Event Report: Advertising Day

Event Report: Advertising Day

Written by Lise PERNIN

On March 29th, the Advertising day took place. It is the only MAEUR’s event solely based on advertising and is the oldest event of the association. This 2017 edition went by smoothly. Let’s dissect more precisely the day to grasp better its creative atmosphere. 

Three companies decided to participate: Natwerk, Achtung! and Dawn. The representatives from all the agencies were young professionals. Participants commented later in the day that they greatly appreciated this. Indeed, they felt that the employees could identify better with them and therefore their insight was more accurate.

To allow people to know each other better, the event started with a little game. Everyone wrote two questions on post-its and went around asking others and exchanging post-its. This positively influenced the mindsets of participants, making them even more eager to give their all. After that, the three agencies introduced the concept of Advertising in greater details, linking it to the concept of a truth well-told. Their arguments were always supported with tangible examples that granted their explanation more realism and allowed participants to understand better. For instance, the case of Procter & Gamble’s ad during the Olympics was shown and discussed. Following this, an explanation about the structure of ad agencies was given. The employees also described their work as Creatives, as chaotic but also extremely rewarding. At the end of the day, they have an end product (an ad), in which they can take pride in and show to others. 

Then, employees gave a brief introduction of their respective companies. For Dawn, they pictured themselves as curious and wishing to add value to the world. They showed some of their ads, such as one for Eneco. The case that participants worked on later on was also for the same company. Achtung! then presented a bit of its history, starting as a digital advertising company and growing up to be more traditional. They showed their unique approach with ads, such as the one with the Porsche Marriage. Natwerk used three key words to describe their ads: New, Simple and Noticeable. Their innovative approach was illustrated by a print ad with people preparing for winter sports. Natwerk is also looking to develop its own brands, such as Bello. Ultimately, they would like to only work for them to have total freedom in their advertising process. During this presentation, everyone was very attentive. Even the mascot of the day, the bird, wanted to participate! 

The Strategy component of making ads was discussed in deeper details. As such, a better understanding of the target group, the product itself and the general context are needed. The objective for participants was to establish a plan which can be followed. They were asked to provide insights, the more the better, about the case. Everyone was divided into groups of about 3 people, dispatched between the 3 companies.  People could then read about the case. It concerned Eneco, with a focus on sustainability, and the wish to convince young adults to spend a bit more to get green energy. Every group brainstormed and was helped by employees from the company they were assigned to. Creativity was definitely present during this part of the process, as people developed different visions about the case. 

After the teams discussed, another briefing was given, and this time it was about ideas. It refers to the approach that is chosen and should be written in about a sentence, to ensure it is clear enough. Participants were also asked to think about two executions of the same idea. They were given a list of various mediums such as activation, in which an idea could be exploited differently. Groups then chose one of the insights they had come up with, defined an idea and discussed which media would be the most appropriate. Participants also had to be very imaginative in order to choose a successful idea and execute it in a powerful way. The setting favored greatly this process. With photographs on the walls and a plastic wedding dress, the atmosphere was very artistic and everyone was pushed to think beyond the obvious.

 The final briefing about the case related to the topic of selling your ideas. Convincing clients is very important and is about 50% of the work. It is primordial to show the thought process behind what you are presenting with logical arguments. That will persuade clients that the advertisements you are selling will work. Participants were given a sheet of paper to display their four parts: insight, idea, execution 1 and execution 2. Every group then made a small oral presentation. Best groups for every company were chosen and after that, an overall winner was designated. Their “What gives you energy?” approach was very appreciated. They explored the concept of giving energy and receiving energy back, with a social media campaign and an electric floor in a music festival. One of the winning member, Arianna Piazzi, commented that their team had not directly taken this direction. After receiving some feedback during the process, they brainstormed again and came up with this excellent approach. 

At the end of the day, participants were very happy with the event. They praised the setting as well as the companies’ employees that stimulated their creativity and gave them very useful insight. They also loved the alternation between briefings and working on the case. On the other side, employees were impressed with the high level of ideas and the drive that participants displayed. Moreover, they appreciated being the ones helping and teaching this time around, as they had been the ones learning in the past. They were also very happy about the enthusiasm people showed for advertising. They expressed that the winning team had best adapted to their feedback and thus had showed the flexibility that is needed in advertising jobs. On the side of the committee, despite the chaos that is always inherent in event planning, they were very happy about the event going smoothly. The laptop free atmosphere enhanced creativity which they really liked.

Advertising Day was a big success, for all the actors of the day, participants, committee and employees alike! Remember to always cultivate your creativity!