I’m at the airport heading back from my first trip to Sol, The Iberia and Latin American Advertising Festival. I was visiting with the students from the Design and Communication Lab at IED Madrid. The venues in Bilbao (which included the Guggenheim) were stunning and there was a great roster of international speakers (including Walter Susini – Unilever and Guido Rosales – Coca Cola).
Yesterday afternoon we managed to grab some time with the IED students and fellow tutor and JWT planning supremo Ugo Ceria to reflect on the key trends we’d seen at #ElSol2014
Purpose and cause was the major trend in communications for 2014. In Walter Susini’s excellent talk on the work Unilever are doing to drive purpose through their brands, he cited studies which demonstrated that brands with a deeper social purpose showed performance improvements of up to 350%. An interesting side effect of this is that when you watch a lot of purpose led communications together they lose their impact (2015 prediction: purpose fatigue). In the roundtable there was a good debate centred on the need for authenticity within the wider brand to drive purpose and the acknowledgement that purpose needs to live outside of the marketing veneer and throughout the whole business.
North versus South
If the Cannes festival shows the global cultural differences between East versus West, Sol demonstrated the ascendance of southern hemisphere’s creative talent and it’s impact on the creative landscape. Ugo called out that 10 years ago Argentinian creative was known for a humourous style. Now the southern hemisphere is more likely to deliver emotional storytelling evoking Gabo to underpin purposeful communications.
While the work was strong in Outdoor, press TV & Cinema, it was uneven across the smaller categories and my specialist field of digital felt one of the weakest.
However the main inequality which my students identified was around gender. The Jury panel of senior creative leaders featured 10 guys and 1 women (a fact not lost on the twitter stream). On a more positive note, there was a clear showing in the awards from a new generation of female creatives and a recognition that the industry was going to have to evolve.
In terms of Cannes predictions, Brazil was strong as ever with “Bury the Bentley” and Getty looking destined for great things.
My personal favourite was “The Sun is not what you say it is” created by Lowe for Vision Labs.
Thanks again to all at Sol, IED and JWT Madrid for making this happen!
You can read more about the work shown at Sol in this great summary on Marketing Directo (in Spanish)