Friday, September 21, 2018

2018 Mid Year Report Card - Christian Hughes

1) What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2018 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of the year and beyond?

2) What work (advertising or entertainment)—your own or others—struck a responsive chord with you and/or was the most effective strategically and/or creatively? Does any work stand out to you in terms of meshing advertising and entertainment?

3) Though gazing into the crystal ball is a tricky proposition, we nonetheless ask you for any forecast you have relative to the creative and/or business climate for the second half of 2018 and beyond.

4) What do recent honors on the awards show circuit (Cannes Lions, AICP Show/Next Awards, AICE winners or Emmy nominations) tell us in terms of creative and/or strategic themes and trends in the industry at large?

5) What new technology, equipment or software will you be investing in later this year or next year for your company or yourself personally, and why? Or, tell us about what new technology investment you’ve made this year and why it was a good decision—or not?

6) What efforts are you making to increase diversity and inclusion in terms of women and ethnic minority filmmakers? How do you go about mentoring new talent?

Christian Hughes
President
Cutwater

1) The convergence of Brand Building and Acquisition or performance marketing as connected and important disciplines. The highly quantifiable nature of performance marketing has seen it prioritized by some clients. They now face increasing CPA’s and decreasing ROI’s when brand is ignored. Clients are now looking to right size this with the optimal balance.

We have found clients are looking for agencies who understand and can execute both -especially digitally. That means we have to understand the disciplines, plan communications accordingly, produce the appropriate content, buy the media, review the data and interpret the results. And quickly. This makes an agency smarter, more accountable, and actually more creative as you can experiment and see what works quickly.

2) We did some great work for Brawny for International Woman’s Day and Women’s History Month centered around #SHNG (strength has no gender). This builds on the brand idea of “Stay Giant” that encourages people to stay resilient in the face of life’s challenges. We built a digital program celebrating strong woman in history. And to mark the event changed the Brawny man to a woman on pack. The combination of these program generated significant awareness on a low spend. The press picked up on the idea — we were all over TV and the internet, including the Today show and Ellen (twice). This was effective for the brand in fact it even won the top Effie in it’s category this year.

3) It’s hard to answer this question as there’s so much turbulence politically and in the business world. I’m not a economist and I am an optimistic person. Having said that the stock market has had a good run and we are probably due for a correction. I do not expect armageddon and a global financial crisis but people are cautious right now. I think 2018 should remain stable leading into the midterms. After that either this year or next perhaps we will see some slow down.

4) The biggest leap is to see how the creative community has embraced data and used it in new and imaginary ways to connect with more personal and human stories. Probably the best example would be the work Spotify has done using data to analyze listening habits and use this insight to create witty headlines that tap into our moods.

5) Personally I don’t see there being a major technological shift. I think the technology is there. The big shift is that people both client and agency side need to catch up with what it can do beyond the obvious. As we embrace this our the work we do can become more personal, targeted and clever especially in the hands of highly creative thinkers.

6) We always have diversity top of our mind. When we hire we always look for a cross section of talent to interview on many dimensions. Ultimately we hire the best person for the job. The gender balance within our agency is good.

This year we are looking to establish an internship program that sources talent from different communities and areas that have more diverse cultures. We want to open the door to our company and industry to talented people who may not know much about it.

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