JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, and a true global network with 200-plus offices in over 90 countries. This, year JWT returns to Social Media Week New York as host to our Advertising & Marketing content hub. We sat down with CEO of JWT North America, David Eastman, to chat about their role in this year’s event:
1. This will be the fourth year that JWT New York has partnered with Social Media Week. Why is SMW an event that your company keeps returning to?
First of all, we love partnering with SMW. Being involved in the conversation about how technology is shaping our lives and impacting the way we connect with each other is both fascinating and important to us as an agency. The sessions at Social Media Week cover a lot of surface area and bring people together from across different industries, passions and areas of expertise. We’re proud to be part of it.
2. This year, our global theme is “Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World.” How does JWT embody or support this idea?
JWT is a network, and in order to work efficiently our network needs to be open and connected to itself, our partners and clients. The accelerating rate of change in our industry means that, as one of the largest global agencies with more than 200 offices in 90 countries, collaboration has to be at the heart of how we operate. So I’d say that we embody, support and are an example of your global theme!
3. What trends do you see emerging in advertising?
Statistically, this will be the year where we see social becoming predominantly mobile because internet use via smartphones and tablets will surpass access by laptops and desktops. This inflection point will unleash yet another disruptive wave of creativity in web experiences, content and applications. I also see this all as a positive for TV advertising as, in order to keep our attention, it will need to surprise and delight more often.
4. Which of your campaigns have been the more creative and successful in the past year?
Rather than give a list, as a general answer I would say that the value of a great idea, well executed, and based on a great insight that reflects or forms culture has not changed, but the opportunities to exploit one have multiplied exponentially over the last few years, which makes it a great time to be in the brand building business.
5. JWT New York’s Band-Aid Magic Vision interactive campaign just received a great nod from AdForum’s Greatest Hits. Can you tell us more about the campaign and JWT’s expansion into interactive advertising?
The augmented reality category is littered with applications that focus on technology for technology’s sake, so this was an opportunity for us to use AR for something far more powerful. With Band-Aid Magic Vision, we wanted to do something fun, bold and meaningful for parents and their children. When parents and children scanned their Band-Aid bandage via a smartphone or tablet, it instantly became a stage for interactive entertainment designed to entertain kids’ pain away. The platform also provided a new media platform, unlocking infinite possibilities of ways to enhance the consumer brand experience. To say we’ve expanded into interactive advertising belies the fact that we’ve been doing it in some form or another for years now, but with Jeff Benjamin at the helm creatively we’re making more of a mark, as evidenced by the fact that this effort won Gold in the mobile category at Cannes last year.
6. Can you give us a preview of what you might discuss during your Social Media Week opening keynote?
I’m going to talk firstly about the surface volatility of the social ecosystem that is constantly creating new ways for all these elements to work together. Then about the fact that underneath this surface volatility I see a long-term geological shift happening: Social is moving quickly from ‘destination’ to ‘layer,’ and burrowing down into the undercarriage of the web to become part of its infrastructure. It is, in effect, eating the web.
7. What should SMW NYC attendees expect to see from JWT’s Advertising & Marketing Hub?
Expect to hear panels that delve into social media and the implications it has for marketers, consumers, technology, start ups and more. It’s going to be a draw for the beginner who is just getting into the industry as well as the seasoned professional. From JWT, we are hosting a few different events that are going to be great. Following her successful Social Media Week session last year, our Director of Trendspotting Ann Mack will be back, hosting a solo talk “Going Private in Public” (one of the trends surveyed in her 10 Trends for 2013 report), which explores reclaiming privacy in our lives where living publicly has become the default. We’re also going to dive into the realm of food in “What’s on Your Plate: How Digital Has Evolved Our Palates,” as we bring together some of today’s most influential foodies (think Yummly, Nestle, StudioFeast) who are pushing the bounds of what’s possible with food and technology. And with CSR efforts becoming an increasingly significant part of brand strategy and business models, our panel “Societal Brands in a Societal World” is going to take a closer look at how brands like Warby Parker are starting to adopt principles that are weighed not just by transactions alone but by their value to society.