Dave Trott - STV masterclass

My hand was hurting and I'd nearly run out of paper. But if you've been in a room with him as his words of wisdom, you wouldn't be surprised if it was the same for you. Dave Trott, love him or loathe him, there's nothing quite like an evening when you get the full Trott treatment.

He opens with his philosophy that there is only one medium. And his medium is people.

Each person sees on average of 1000 advertising messages a day. And that last year, £18 billion was spent on advertising. Of that, 89% wasn't remembered, 8% was remembered negatively and just 3% had a positive affect on people. Of this 8% that was negative, Trott argues that you don't have to create advertising that's fun and interesting. After all, advertising is only doing it's job if you remember it.

Advertisers should look to have a conversation with a consumer, which has a purpose.

And how do you do that? Well, with impact, communication and some persuasion. The trouble is, in Trott's view, agencies need to work the opposite way. With persuasion, communication then impact tagged on. Many ads merely go for impact and miss the whole point of any communication and persuasion towards the consumer. This post will be filled with charty goodness, and here's your first one:

The customer conversation.
Trott says consumers read down the pyramid, but that agencies should build up. In agencies, persuasion is where the clients, account teams and strategists play their role. Planners sit in the communication berth. And, while the art directors occupy the impact portion, the copywriters are spread over the impact and communication sections of the pyramid.

The whole point of this chart is to work out what your role is in the advertising food chain. Simple stuff.

What goes on inside that pyramid?
The role of the planners, account teams and the clients is to work out what they are, who they're targeting, and whether they want a brand or product lead advert.
In the grand scheme of things, is the brand A or B? Is it a big fish in a small pond? Or a little fish competing against lots of little fish, to turn into a big fish? Cardboard box.

Once you've established which brand you are you can build on that. Brand A should be looking to make a bigger pie chart by growing the market. While brand B should be looking to increase their brand share within the current pie chart.

The planners then have to work out if the advert should by targeting current users or trialists. And then the role of the client and accounts team is to work out if they want a brand ad, or a product lead advert.

With this in mind, a briefing is made a lot simpler. Something creatives love.
Give them a route, and their job is made easier. For instance, if you're Pepsi, you're brand B. Then decide who you're targeting and what the ad is. And then tell the creatives to get to work.

How to have impact in an ad
When everything thing works, this is how to have the greatest success. You don't see the bit at the bottom, but everyone client and agency side knows it's there.

Think how many ads from yesterday you can remember. Any? Maybe that's because many of those ads weren't icebergs. Plus, everyone knows the blue bit on this graph is when you get an Old Spice ad.
Now get off your boat and turn your product into diamonds. How you may ask? By targeting opinion formers, not opinion followers. Opinion formers are, obviously, much more open to being communicated to.

Trott claims they are sharper, faster and more mentally agile. And to a brand, one opinion former is worth ten opinion followers. This is because they can start to change the opinion followers' perception about a product. They start conversations, followers join in.
As Trott continued with his many stories he pointed out that there is a difference between a good ad and a bad ad. But not idea wise.

Something like WeBuyAnyCar.com has impact, communication and persuasion. But we as ad folk hate it. However, in the mind of the consumer, I know they buy any make, any model, from £50 to £100,000, they buy any car. And if I'm trying to sell my car, what's the first place I think of? Autotrader or WeBuyAnyCar.com. They went from nowhere to being the only other car buying place I can think of.

Now obviously this is not fool proof,  but I wasn't going to argue with the man who's been there and done that. Old Spice, for one, have shoehorned in a great idea and this theory to make great ads. So don't just go out there and make more annoying jingles.

After all, simplicity is genius. But remember to not build ads the way you interact with them.

You've been Trotted. And I've finished.