Goafest 2013: Facebook provides 'addressability': Nick Vale, Maxus

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Goa | In Advertising | April 06, 2013
Using the word 'influencer' as a synonym for 'brand', Maxus' Nick Vale spoke about media ideas in today's day and age.

A self-confessed 'communications generalist', Nick Vale, global planning director, Maxus Worldwide spoke about 'Media Ideas in 2013' at a seminar held at Goafest 2013.

Nick Vale

"What does 'good' look like in our industry today?" he questioned, referring to ideas and brand influences. He then went on to draw a quick timeline ranging from the dark ages till date. 'Influencers' in the dark ages, until 1439, were mainly linked to word of mouth. The date is so specific because it marks the beginning of the printing press era, after which newspapers changed the game. In the years that followed, people were able to take a particular message, replicate and then distribute it. Radio, of course, was a shot in the arm and TV changed the way messages could be sent out to influence the masses.

On February 4, 2004, with the launch of Facebook, things changed in unimaginable ways, Vale said. Facebook allowed data collection on one particular individual and the consequent ability of an 'influencer' to address that person with a laser focus. "Facebook and similar platforms provide what is called 'addressability'," Vale stated.

Moving on, he spoke about how 'long ideas' -- tangible ideas that travel across disciplines and geographies -- are what he looks for across media, instead of joining the chase for the elusive 'big' idea.

Examples include the following innovations, all of which are digitally driven but have what Vale terms "real world impact": A small device inside a cricketer's glove that records each shot such that when plugged into a computer, it deconstructs his whole game. Another is Vodafone's 'Viewer's Verdict' app that enables viewers to vote either 'Out' or 'Not Out' during the few moments between a potential wicket and the third umpire's pending decision.

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