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07/09/2008

Esomar Innovate Conference, Copenhagen (2 out 2)

I write this partly as a response to the comment from Matt Hart - and I will come back to Matt's points shortly.

I did two presentations at the Esomar Innovate conference in Copenhagen - one with Evert Bos from Brainjuicer and the second with Andrew Needham of Face. I did the second presentation on behalf of Ana Medeiros,  my colleague in Unilever. Ana works closely with Andrew on the co-creation for Axe and she has done great job driving and promoting co-creation within Unilever.  Here are the 2 presentations (Andrew Needham and John Kearon have kindly agreed to publish the presentations on this blog):

Both methodologies - Brainjuicer's creative 6-ers and the approach of Face - have at their heart co-creation of new ideas/concepts with people  (so-called creative consumers) and each of them are advocating a completely different approach.

Lets try to explore some aspects of the two approaches while looking at the questions raised by Matt:

Recruiting and profiling: Brainjuicer uses the screener for "creatives", described in the presentation.  Similar screener is used in case of the Supergroups (used by Márta for the co-creation on Tic Tac).  The " Stuffed Toy Elephant question" (see slide 15 of the Brainjuicer presentation) is one the key question for recruitment of creatives for both Brainjuicer creatives and the Supergroupers.

Educating the respondents: Face has their panel of consumers (Headbox) from which they draw creative consumers.  These consumers are often young designers/students of marketing and I think that this is a great advantage, i.e. rather than being dependent (only) on a questionnaire we can hire young people who are not only creative and bright but also educated in our field. (It becomes much easier to explain to them what the brands stands for,  what are the objectives etc.)

We worked with the young creative consumers on Axe/Lynx and we had long debates about whether to use older creative consumers when co-creating ideas for more "older" brands.  My feeling is that the offline and intense co-creation sessions are more suited to younger people who already know a bit about advertsing, design and marketing. Márta and her team used this approach for the work on the site for Tic Tac  - they have recruited young guys to design a site for middle aged people.

The creative consumers recruited by Brainjuicer create ideas online and in isolation. I think that the Brainjuicer approach is most useful when one needs to generate many ideas in a short time.  The ideas from the Brainjuicer creative 6-ers will come out in rough shapes and, in most cases,  will need to be fine tuned in an offline session. The ideas for deodorants (described in the presentation for Esomar) that were generated by the creative 6-ers  became one of the key sources for the Wildfire project (which is a c0-creation process).

Incentives:  I think that we have used the right mixture of incentives for the people who work on the new Axe variant (it is described in the Face presentation). That mixture included money but was not about money only - we had to create an engaging environment for the consumers to work in,  provide a real experience of learning and doing, take them seriously and share with them the final results of the co-creation (the finished product or advertising).