How to bring joy back to marketing? Think differently and don’t be afraid to involve others

The 16th year of the Marketing Management conference was dedicated to the question of how to bring joy back to marketing.

Around twenty domestic and international speakers spoke about transformation of thinking, different ways of executing campaigns and even about ways to turn people into brand ambassadors. These experts were listened to by around two hundred marketers representing a wide array of important companies and agencies. Besides its rich speaker program, the conference also presented an overview of the finalists of the Marketing Feat of the Year 2014/15 competition. Air Bank and COOP Jednota Slovakia performed especially well.

Despite the joyful theme of the program, the conference began on a surprisingly sombre note. A funeral procession with a coffin traversed the dimly lit hall to the sounds of a funeral march. The moderator, Jan Binar from McCann Prague, invited the suspense-filled, on-looking conference participants to bury everything in themselves that prohibits them from being happy in their professional and personal lives. With the end of this metaphorical ceremony, nothing more stood in the way of searching for answers to the question of how to bring joy back to marketing.

Loredana Popasav, a coach from Making Change Work UK, discussed the myths, which impede joy. Gradually, she laid out the equation, in which unhappiness (whose subsets are stress, struggle and sacrifice) equals happiness. “A lot of people think that a sense of joy and fulfillment can only be achieved by success. The achievement of success is, however, naturally tied in with stress; therefore, it does not make sense in the end," pointed out Popasav and counseled: “Change the way you think! Joy must come from the inside."

Peter Field, a Marketing Consultant and a co-author of the IPA Effectiveness Awards research, presented the results of a study on 700 brands in 83 different countries over the last 30 years. The data indicates that joy and emotions decide if a brand is successful in the long run. For a successful marketer, it is important to properly combine short-term activation connected to brand building with long-term, emotionally tinted campaigns that have a bigger effect in the long run.

Chief creative officer at McCann Bucharest, Catalin Dobre, introduced a successful campaign executed by Vodafone. The Romanian population is divided into technologically savvy cities and villages yet untouched by technology. In its commercial, Vodafone employed a young sheepherder, Ghita Ciobanul, who started to document his entire life on social media and became an international celebrity literally overnight. “We engaged real people, that is the secret behind the success of our campaign," explained Dobre and proved his claim with a successful follow-up campaign, in which cooking grand-moms became the heroines of social media.

Martin Oetting, a global marketing strategist at trnd, deals with word of mouth marketing and viral campaigns, which are the dream of each marketer. According to Oetting, the key is not to be afraid to have confidence in people on the team as well as in the customers. “Take care of them, they will make a hero of daily life out of your product," he added.

The afternoon program consisted of an overview of marketing campaigns. Campaigns that were approved of by the expert marketing public were discussed first. Afterwards followed the presentation of the finalists of the Marketing Feat of the Year competition. Both of these parts of the afternoon program were moderated by the singer and artist, Klára Vytisková.

Lukáš Cankař from Škofin introduced comedic ads with Milan Šteindler, which encouraged a change of perception of their leasing company. Until then, the customers associated it only with Škoda vehicles.

The Czech Olympic Committee impressed the experts with their “Invisible Heroes" campaign, in which they thank volunteer trainers. This campaign conveys three messages – giving thanks, raising interest in becoming a volunteer trainer and, at the same time, introducing another area that the committee oversees in addition to taking care of professional athletes.

Lukáš Saitz from L'Oréal introduced a campaign for hair colour, in which they cast a young singer and an “IT girl," Celeste Buckingham. Extremely successful results of this campaign convinced the highest management of the corporation about the meaningfulness of local ambassadors and the company is preparing to follow the same strategy in other countries.

Hana Kovářová from Raiffeinsenbank introduced campaigns with detective Arthur, who, in the spirit of film noir, takes the clients on a tour of the bank market. “We realized that instead of competing with other banks, we have to come back to the clients. We focused on finding out what they want and what they ask for in their everyday interactions with the bank. And we tried to offer this to them."

Emil Jimenez and his agency Passion Communications are behind the fake campaign to sell the Prague Castle that brought attention to the issue, which the real estate company Czech Point 101 is having. They are in a drawn-out dispute with the Czech administration for the trademark Czech Point.

Petr Topinka and Robert Peňažka from Future Bakery talked about the sense in and unused opportunities of crowdsourcing in their likeable and slightly eccentric presentation, in which they at times included even the moderator, Klára Vytisková. “There is a huge amount of inspiration hidden within people. Play an open game with them, and ask them to participate. Release the force of your customers and let them create your marketing."

Six commercial campaigns, determined by the results of GfK's customer research, were introduced at the conference in the competition for the best marketing feat of the year. Air Bank won in the Czech Market category, while Coop Jednota Slovensko had the most interesting campaign among the Slovak ones. A separate news release will inform about the Marketing Feat of the Year competition in more detail.

Marketing Management 2015 happened with the support of many partners, lead by the golden partner GfK.

Marketing Management 2015
14. 5. 2015
Theatre ARCHA in Prague

Barbora Krásná, Partner, Blue Events, +420 222 749 841

Contact for media:
Aneta Zímová, Project Manager, Blue Events, +420 730 184 505

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