Paul Yole's Sunday Cannes Festival of Creativity review - leveraging imperfection

Paul Yole Cannes 2017.jpgPaul Yole (pictured left) has written for Campaign Brief at the last eleven Cannes Lions. This year he is looking out for what's new and what's recurring.

Touchpoint Evangelist. Seriously guys, what kind of job title is that?

As it happens, it belongs to a really bright and articulate social media expert from the great Tokyo agency, Hakuhodo. Haruko Minagawa was presenting today alongside her colleagues Kazuaki Hashida and Takahiro Hosoda. And it was really interesting.

Hakuhodo sessions always provide something unusual and stimulating, if you can get past the ridiculous job titles. Their session today was entitled 'Appetite Creativity - creating desire in the social era'. For a moment I thought the food metaphor was going to be very contrived but it turned out to be almost perfect. In an imperfect kind of way.
Hakuhodo's provocation is that in today's world everyone is overloaded with information, which is a bit like eating a bowl of spaghetti the size of a bucket. It kind of kills your desire to eat anything else.

Which is why 98% of the 4,000 messages we are exposed to each day will be totally ignored.

The challenge for marketers is how to stimulate the customer's appetite to learn more about their product or service. Think of it like an aperitif. You drink it before a meal but somehow, it just tastes a bit weird. It has an imperfect taste, which leaves the body craving food. That is the job of an aperitif - to stimulate the appetite.

So how can marketers stimulate consumers' appetite to seek more information about their brand? The answer, as it turns out, lies in imperfection. Stimulate just enough to create a desire for more.

Consider restaurants. Would you rather eat at one that has a wonderful written description of the dishes, or one with full colour photos of every course proudly displayed on the rather large board on the street outside?

Hakuhodo presented a few examples of how this approach can work.

 1. Limit the experience to stimulate interest.
Instead of full blown test drives to promote their ProPILOT Technology, Nissan created a compelling experience to showcase how the technology works in real life. But instead of using cars they applied it to a completely different environment. See the case study here.

2. Limit the information you provide.
The theory here is that imperfect or incomplete information stimulates the imagination.

So instead of providing a lecture to Tokyo residents to prepare for earthquakes, Yahoo decided to make people care enough about the issue to want to find out more. They dramatised the potential impact through their campaign "It was this high".

3. Limit context and predictability
AIG took an unusual approach to promote the All Blacks visit to Tokyo with their 'Tackle the risk' spot. Surprising but undeniably stimulating.

At that point I had to leave for lunch at the Carlton Beach. The presentation had obviously worked.

Leave a comment