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October 2017

Advertising: From a Chrysalis into a Butterfly

By | Food for thought | No Comments

Advertising From a Chrysalis into a ButterflyThere’s been a lot of talk about the “death” of advertising, but with an estimated $34 billion spent on Facebook marketing in 2017, that seems unlikely. Rather than “dead” it’s actually undergoing a welcome transformation from an incubating chrysalis into a responsive butterfly.


“There’s too much crap.” Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer,  P&G

Eloquent words spoken by Marc Pritchard in relation to P&G’s approximate $140 million cut in digital ad spend. The decision sent shock waves through the industry, but P&G’s marketing shift is a wakeup call to agencies to break down silos, simplify and be more transparent. “We’re improving the quality of consumer insights, agency creative talent and production,” said P&G CEO David Taylor. Sounds like an effective way to shake up parts of the industry into much-needed transformation.


“There has always been ad blocking. Ad blocking was the 30-second TV ad coming on air and you got up to make a cup of tea.” Keith Weed, CEO Unilever

29% of Germans use desk top ad blockers according to Business Insider’s world chart and they’re the top global “blockers”, followed by India at 28%.  But more than half the people in the world have a smart phone and there hasn’t been “mass adoption” of ad blockers on mobile (yet). And many people take their phones with them when they make a cup of tea. So there are delicious advertising options right there.


“We believe a lot of what’s behind the macro trend of ‘personalisation’ is simply the desire for human connection…” Eric Korman, CEO of PHLUR

The push for brands and agencies to personalise products is making marketing more colourful. From Coke cans with names on (apparently surnames are in the pipeline, hope there’s a McGillivray), to beauty products you “try on” with a phone app, to virtual stylists. Technology and “connection” are creating an advertising world which looks brighter, fresher and more effective.


“We must become more comfortable with probability and uncertainty.” Nate Silver

This quote by Nate Silver made me think of the Nando’s ads, so cleverly agile and creative. But there’s room for more agencies and brands to be braver and align current affairs with their marketing. I predict we will see more of this. While there are risks in riding the winds of change, there are also great benefits to being current and credibly noticeable.


“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” Bill Bernbach

The nature of advertising is shifting from overhead-heavy to quality creative that reflects the practical needs of the consumer. But the emotional needs of the customer are also all important and cause marketing (a subject close to my heart) is no longer a fringe activity and we’ll see more brand values visibly integrated into core marketing strategies in the future.

The Same, But Different

“Just when the caterpillar thought “I am incapable of moving,” it became a butterfly.” Annette Thomas

So much has happened in the industry since I was part of the first live TV commercial, Pricebusters for Hyperama and M Net circa 1987, but when you think about it, advertising influencers on Facebook Live are not so far away from that original concept of selling live on television; much like the metamorphosis of a incubating chrysalis into a free floating butterfly.

Sheila McGillivray, Tribe Leader