February 22nd, 2013 Social Media Week's The Greatest Idea Never Bought at JWT

On February 22, 2013, OLC attended Social Media Week's The Greatest Idea Never Bought at JWT. The panelists for this meetup were: Anna Lindow, General Manager at General Assembly; Oskar Serrander, Director, Sales and Marketing Solutions at Spotify; Katie Richman, Director of Social Media Strategy & Social Products, X Games & espnW at ESPN; Marian Salzman of Havas Worldwide; Jeff Hodsdon of Wefollow; and Cindy Gallop, Founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn.

Hosted by Beyond, this event addressed the question of: What makes a good idea?

"There is a need for brands to insert themselves in people's lives in less obtrusive ways,"the moderator began. "David Jones said, 'If you're an ad agency just making traditional ads, you have a problem.' To the panel, talking about a new way of creativity is about real-time, much more nimble, quicker and a lot of ideas are put into newsfeeds. "An interesting idea is brands creating utility," he said, giving an example of Nike. The way that creativity is changing, the way that idea is shifting, is evident today.
The first question, "What is the greatest idea that never saw the light of day?" was answered first by Anna Lindow. "I worked on Urban Pregame," she said. "The idea was that the more people go to bar with you, the cheaper the drinks got. It made a lot of sense
as a concept, but operationally, it was ahead of its time. But, I'm happy to see nightlife industry catching up a little bit."
"Always wanted to do a dating site, Jeff Hodsdon said. "The premise was only if two people are mutually interested. You wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone that wasn't mutual."
"Eleven or 12 years ago at BBH NY, when The Sims was going to launch online, my team pitched that we integrate this brand into The Sims for only $50,000," Cindy Gallop said. "The brand went through a lot of business difficulties, so it went with traditional marketing, print ads. The Sims online went online did extremely well, and it was a classic demonstration of traditional embrace."
"At Spotify, we work with social and tie it to brands," Oskar Serrander said. "A lot of the greatest ideas we've presented to worldwide, we used to do it internally. One idea that we hope to implement is to get a playlist that brands personalize for you based on your music preferences, to get brands closer to your customer."
"I created market research business development for AOL and had 10 years exclusive rights to do market research for them, but no one would buy the data. I ended up selling it off for $200,000," Marion Salzman said.
"The most exciting thing going on at Disney is that locks are disappearing. There's no more locks," Katie Richman said. "There's wristbands now, and you swipe to get into your room. There's so much things you could have done with RFID tags but Disney picked up on that and that was an opportunity that went out the window for me."
The next question asked if anyone knew of any brands that put out interesting ideas.
"I've been interested in what Target's been doing," Lindow said. "The popup collections they've been putting out has been really interesting. Bringing in items that have a cache to them but can't get anywhere else is something that chain stores wouldn't really have the courage to do. It's by definition, unique."
"What Oreo did at the Superbowl was brilliant," Gallop said. "That highlighted the absence of what other brands are doing. It's all about real-time responsiveness, your team on top of what is going on at any point in time and jump on things immediately to make a brand statement, which endears you to the crowd immediately. You have to restructure yourself completely."
"Where we're going in very connected with social and how people discover music," Serrander said. "Brands are a large part of that. Music and ideas are about finding the right idea. Volkswagen is a brand they work with often. They built Spotify into their website and let users pick their favorite song and 'confess' that. You can basically compile a playlist of your friends' confessions, and listen to them."
A great idea that Hodsdon came across rating items in the place. "The granularity I thought was important of that idea," he said.
"We're all going to play with the same toy but we're going to get different information from people. If you like a restaurant but you don't know the dishes, you have to break it down to the dishes," Richman said.
Regarding pitching an idea, Serrander had this to say: "Everyone has ideas in this room. ideas are really free and it's about execution, but to sell an idea passion is key. There has to be a purpose behind it. Whether you're selling to a company or investors, passion should be first then execution second."
"Investors want you to have the product in their hand, it shows that you care about the product enough to have executed it. Sometimes people focus too much on the pitch," Hodsdon said.
"There are two things that applies to people in agency to client or Venture to partner: When you present your idea, you make it clear that it's something to be valued. This means that if you sweated blood to create the perfect campaign and something happens that you're cut with time, don't take the meeting. Next is, when you are pitching, there will be one thing they will be thinking—no matter how brilliant your idea is—how much extra work is going to mean for me? Answer that question and you're halfway there.
A question was directed towards Lindow, about her thoughts on how people transition from thinkers to creators.
"I think about it as a fitness regime," she said. "You have to make the commitment to adjust your lifestyle to fit in your creative pursuits. One is creating something that you can stick to. People sometimes bite off more than they can chew and they give up. Picking something that is reasonable for you is the best idea. Also, having a network of people, a support system is crucial."