Sunday, 4 December 2011

GADABOUT: 6OneD Review (written for and first shown on the IPA's Gradvantage blog)

On the 28th November 2011, six of the Direct Marketing sector’s most creative and accomplished minds[1] walked out onto the dimly lit Charing Cross stage.  Their challenge?  To address an issue that currently faces all those involved in the DM sector - creative excellence. 

The evening kicked off with each panellist presenting a DM case study in an attempt to woo the audience into deeming their proffered piece the best DM campaign.
A variety of campaigns were submitted to the house, ranging from Wunderman’s sublimely simple “Hitchhiker” campaign for The AA, to the cross-platform Tour de Force of Nike/Livestrong’s “Chalkbot” campaign.  Ultimately, Sav’s submission of how ROM (a chocolate bar) incited patriotism across the entire nation of Romania was victorious – though personally I liked the Chalkbot campaign (see [2] for a list of the other campaigns – have a look and see what your favourite is). 

Having adequately roused the minds of the collective, the second – more interactive half - of the evening got underway.  The floor was opened up with the goal of inducing industry furthering discussion and debate.  A goal that was undoubtedly achieved.

Prior to recent initiatives such as 6OneD, the DM industry and those who make it up have often found themselves outshouted by the more grandiose ATL agencies that typically dominate pitch shortlists.  Those at 6OneD however relished the opportunity to not only celebrate DM creativity, but discuss industry-wide issues and seek ways to address them. 

The main takeout I obtained from the seminar was that whilst in the modern Adland agencies of varying natures are competing for the same space, there will always be room for DM. 
The current reluctance of DMarketeers to be courageous in their copy or (in comparison to ATL agencies) shout about it when they do, results in a lack of client appreciation for the craft. So in order to remedy this, in what is becoming an increasingly cross-media/platform industry, DM must take the opportunity to push creativity, be audacious, and blur their “line” position that currently stigmatises them.

Overall, the evening was great, and the debate appeared to be highly constructive for all that attended.  With the IPA offering DM a forum in which to exercise their voice, I doubt it’ll be long before they’re shouting loud and proud about their creative excellence.  It’ll be a challenge, but one which all at 6OneD are clearly are fired up for.  Epitomising the vibe of the room was Nicky Bullard’s simple statement:  “Bring it on.”

Owen Lee (@oven121), Starcom MediaVest

Click here for more photos from the event.

[1] The panel:  Cooking and book loving sportophobe Caitlin Ryan, Executive Creative Director of Proximity; failed spy with a love of young “talent” Neil Francis, Creative Director of SFW; youthful playwright-to-be Nicky Bullard, Creative Director of LIDA, tech-loving (aka nerd) Rik Haslam, Chief Creative Officer at RAPP, (I couldn’t find anything out about him from his bio) Sav Evangelou, Executive Creative Director, Kittcatt Nohr Digitas; and finally, a man who’s magnificently overcome his self-confessed permanently poor hairstyle, Steve Aldridge, Co-Founder, Creative Partner and Chairman of Partners Andrews Aldridge.
[2] Others including the nationalistic “The American ROM” campaign, the subliminally Direct “Live Rescue” campaign, the e-comedic “HP ePrint Live” campaign, and T-Mobile’s recent Parking Ticket campaign – don’t ask me how Neil managed to convince us this was DM, but he did.