Campaign Brief Article: Creating value exchange ideas


15th June, 2009

I was asked by Campaign Brief to write an article for the June addition. Below is the story that was published.


I’m convinced that digital thinking has found a true home and place in the advertising agency world. Digital has now become the preferred toolkit to help create and deliver compelling involving brand stories. I’m now seeing blade running creative’s, looking deeper into what digital offers, exploring the outer limits and always running risks into things they don’t understand.

Creative’s are finding that using digital platforms and channels at the heart of their campaigns enables the opportunity to create ideas that have participation and conversations with consumers. I call this a value exchange.

A value exchange is the added components and features of the idea or to the idea that allows for involvement with the brand. Ideas that have a value exchange can use and embrace digital technology and use the connected network to give consumers and their social communities a message, a conversation, an experience that can influence how the brand is accepted and adapted into consumers lives.


Campaign Brief – June Edition 

Why create ideas with a value exchange I hear you ask. Technology devices combined with varies digital platforms, broadband and wireless is driving audience change as they drift away from just viewing fixed media channels into spending considerable time in networked channels. This means people are now connected to media and actually become the media itself. It would seem people are truly embodying digital technology, giving it structure in their lives and becoming co-dependent on it.

Before you think I have jumped into the Matrix, stay with me. Because of this consumer embodiment of digital technology it is now offers brand’s their biggest opportunity. Advertising is no longer the intruder it once was asking for your time. Brands can now be relevant, timely and personalized. They can be introduced to you via your trusted circle. Brands can jump past and through thirty seconds of introduction into what is in its raw form can be described as a digital advertising program that is an immersive personalized television like experience enhanced with interactivity.

While digital gives creative’s a no rules creative canvas to play on, it is a complex environment. Creativity involves a large number of people from different disciplines working effectively together to solve many problems to get to a true interactive program. Great digital innovation marketing usually contains thousands of ideas and techniques to come off the big value exchange idea. It requires extra layers of content and at the Clemenger Group of agencies we have found that sprinkling our digital experts throughout the planning and creative agency teams focused on three key areas of digital storytelling helps create ideas that have participation and a value exchange with the audience.

The first thing we look at is the mechanics, and in digital planning terms this describes nourishing the idea with particular components to the digital experience. It might mean telling the pre story, the back story. It might mean going deeper into one component, element or character or place. Telling what happens next or before. Maybe we develop the idea or story a completely different way in a different channel or platform. I always ask the question why do I care about this idea and what is the value exchange on this idea for me.

The second is the dynamics, in technology terms this describes the run-time behavior of the agreed mechanics you have crafted acting on consumer inputs and each other’s outputs over time. Sorry if I have lost you but I mean what is the input and output you expect the consumer to have with your idea in digital channels, how much involvement, what do they do now and next. How do you want your audience to be involved and how often?

The last key area we look at is the aesthetics, in digital creative terms this describes the desirable emotional responses evoked in the consumer, when they interact with the program experience across multiple digital devices and channels. So often the look and feel is done too early when you use digital. Concentrate on what feeling you want to create in the people using the digital experience.

So as you use these value exchange techniques it becomes clear the advertising communication moves from storytelling to story supplying. With more digital innovation in ideas I can see some changes in the advertising agency structure will be required to produce the best programs.

Creative agencies will move away from a produce and deploy advertising campaign approach, to a structure much closer aligned to the content world of create, manage, monitor and respond. I also believe it will also move to a real time delivery. With this I see the new successful advertising mangers and leaders as people who can manage large collaborative groups focused to deliver ideas with value exchange and then program audience involvement. Great creative agencies will be the ones to build brands with many more layers to create conversation points. They will craft programs that build intrigue, interest and deliver personalities across multiply digital devices and access channels that is managed and monitored daily.

Monitoring communication daily offers suits and clients some great benefits. It gives the addressability and accountability of advertising that is difficult to deliver in the traditional world of marketing. It enables the targeting of individuals, the ability to personalize messages, track each event of value and give much more accurate measurement of an advertisement’s impact. So while the creative’s are going to be busy developing value exchange ideas, agency planning groups will require a supporting data strategy to monitor and learn from each customer interaction. It will be important to plan a brand’s data strategy up front to measure what success looks like as the results will be there in real time to evaluate.

In closing brands will always be about big ideas, but it’s important to note with more digital programs being created with value exchange and deployed to a connected audience it means agencies will need to make some adjustments to how they are structured. The accountable creative idea that lives and breath’s based on the daily audience ratings will dictate brand communication direction. It’s certainly is the most exciting time to be a creative in the advertising agency business.

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