Applying the Silicon Valley Approach to Marketing seminar by Contagious and Publicis at the Cannes Lions Festival urged agencies to take a look at tech companies and how they innovate by citing five characteristics of successful tech innovation:
1. First, movers win, so be quick – if you don’t do it someone else will. Take chances and don’t hesitate in developing something new. Heineken developed a mobile app that allows soccer fans to watch matches and engage by predicting the outcome of plays. Half spectator sport, half video game.
2. Be prolific and not precious – less 360 more 365, be on all the time. Lady Gaga did everything, everywhere to promote her release of Born This Way, including a tie in with Farmville. She also became a creative director at Polaroid, cut a 99-cent deal for Amazon users, created advertising on Google and arrived at the Grammys in a giant egg. Do a little of everything and something’s bound to stick.
3. Take advantage of spikes in cultural interest – yesterday’s acting and measuring have been replaced by listening and responding. Kulula Airlines boycotted FIFA licensing for the 2010 World Cup and created a cheap parody print ad making fun of the rules around marketing during global event. FIFA responded with a cease and desist order that prompted more ads, then Kulula offered free flights to anyone named Sepp Blatter (which just happens to be the name of the humorless head of FIFA). When someone set up a Facebook page for his or her dog named Sepp Blatter, Kulula sent the dog on an aerial tour of the country. Amazing cultural leverage that was not planned but exploited expertly.
4. Lobby for what you believe – Milton Freedman once said: “Whatever is good for business is good for the community.” But the converse is true as well. Electrolux took an environmental disaster, a mass of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, and created a documentary that brought attention to the issue. It then used the recycled plastic to build museum-worthy prototype vacuum cleaners.
5. Creative applications of data – data is the new oil, it’s only useful when refined. Intel developed an engaging Facebook application called the Intel Museum of Me. Aggregating people’s photos and creating a virtual gallery that represents each user uniquely. Brilliant!