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Speaker Spotlight: Transformation at Speed

by Sarah Sherry, Head of Digital Business

Another day, another talk, another buzz word — Transformation, or rather ‘Transformation at Speed’ was discussed by impressive advertising industry leaders from R/GA. They spoke about ‘Transformation at Speed’, and how the advertising industry as we know it is being disrupted and currently undergoing a critical challenge — fewer people than ever are spending time on ad-supported content.

“Transformation has to happen quickly. It’s going to turn out that speed is going to be the great differentiator for whether or not companies survive going into the future,” said R/GA’s EVP Global Chief Strategy Officer Barry Wacksman.

Hence, building brands through ads has been more challenging than ever. R/GA’s SVP Strategy in the US, Jess Greenwood said, “The amount of time that we spend consuming content in places that are ad supported is going down. And this should be an enormous red flag for everybody.”

The real question is, how can we go beyond advertising, and into creativity, in order to help companies transform. It is after all the Cannes Lions, Festival of Creativity — not advertising. According to Jess, advertising still has a vital role to play, but not the starring one. If that’s the case, what should brands do to stay relevant to their consumers? They must offer novel, unfamiliar and exciting consumer experiences to improve their businesses. They must recourse, change, and transform. Now.

R/GA presented the model of transformation they use to help their clients address the transformation that their company needs: Business Transformation, Experience Transformation, and Marketing Transformation.

Business Transformation, is the C-level of transformation for a company and usually dives into having a new business model, new product or service, or identifying an adjacent market to enter. “If you’re a mature company, let’s say you’ve been an industry leader for years, you’re probably feeling some disruption, and that’s probably business transformation led.” Experience Transformation relates to companies looking to up their game and increase their consumers. “When a company is in an earlier stage and it needs to upgrade its experience or it needs to broaden its consumer base, that would probably be led by an experience transformation type effort.”

R/GA’s VP for Products & Services Ben Williams discussed how they cultivated experience transformation among consumers of the Jordan brand by creating the world’s first commerce experience in augmented reality. R/GA, together with Snapchat, Shopify, and Darkstore allowed consumers to reimagine and celebrate the 30 years since Michael Jordan’s iconic free throw line dunk through the Snapchat E-commerce campaign that was launched during the NBA All-Star Game weekend.

The campaign gave consumers a new shopping experience by allowing Snapchat users attending the NBA All-Star Game event to access a special 3D Augmented Reality World Lens of Michael Jordan’s iconic free throw line in the slam dunk contest from 1988. Through this custom World Lens, users could also see the new Air Jordan III Tinkers which could be purchased in the Snap Store powered by Shopify and have their sneakers delivered to them in less than two hours through Darkstore express delivery.

And finally, the talk focused on Marketing Transformation, which refers to adding value through creativity and looks into opportunities for agencies to be creative all the way along a customer’s journey. For instance, R/GA’s campaign for — which highlights the innovativeness of the brand and its dedication to save its consumers money.


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