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Cannes 2012: Rene Rechtman: Building assets for a stronger future

The first day of the 59th International Festival of Creativity began with Rene Rechtman, head, AOL, Advertising International and CEO, Goviral, emphasising on the urgent need to invest in digital by building assets like applications, content and services that lead to generation of conversations and interactions.

The first day of the 59th International Festival of Creativity started with Rene Rechtman, head, AOL Advertising International and CEO, Goviral, stressing on the immediate requirement to invest in digital through building assets such as digital applications, content and services that will lead to generation of conversation and interactions amongst peers during the Palais de Festival.

Rene Rechtman

Rechtman said, "A whole set of new generation called the 'Generation Social' has emerged. This generation is one-third of the entire population of the United States and is in the age group of 12-34 years. Interestingly, of the total advertising spend (USD 900 billion), this generation has an influence on almost half the ad spend, which is about USD 400 billion."

Further describing 'Generation Social', he stated that this particular group of youth spends a major portion of their time online rather than spending it on television. "Almost half the population, that is about 48 per cent people in the age group of 18-34 years, check their Facebook page first thing in the morning," observed Rechtman.

According to him, the new generation wants everything 'on-demand' and is always glued online doing several tasks, right from chatting and playing games online to watching videos at the same time.

Rechtman further explained, "While this generation spends almost all of its time online, 66 per cent of the population believes that digital advertising is a pain and they have negative feelings about brands which try to catch their attention forcefully. As a result, this particular set of population does not want to be reached by brands. Therefore, the need of the hour is to create high-impact formats that allow people to interact."

He next talked about the high impact formats and how brands should concentrate on creating a peer-to-peer environment. Interactivity is the new media. The world has moved from computer to device experience. "Therefore brands should create assets and invest in various applications and services which further lead to generation of content and conversations," added Rechtman.

"Of the total advertising spend, a majority portion is spent on static advertising (USD 33.40 billion) and only USD 6.16 billion is spent on dynamic advertising. Hence, there is an urgent need to increase the spend on dynamic advertising, which includes videos and rich media experience," remarked Rechtman.

He further elucidated on the type of assets which brands should develop. He stated that brands should focus on developing social content, videos and various apps, and create links of interest (through #hashtag).

At the end, he emphasised on the necessity for brands to think differently and create content of high impact that would connect people both emotionally and physically, and focus towards distributing the content through syndication.

Follow Anushree Bhattacharyya

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