@RussLidstone: We’re in a content game and we have to ask the right questions

Advertising, Digital & Media, Social Media

Russ Lidstone, CEO Havas Worldwide London (former EuroRSCG London) said, in his IAB Forum Romania presentation, that brand must engage people, as agencies and people working in the advertising industry have to make their propositions evolve and develop content that would capture audience’s imagination.

According to him, “we’re in a content game” and today’s advertising can’t be described anymore as simple ATL or BTL, PR or Digital, but as a mix of all those.

Russ Lidstone @IAB Forum Romania  (Photo source: http://on.fb.me/OKI1dr)Lidstone explained that content is in the heart of what we do now, with agencies operating now in a very different landscape compared to a few years ago. Moreover, the key for building brands beyond the banner is exposing content in multiple ways.

Russ Lidstone considers that, in today’s world, there are 8 E-s that must be considered in order to properly build a brand:

1. Elaborate and Engage – elaborate stories; ability to talk more about the brand story through all the channels available; the richness is unbelievable;

To create context, the example is Chivalry concept created for Chivas, 2nd most brought whiskey brand at international level. The concept was implemented by making 2 movies for digital, that generated millions of views and doubled the number of searches on the Chivas and Chivas Regal key words. Film bloggers received teasers with the movies, while the campaign was supported with TV and outdoor executions.

“Live with Chivalry” campaign

2. Educate and Enrich

Credit Suisse case study  – the agency created an insight on Leonardo’s life, with Leonardo’s Studio Tour, for its client Credit Swiss – sponsor of the National Gallery in London. Following the campaign, the bank won public’s favorable attitude, even if it was only present with logo on exhibition’s poster.

Havas offered general public the possibility to experience the working life of one of the world’s most celebrated artists with “Leonardo: The Studio Tour”, an app inspired by paintings and literature of that era that presents Leonardo’s Milan studio as imagined by Credit Suisse. The app is available in iTunes and Android Market.

 3. Effect and Enlighten

Do good and help;  social media is a force for good and helps raise awareness effectively among general public.

As an example, Havas Worldwide London created the #thepeacebutton (www.thepeacebutton.com) to increase the awareness for Peace Day. The peace button was introduce to create a worldwide cease fire so humanitarian aid can get to the areas where the aid was most needed. By pressing the Peace Button, people militate for peace online and make September 21st recurrent as Peace Day. It reached to 2.5M people, with only 19 people from Romania pressing the button. Moreover, 10,000 people added September 21st in their calendar so they could be remembered the event every year.

4. Entertain and Empower

Dulux – entertain and make people make a difference in their community by painting the walls

VO5 – What are young women interested online: beauty tips and new original music. Express yourself – encourage women to upload their own songs and beauty tips. The campaign became global starting from the executions for UK. The insight was that women are mainly interested on styling tips & tricks and music and generated and continues to generate incredible results. As an award, the contest offers the chance to sing to one of the most popular music festivals in UK.

To be able to go beyond banners in online advertising, one has to have a clear purpose, engagement at the heart, to be open up to participation and break down siloed thinking and to expose content in multiple ways.

Russ Lidstone started his career working for Coca Cola and entered advertising world in 1992, as planner at McCann-Erickson. Afterwards, he worked as Senior Planner Butterfield Day and HHCL&Partners, and joined Lowe in 2001, working on Tesco account, and, 2 years later, he is promoted Head of Planning. After a short period at JWT, Russ joins Euro RSCG as Chief Strategy Officer in 2006. He becomes CEO Euro RSCG Londra in 2008 and, since than, he is supervising digital’s development within the agency, the social media (Cupola Lab) and the new channels, but also PR integration with the core of the business. Russ won with his teams a lot of awards, among which Advertiser of the Year, IPA Effectiveness, Cannes Lion, Big, D&AD, APG and many others, including TED awards. He was recently voted the most inspirational and creative leader, he is member in IPA Council (UK), appeared in Debrett’s “People of today” and is frequently present in Campaign magazine. Russ Lidstone also spoke, in an interview for AdHugger in May 2011, about creating ideas that deliver effectiveness and ROI