What trends, developments or issues would you point to thus far in 2022 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of this year and beyond?
COVID variants are still very much a significant factor in how we consider building creative and activations for our clients. We can’t disregard all the work that has went into preventing people from getting sick and will see that through the rest of the year and beyond. Additionally, financial markets are constantly changing and it’s important we advise our clients how to navigate those, be agile in our deliverables, and remain sensitive to the consumer base.
How have any societal issues--such as the pandemic, the Supreme court decision on abortion, calls for equity, inclusion, diversity, racial and social justice--impacted the way you do business, company policies and/or selection of projects/creative content?
Publicis Groupe has updated US healthcare benefits to pay for all colleagues and employees who need to travel for medical treatment. Additionally, DEI remains front of mind for the Groupe as we work to ensure parity by paying employees based on experience and contribution, and that our teams are cultivating diverse talent through hiring, developing talent internally, and bringing diverse perspectives into the creative process. Diverse voices in leadership and in teams are better reflective of the marketplace and that’s where we want to be.
What’s the biggest takeaway or lessons learned from work (please identify the project) you were involved in this year?
Our Grey Goose Essences x Grammys: Sound Sessions featuring Tinashe gave us incredible insight into consumers being ready to engage and socialize again. People want that one-to-one connection even with brands and that has given us the opportunity to concept more personal touches and help foster stronger brand affinity.
What work (advertising, entertainment, documentary) -- your own or others--struck a responsive chord with you this year and why?
Gates Foundation launched an event called “The Last Pandemic” that immerses people into the hearts and minds of healthcare workers to understand the impact of the pandemic. The word ‘immersive’ is used copiously in advertising to celebrate profound storytelling, but this event really took the definition of ‘immersive’ and impact of ‘immersive content’ to heart. It gives a first-person perspective on what the early months were like and set a powerful example of how organizations and companies can be stewards of the future.
While gazing into the crystal ball is a tricky proposition, we nonetheless ask you for any forecast you have relative to content creation and/or the creative and/or business climate for the second half of 2022 and beyond.
Content creation that reinforces palpable experiences is what I see ahead. People want to be together and there’s so much opportunity to create experiential moments and develop content that extends a brand’s footprint past a single interaction. The metaverse, second screen experiences, mobile and virtual events are innovating rapidly to create more one-to-one interactions. No matter what’s ahead, creative and business that remains close to supporting communities will endure.
Has the first half of 2022 caused you to redefine or fine tune the goals of your company, division, studio or network--and if so, in what way(s)?
Kim Stone gave an interview where she described how her experience navigating the Miami Heat through the damage to their arena from hurricane Irma prepared her for the quick pivot the Golden State Warriors had to make to endure the pandemic. Her fortitude illustrates where we should all be looking ahead. Everyone running a business has had a crisis moment at this point and that means we all should have a crisis recovery and business continuity plan for our clients and employees in place.
Much like preparing for COVID in 2019, we will stay active to the moment and align work with what’s happening in the world, look for opportunities to expand capabilities, adapt resources to reimagine WOW-moments for brands. If we can be two steps ahead, that’s where we want to be.