WiM IWD Event 2013

The Creatives Part 2 – The Communicators

Place: Google UK HQ, Central St Giles, London
Date: 13 March 2013
Chair: Gail Gallie, CEO of Fallon London

The WIM conference 2013 was held on 13 March 2013, at Google’s headquarters, Central St Giles, London. The theme for this event was ‘The Creatives Part 2’, which celebrated innovative digital companies like Google and Spotify. Speakers included Alison Bonny from Spotify, Kate Garvey from Freud Communications, Karen Pearson from Folded Wind and independent consultant Clare Bennett.

Spotify’s Alison Bonny

Alison Bonny, Communications Director from Spotify brought everyone up to date with developments and talked about the importance of music for brands. Spotify is the largest on-demand music management platform. Alison explained that in future it’s about access to content not about ownership of music.

The business model is that it offers the service free – with advertising – for computer users. You can then pay to upgrade to non-advert versions and to use the service on mobile devices. There are 24 million active users in 20 countries ands 6million people now pay for Spotify with the business worth £3bn. You can create playlists and share on facebook – 34million playlists were created this February. And there are many apps from Songkick for local gigs to Tastebuds matching service based on your music and film likes. It’s perhaps no surprise that Rihanna is the most streamed artist on Spotify. And unlike the pirate music streaming platforms, 70% of earnings are distributed back to the music industry.

Some brands have grasped the opportunity, for example, Volvo is to make Spotify available in their cars.  A deal is afoot with Ford. Even politician, Barak Obama shared his playlists which bolstered his personal brand identify, and garnered praise for the diversity of his song choice.

Kate Garvey, Director at Freud Communications

Kate Garvey, Director at Freud Communications, spoke about how to create an effective global campaign. Having been involved with Live8, Labour’s third election victory and the London Olympics Torch Relay, Kate is in a unique position to explain what makes a campaign successful.

With Live8 the message that world leaders at the G8 summit should do more to stop poverty and child death in Africa was amplified through the Live8 concerts. The groundswell of public opinion told world leaders that their countries were behind steps to help.

Organisers of Live 8 presented the ‘Live 8 List’ to the world leaders calling on politicians take action to ‘Make Poverty History’. Ten free concerts were held from 2-6 July and 3 billion people came together in the fight against extreme poverty. One in 3 people under 35 in the UK wore a white band. The campaign with is broad church of support resulted in widespread media coverage and has made a real difference.

In the run-up to the 2005 Election, Kate supported Labour in their campaign to be re-elected for a third term. Labour had never won 3 terms and the election was post-Iraq. Kate planned a tour around the country with Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown. To go to places ordinary people go, do things they do and meet people – all the while presenting a unified front, unlike the portrayal of Tony and Gordon’s relationship in the media. Both men felt out of place doing some of what they were asked to do. It would have been easy to divert. But they stuck with it. On one particularly challenging day they’d visited a playrgound, IKEA and another playground and Tony and Gordon were loosing focus and questioning if this was really necessary or effective. Kate sent them off to get an ice cream. The subsequent photo of Labours’ top men, smiling together with their ice creams in the sunshine was one of the most-used images of the election in the media. Labour did win their third term.

With the Olympic Torch relay the mission was to engage the nation and welcome the world to London, all giving the London games the best chance of success. There were many things done well.

Reasons for success include:

  • the pre-published route and schedule
  • 8k torch bearers
  • 8k miles – within reach of so many towns
  • effective school campaign in advance of the relay.

But overall, Kate explained the relay had the authenticity of 8 thousand torchbearers who were local people, locally nominated and who enjoyed their moment in the spotlight.

Karen Pearson, Folded Wing

Karen from Folded Wing talked about her inspiration for choosing a career in radio. It was John Peel, the late night radio show presenter who did upcoming bands the courtesy of listening to every demo tape sent to him, and in doing so was the first to play great tracks from new bands.

Karen works with the likes of Jamie Cullum on his Jazz show on BBC Radio2, the format and production “has liberated jazz from its straight jacket and given it a people’s audience.” (Rajar Q1 2012). The show has 920,000 listeners making it the biggest jazz show.

Radio is:

  • Portable – it goes with you and you can multitask with it.
  • Drives action and responses – Radio Dando in Mozampique led to 8 times more men getting HIV tested following a community radio campaign
  • Inexpensive and agile – a radio studio can be set up anywhere, fast.

According to Karen the future is all about shaping, moulding and releasing content. So for marketers content – not advertising – is key. Plus owned platforms and toolkits for syndication are all valuable for building brands.

Orange teamed up with Absolute Radio and instead of advertising their packages, launched a campaign to help Absolute find their new Apprentice for a 6-month paid placement. It generated a huge positive response.

Red Bull Music Academy produce content which is syndicated to studios across the world and 800,000 people each week listen to the content.

The British Council promotes British music around the world. It provides a 2-hour music showcase and its toolkit for syndication means that it can be used as easily in the the Ukraine as in the UK.

Clare Bennett, Consultant

In a nutshell, Clare’s message is to do what you love. She studied Classics because it was her passion and adopted the ambition to be a more interesting person to sit next to at dinner! She talked about being involved in the Live8 campaign and the utter chaos of trying to get this off the ground.

This included Bob’s (now Sir Bob Geldoff’s) very effective way of grabbing media attention for the cause but with no plan of how to deliver Live8. A very small group of people, worked intensively with Bob to overcome huge obstacles. Not least was the lack of time, the fact nothing like this had ever been done before, and the size of this mammoth undertaking. Live8 was announced on 31 May and happened on 2-6 July. Ten concerts featuring 1,000 musicians took part and 3 billion people went, or saw coverage of the concerts.

Clare talked about some of the issues they encountered. For example it was important that tickets were free as this was a campaign against poverty aimed at world leaders not a fundraiser. But free tickets soon turned up on eBay from people trying to make a profit. Sir Bob publicly told eBay to withdraw them from sale but this was ignored. So his message was taken right back to grass roots, being about children dying of poverty with the implication that by allowing this sale eBay had blood on its hands. Then the tickets were withdrawn.

Clare’s role gave her the chance to rub shoulders with celebrities, like George Clooney and write letters to the Pope and Nelson Mandela. After Live8, other roles followed in digital at Mothervision and as commissioning editor at Tatler. Both were completely new roles for Clare, but demonstrate the ‘irrelevance of relevant experence’. This was an inspiring presentation, especially for marketers looking for their next move.

With more opportunities to network over drinks and canapés, the evening ended on a high with discussions over the great venue, inspiring speakers and lessons learnt.

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