Hegarty in Cannes - Brands should be more profound

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 22 June 2016

Not every campaign can change the world, but BBH founder and industry icon Sir John Hegarty says brands should still try to be more profound with their communications whether it’s in cinema or Snapchat. 

Hegarty is in Cannes talking about the power of cinema, alongside SAWA the global cinema advertising association following the work he did with the UN's Global Goals "We Have A Plan" which ran in cinema globally.

But with the rise of increasingly disposable marketing channels such as Snapchat and short form video on Facebook and Instagram, there is a current view that brands need to make an impact within the first three seconds of a video, and often without audio.

In a world of multi-platform messaging, marketers forget how powerful cinema is, according to Hegarty.

“I constantly say the most powerful place to tell a story is in the cinema – it was conceived as a storytelling medium and we are telling a story – what was incredible was that some research on the spot we created, a week after one in three people could recall the spot unprompted,“ he said.

“We forget how powerful cinema is as a means of capturing the zeitgeist – marketers that is – the public understand it but we sometimes forget it in a world of multi-messages. Cinema is a great place to tell a story and get undivided attention.“

Hegarty was talking earlier this week on a panel alongside movie producers Lawrence Bender (Pulp Fiction, An Inconvenient Truth) and Steve Golin (Spotlight, The Revenant) and UN advocate Claudia Gonzalez, about using the medium if cinema to get a strong message across but as attention spans shorten and channels such as Snapchat gain momentum and a greater share of consumers attention, bring able to get a message across in three seconds is becoming a focus for brands and agencies.

When AdNews asked how he views the disposable nature of those channels alongside cinema, Hegarty unifying a message across all channels was of course the most important thing – but also talked about brands needing to be profound wherever their message is running.

“I don’t think everything can be deeply profound and moving, there is a place for fun incidental humorous conversation, we can’t have everything trying to change the world because that would be truly hopeless. But I think having a big idea that unifies your communication is fundamentally important. When you’re dealing with an issue like abuse in the Catholic church, that’s a big issue – but brands can be more profound – they don’t have to be trying to change the world but they could be more profound with the ideas they are communicating. Unifying them through all the media [channels] is what’s most important.“

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop me a line at rosiebaker@yaffa.com.au

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