In­spir­ing Top­ics Tack­led at Ad­pulse Cre­ative Day

In­spir­ing Top­ics Tack­led at Ad­pulse Cre­ative Day

ArabAd - - CONTENTS -

In cur­rent times where there is a press­ing need for com­pa­nies and brands to play a more mean­ing­ful role in peo­ple’s lives, where com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sion­als are in­creas­ingly aware of their roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, where tol­er­ance and in­clu­siv­ity are val­ued and have be­come cen­tral theme to brand’s sto­ry­telling, and where per­cep­tion is the ever-last­ing im­pres­sion and an in­flu­en­tial fac­tor af­fect­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion play­ers, Arabad had the plea­sure to host, at the renowned cul­tural hub D Beirut, a day of talks, learn­ing, and cre­ative in­spi­ra­tion to in­spire all at­ten­dees with eye-open­ing con­cepts and ideas much needed in a thriv­ing world.

The first ses­sion of the day was led by Thomas Kol­ster, Di­rec­tor of the Good­ver­tis­ing Agency and au­thor of Good­ver­tis­ing, the most com­pre­hen­sive book to date ex­plor­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion for good. For the man who has coined the word Good­ver­tis­ing, clearly his lec­ture re­volved around the in­tro­duc­tion of this new re­al­ity.

In a rad­i­cal trans­par­ent world, there’s no room for self-serv­ing brands, an en­thu­si­ast and gen­uine Kol­ster ex­plained that the com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­dus­try has a piv­otal role to play in pro­mot­ing a more sus­tain­able mind­set and be­hav­iour and that by mak­ing ad­ver­tis­ing bet­ter we can make the world bet­ter. As a mat­ter of fact, he said that 80% of cus­tomers glob­ally say they want to buy from com­pa­nies that are pos­i­tively im­pact­ing the world around them. How­ever, only 6% be­lieve the com­pa­nies they do busi­ness with are ac­tu­ally good. More­over, he in­sisted that it’s not about be­ing good rather bru­tally bet­ter. To­day Kol­ster says brands must be bold, solve stuff and think busi­ness mod­els like a War­ren Buf­fet on speed. If need be, “hire a farmer-in­vite dif­fer­ences in­side. Marry your clients or sim­ply care!”

Kol­ster gave ex­am­ples of for­ward think­ing brands in­clud­ing lo­cal ones like By­b­los Bank and Ab­so­lut Vodka, brands that are tap­ping into the emo­tions of peo­ple on what re­ally mat­ters like the en­vi­ron­ment, plas­tic pol­lu­tion, di­ver­sity and gen­der equal­ity – through gen­uine acts of so­cial good and not mere mar­ket­ing ploys that as­so­ciate a brand with feel­good cam­paigns. These brands have led pur­pose­ful and im­pact­ful cam­paigns and are liv­ing up to their pur­pose, turn­ing chal­lenges into suc­cess sto­ries, leav­ing a mark on peo­ple and in­creas­ing their profit. With­out pur­pose, hence no mean­ing and no po­ten­tial for brands. He also men­tioned a per­ti­nent quote from Larry Fink, CEO of Black­rock who said: “With­out a sense of pur­pose, no com­pany, ei­ther pub­lic or pri­vate, can achieve its full po­ten­tial. It will ul­ti­mately lose the li­cense to op­er­ate from Key stake­hold­ers.” Kol­ster is ob­vi­ously on a mis­sion to trans­form com­mu­ni­ca­tions pro­fes­sion­als into mar­ket­ing ac­tivists, so ad­ver­tis­ing turns into some­thing bet­ter, sim­ply be­cause he cares and he wants ev­ery­one of us to care. The se­cond lec­ture of the day tack­led Per­sonal Brand­ing and was de­liv­ered by Jimmy Ghazal, founder of Beirut­based Mind­lab, a cre­ative, busi­ness and in­no­va­tion based con­sul­tancy, work­ing on en­hanc­ing brand ex­pe­ri­ences and per­cep­tions. Ti­tled “It’s not how good you are but how well you are per­ceived”, Ghazal’s key­note stressed mainly on the fact that the chal­lenge for brands is not sell­ing ser­vices and prod­ucts but rather en­hanc­ing and am­pli­fy­ing the per­cep­tion of the brand. “It is not what you say, it is how you say it; it is not what you do it is how you do it,” Ghazal ex­plained, em­pha­siz­ing on the im­por­tance of per­cep­tion and how well you are per­ceived. So­cial me­dia con­cepts, tips and tricks were dis­cussed, adding on how a per­son is also an am­bas­sador for their brand but also a per­son and their brand are two faces to the same coin. A good per­cep­tion is found in ev­ery­day ex­pe­ri­ences – rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in an era of emo­tions and in­ter­ac­tions, which are por­trayed in so­cial me­dia emoti­cons.

Thomas Kol­ster pre­sented a hands on prac­tice work­shop on “How to Fu­ture Proof Your brand and Un­lock Gen­uine Shared Value.” The work­shop seated the par­tic­i­pants on round ta­bles to fa­cil­i­tate hands on group work, ex­er­cises and dis­cus­sions on his ear­lier in­tro­duced con­cept of Good­ver­tis­ing, build­ing fur­ther into the cri­te­ria and char­ac­ter­is­tics of a val­ued brand with pur­pose – a pur­pose­ful brand. Dif­fer­ent brands were an­a­lyzed for their “Good­ver­tis­ing.” Dif­fer­ent solutions, ex­am­ples and im­pact­ful ideas were brain­stormed and pre­sented in re­la­tion to brands’ val­ues and how these in turn cre­ate brand trust. The ul­ti­mate ob­jec­tive was to show at­ten­dees how mar­keters are suc­cess­fully mov­ing away from mar­ket­ing at peo­ple and rather cre­at­ing gen­uine wa­ter­cooler con­ver­sa­tions and putting for­ward solutions to is­sues that re­ally mat­ter to peo­ple.

The fourth ses­sion of the day was about Graphic De­sign as a So­cial Com­men­tary. This lec­ture was pre­sented by Mirko Ilic, one of the most ac­claimed de­sign­ers alive to­day who has pre­vi­ously served as art di­rec­tor for the in­ter­na­tional edi­tion of Time mag­a­zine and the New York Times Op-ed pages. Ilic spoke of the value of free­dom and how de­sign­ers use their skills and graphic vi­su­als to de­pict their dis­sent. By show­cas­ing sev­eral posters and art pieces based on the book ‘De­sign of Dis­sent’, which he co-au­thored with Mil­ton Glaser, he dis­cussed and shed light on the poignant mes­sage of de­fi­ance these vi­su­als por­tray by ad­dress­ing press­ing top­ics such as war, poverty, racism, hu­mans rights, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, and gun con­trol to name a few. He fo­cused on the pow­er­ful abil­ity of graphic de­sign to visu­ally drive so­cial change and the artists’ re­spon­si­bil­ity to use their skills for good and how they can im­pact so­cial change through graphic de­sign and art. The day full of re­mark­able les­sons, take­aways and a great at­mos­phere of learn­ing and con­nect­ing to drive a pos­i­tive im­pact­ful change in the world was all planned in­side an art ex­hibit cu­rated by Mirko Ilic him­self on Tol­er­ance. Over 100 posters have been trav­el­ing around the globe, with prom­i­nent in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers adding their take in rein­ter­pret­ing the con­cept of tol­er­ance - por­tray­ing it through the eyes of their mind - at each stop along the way.

The day ended with the an­nounce­ment of the win­ners of Arabad Poster De­sign Con­test where where re­gional artists and de­sign­ers were asked to add their own vis­ual take on the idea of Tol­er­ance.

The Tol­er­ance Poster Show was the cherry on top to a fruit­ful day. Speak about an in­tel­lec­tual pur­pose­ful event at a time where in­clu­siv­ity is cher­ished more than ever.

Fi­nal­ists of Arabad Poster Con­test

Fi­nal­ists of Awards Poster Con­test

The Tol­er­ance Poster Show

Kol­ster & Ilic

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