Tuesday, August 25, 2009

IMMAP Summit Day 1: So-so

Spent the day at SMX for the IMMAP Summit 2009. Some good stuff, a lot of boring stuff! Anyway here are the...


If "digital delivers" (the theme of this year's summit), where are the billings?
A recurring comment from almost all presenters is that the growth of Internet use in the Philippines is not being matched by advertising spend in digital. This was expressed by speakers coming from both client and agency side.

Three clients who spoke today had interesting takes on this
  • Charmaine Canillas (Petron) said that it boils down to measurement. While they see the engagement potential of the medium, there is just no hard-and-fast way to measure performance online the way we do on traditional. For example, there is no counterpart yet for Reach and Frequency.
  • For James Lafferty (Ret. GM, P&G), digital is just too expensive. Though P&G's high-end or youth brands spend up to 50% of their campaign budgets on digital, he finds that digital is still "2-40% more expensive than traditional per reach point". (Hope I got that quote right! ...To be fair, he also encouraged the audience to try things and take risks online if they believe in the idea.)
  • The most inspring was Sandra Puno (Communication Director, Nestle). Let me cut in a bit to say that I admire Nestle very much for seeing the potential of digital before a lot of other brands, and really supporting the medium with experimentation on different kinds of campaigns. Anyway Sandra said that while business results are of course important, it isn't all about money, and it can't just be about money.
I agree with all of them. So many clients we've spoken to know how important a touchpoint digital is. But given the risk, they opt to put their (often limited) budget in more tried-and-tested media. And it takes quite a bit of convincing to get them to try digital.

What does this mean?
  • Per Lafferty: Baby steps. Try and fail cheaply. But there needs to be a breakthrough in cost structure - cut it down to something hypercompetitive.
  • Canillas: Bodies like IMMAP need to work on standardizing measurement (a) across the industry, and (b) to something more comparable with traditional media.
  • Puno: I think she mentioned something about the value of having a good agency partner. I definitely agree with that, in that powerful creative ideas can break the mold and gain both eyeballs and business results.

Ramon Bautista is the ultimate digital talent!
He was the star of three digital campaigns featured in the IMMAP Summit today - Petron, Nescafe's Listo campaign, and later on, Sandbox, the latter two of which won Boomerang awards by the way.
Having worked with him for Gloo about a year ago (which I can't link to because the site is now defunct), he is great at producing content, he promotes that content on his Brewrats radio show, and he is so deadpan-ly funny... which seems to be clicking with people online! Go Dan Michael.

If you can't get Ramon but are going to do a video about social media or the information (r)evolution, it's gotta be accompanied by Fatboy Slim's “Right Here, Right Now”.
Rahul Vasudev of Mediacom ended his presentation with this video from Socialnomics. I've seen a few comments online where people accuse Socialnomics of basically ripping off the famous Did You Know (2.0) videos. I sort of agree but in any case, all three videos have the same music! It is apparent that the best way to present this kind of thought-provoking video is via Fatboy Slim.

So sorry IMMAP, but shouldn't some of these vendors be paying us for the chance to deliver their sales pitches, instead of the other way around?
Many of the other speakers seemed to be making 45-min long sales pitches...
  • Yahoo! - I love the Purple Hunt but we didn't need to hear about it for forty-five minutes!
  • Nielsen - Was hoping to see some new data that wasn't included in the study they just released. Besides that, when are those online measurement tools finally going to get to the Philippines?
  • Deploy Digital, ihub, Admax, especially Affle! - They didn't really say anything new or groundbreaking and ultimately they were selling, selling, selling, selling!
  • Eyeblaster - Sales pitch for sure but I really liked the rich media ad that lets you record a video right on the banner! Nice.

To be perfectly honest, didn't really get anything new from today's talks. This would have been useful if you've never done anything online and you're sort of looking to get into it. You would have heard a nice list of what to do, what to avoid and now have a list of vendors who can do creative, media, measurement!

Hope tomorrow will be much, much more informative.


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