It's time to rethink the link between brands, the media and consumers and put in place a responsible approach. All players in the advertising market must join forces to achieve this.
On March 17, 2020 at noon, our lives changed. Everyone had to adopt new habits, new ways of living and working to take the helm, whatever the cost.
From the start of confinement, new solidarities emerged from all sides: brands, citizens, media, agencies, institutions, associations. These initiatives remind us that our shared values of mutual aid have more sustainability than the fragile balance of our globalized economy.
Since then, prophetic quibbles and visions have proliferated. Some seem to know what the “next world” will be made of. And first of all that it will not be “the world before”. Let us be humble in our knowledge of the future and beware of believing that time is running out at our convenience. The crisis we are going through is indicative of our weaknesses. As Edgar Morin recently wrote: “The arrival of an unpredictable was predictable, but not its nature. Hence my permanent maxim:” Expect the unexpected. “”
If you expect the unexpected, however, nothing prevents you from preparing for it. We must take advantage of this singular test to think about our horizons of progress. As well in our individual lives, as in our professions and our society.
Nothing prevents us, for example, from acknowledging the consequences of our short-term actions on the flickering march of the world.
Nothing prevents us from questioning the usefulness, the paradoxes and the meaning of our trades in the light of this crisis.
We can all act now
Let us become enlightened, informed consumers. Let us be aware of the choices we make and the consequences they entail. Let us give priority to quality over quantity, value over price, let us be responsible! Independence and sovereignty come at a price. The one of choice.
Let us also support the media, the primary mission of which is to disseminate pluralistic information, to create a democratic link where everyone can sharpen their curiosity, build their opinion and analyze. Let us give value to reliable and quality information. In an uncertain period, let us ensure that this democratic intermediation continues to play its role calmly.
Let us value campaigns that are concerned with the general interest, bearers of mutual aid values, and capable of accelerating the creation of brand values
Let us participate in collective projects that are meaningful and in line with our values. Collective initiatives at work in times of crisis are examples of solidarity that must last.
We constantly question the value and the societal contribution of our actions. The challenge is not simply to take into account new consumer behavior. It is to base our approaches and our offers on a redesigned link between brands, media and consumers. Its soil will be the responsibility of all stakeholders and the creation of lasting values for each.
We therefore propose responsible advertising campaigns capable of developing sustainable consumption and based on “being” and not “having” as a production engine.
From return on investment to return on impact
Let's get out of the short-term logic in the service of sales volumes only. The quantitative approach demanded by many advertisers and based on the highest possible advertising pressure at the lowest net GRP cost no longer makes sense. The model based solely on media productivity is destructive of values. It’s “always more, always less”!
The absence of values necessarily leads to a reduction in value. Let's rethink our performance measurement models. Let's switch from Return on Investment to Return on Impact.
The drastic reduction in media investments invites us to question our relationship with time and our role as an intermediary in order to build with our clients campaigns that are in tune with social challenges and that resist the vagaries of the market.
More than ever, we are convinced, as a media agency, that we have a central position. Media agencies are at the heart of the transformation of our sector. They have a mission of intermediation between the media and brands, between brands and their consumers.
This mission obliges us to help our partner customers to make the right choices; it obliges us to be the watch of their markets thanks to a concrete and reasoned quantitative approach; it obliges us to provide, at regular intervals, a work of prospective studies; to advise them on new strategies based on their values and to ensure that they correspond to the needs and perceptions of customers, citizens and consumers; Finally, it obliges us to guarantee that brands can express themselves in conditions that comply with their commitments. This is what consumers expect.
So, I form three wishes which are as many opportunities to create common:
What if we demanded accounts?
Advertising has been deployed on digital media dramatically over the past decade with real effectiveness in its ability to reach consumers as close as possible to their needs and expectations. However, digital is not just wonderful. It is not because our data, however protected by European standards RGPD2, remain exploited for targeting purposes of which we know the possible drifts. It is not because it empowers a handful of giants who aspire to 90% of digital advertising at the expense of the plurality of media. Nor is it because the power of the servers has a direct and harmful impact on the environment. Let’s not forget that the overconsumption of online videos generates 300,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. The equivalent of greenhouse gases from Spain …
Let’s set achievable targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight for greener energy.
Let us make brands aware of these realities by offering a “low carbon index” or green offsets to our media plans.
How about revaluing information?
This crisis is a crisis enhancer. As we know, certified information, that which emanates from historical media, is put in competition with the viralisation of “fake news” which social networks are most often the vector. To combat these phenomena, the media are mobilizing, helping each other, creating information verification tools, and investing in social networks. However, they cannot fight alone. So, to guarantee the strength of this counter-power and its plurality, brands, via advertising, are essential and legitimate.
What if we espouse common goals?
This platform is a call. A call to the common, to good will. A call to rally, to unity. It is not a call for consistency. Let us continue to cultivate our differences, offer plurality but act together to create new references. It’s a path. Let’s borrow it without further ado.
I call on media brands and their advertising agencies to accelerate the measurement of their carbon footprint. I call on the entire advertising market, media agencies, media brands and advertising agencies in television, radio, press, display, cinema and digital to join forces in a responsible approach and turned towards sustainable development to build a model of measure to unified indicators.
Only in this way can we be accountable to advertisers, consumers, the planet and finally be responsible!