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What's Next? This is.


What's Next? Introduced us to new campaigns and new ideas. Read on the the future of the agency, the future of gambling and the future of the future.

Luck is no coincidence - how helping people win wasn't commercial suicide.

So says George Barton, Karmarama's business lead Alison Sams head of brand and design at Unibet, who together were part of the team that took home the DMA Grand Prix for 2016.

Unibet might be a new name in the UK, but with 16m customers it's the number one brand in the Nordics and parts of Central Europe. It's growing here.

The company has traditionally focused on data and what it means for the outcome of games.

Unibet's brief arrived in February 2016, ready for the Euros in June.

"Look at the numbers, you can predict what is going to happen," says George. "But, how do I apply that to everyday betting?," he asked. They looked at ESPN's sport science programme that investigates sporting stats.

While they knew the approach, it was so far a solution looking for a problem. "How to give the work some attitude? It has to mean something," he said.

"There's the notion of us v them, gamblers against the house. This idea would bring these two threads together. The issue with that is that it’s difficult to work out where to be different. How to think about what to say and how to say it," he said.

"We decided we wanted our customers to win," said Sams. "If they win, they will come back to us."

That was the premise.

"Why don’t we give access to all our information? We gave access to real tipsters. The customers improved their betting and they came back.

"They started to add their own strategies on top of the tips. They won more, and they came back more," she said.

"It turned Unibet into the world’s first over-sharing gabling operator. It sounds mad. It sounds like commercial suicide," he said.

"Let’s turn it into commercial success."

Enemies stacked-up. Pundits who base their insights on nothing more than emotion and without any real insight.

"These guys had to be our conceptual enemy and we had to go after them. This approach also gave us an attitude," said George.

Sams says giving Karmarama access to those insights was the turning point.

"For example, it was the wettest June since 1873. We knew this would work well for Wales and Iceland. France had a home advantage. Portugal had the most shots, and shot supremacy beats possession every time," she said.

"How could we package this all up," asked George?

"We hired TV researchers and programme makers to put this stuff together and ended up making 80 mins of content in 15-min to 2-min pieces using thinking pundits like Jermaine Jenas and provided the entertainment element with the F2 Freestylers who also happen to be good in front of the cameras."

The Freestylers could then bring those predictions to life. "We worried it would be teenagers they would appeal to, but it was more people 20+ who wished this is what they had been."

The final campaign had an ROI of 18.25.

Talking about the campaign, The Hub's ECD Jason Andrews said that, "This year, transparency and regain of trust will be part of zeitgeist," which this campaign tapped into.

Choice architecture

Jez Groom, founder and choice architect at Cowry Consulting described how he uses science to inform decisions about copywriting and design.

"We want to make it easy for customers to make decisions," he explained.

He trials a series of possible changes based on sound psychological principles. "That some stuff didn’t work is refreshing because you work with them [the client] and you can talk about it."

They focus on friction points where customers typically drop off the journey.

He talks about Nudge theory, which he says, "Doesn’t cost a lot but can have impressive results." An example could be to show people how much they save by adopting particular offers. "Show what they save. People convert," he said.

He cites Pinterest as a site with phenomenally clear terms and conditions that people might actually read.

The agency of the future?

Michael Olaye, CTO at Inside Ideas, which is part of the wider agency that includes Oliver and Dare spoke about the new techniques used to help brands.

"Data is bit in the last five years," he says. "Everyone screaming data. But mental and physical silos still exist."

"The truth is that most people don’t care if the brands they use today die tomorrow. Our output is not a money-making thing, but something the consumer needs, and we are building everything around that."

Olaye says they build agencies within brands, made up of skills from the brand and the agency itself to service the brand. He says there is no one way to achieve this.

"The culture of the agency will define how it’s set up. Collaboration ‘ethics’ define this shape," he says.

He describes the 'disruptors' already coming for the traditional agency setup:

  • Clients
  • Hiring from agencies - brands could hire top teams on three-year cycles.

  • Consultancies (Deloitte, etc)

  • Media agencies - now doing the creative.

  • Automation - a good thing to stop worrying about crunching numbers.

He says the status quo is set up to, "Use words the consumers don’t understand and use those to build projects," and this has to change.

So to deal with all this speed is important and the need to, "Respond quickly. Be real-time, fail fast, adapt quick and use business intelligence."

Once inside, they, "Work with first party data, using whichever agency brand to service the client depending on their needs, but they have full service capabilities."

He says that, "People are looking for specialists, and we are trying to make those specialisms work together."


"It's fast, efficient, and there's no bullshit," he says.

The age of creativity

Daniele Fiandaca is co-founder of Creative Social and Innovation Social and asserts that so much change seems to be happening now becuase of neuroplasticity.

"What you do has an impact on the brain, like Black cab drivers who develop amazing memories," he said.

Will calculators make us dumb? "As technology arrives and we use it in different ways, our brains will allow us to use it in different ways. Google's impact has been to outsource long term memory.

He said we need to have something worthwhile to replace these things that Google and others can do for us, and this means, "Ideas and creativity over routine."

"Today - busy is the default. Busy equals productive. But it isn’t. We are busy doing stuff in a futile attempt to have more time."

He says that putting procurement in charge of creativity is a terrible idea that doesn’t deliver creative. "We need to work differently to free creative time," he said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudea said, "Diversity if the engine of invention. It generates creativity that enriches the world."

"But if 14% of creative directors are female, is it surprising that 70% of women feel disconnected to every bit of advertising they saw," he asked. "The brand-agency relationship needs to change," he said.

How can we be more diverse?

"If 51% of London is non-white, yet creative teams have no non-white people, it’s not representative. People don’t connect with our advertising because we don’t give them anything to connect with," he said.

"Think about tribes - go and find people, new groups that you can hang out with. People who are not the same as us," he said.

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