an insightful look at how the definition of an agency has changed over time and how the different toolsets and partnerships define just how an agency approaches a marketing challenge.
In the interview when Natividad asked what has changed with SapientNitro's approach over the past 12 months, McColl said they have focused on "connected thinking" which is the proper combination of skills and people, including celebrities, that can succeed at properly delivering a marketing message. He noted the approach is all about curating the right people and how "we are the people that see things that other people aren't seeing today." Laker added the point that the agencies diverse group of thinkers is what sets the agency apart.
All well and good but how many agencies can say they are different, they aren't an agency, they don't fit the traditional agency mold, they are all about a new way to solve problems before they are all the same again?
Granted every agency is a bit different in how it approaches a marketing challenge but is it so hard to agree that agencies (or whatever you want to call them) are simply companies that are in the business of influencing people to take a certain action?
Moving away from that personal gripe (apologies), Epps noted that in Hollywood, the number of Twitter followers, the amount of social reach a celebrity has and how far beyond straight acting they have extended their personal brand is now taken into account when they are considered for work. Which, of course, is a correct direction in which to head. Today, fame and success are much more about a certain degree of social connection versus the number of magazine covers on which one has appeared.
For an agency, recognizing this and recognizing that, yes, despite my personal gripe, an agency's purpose and mission has grown far beyond the act of simply creating amazing ads. Whoa. Wait a minute. Did I just say that? During Cannes Lions week? Oops. My bad. Can't wait to see who wins Film and Titanium!