Rachit Vats

GoaFest 2008: Kevin Swanepoel on creative revolutions

With the intense fragmentation of media, new and emerging media is the way forward. Kevin Swanepoel talks about bringing in a creative revolution

Marketers will not disagree with the fact that reaching the target audience was much easier during the early 1960s. Today, with the intense fragmentation of media, there is a bigger challenge that marketers need to address. The onus lies on creative people to bring in a revolution by putting the extremely fragmented market to much better creative use. Kevin Swanepoel, president of One Club, emphasised the greater use of new media to bring about creative revolutions during his session at Goafest 2008.

Swanepoel, who has 23 years’ experience in traditional advertising, talked about the potential of the new media. He started his presentation with an anecdote. According to him, more and more people have started watching lesser and lesser television. In fact, the use of traditional media in the future, according to him, is going to dip. There will be more use of integrated media options, user generated sites, and several revolutionary innovations in all the new media spaces.

GoaFest 2008: Kevin Swanepoel on creative revolutions
Kevin Swanepoel
Swanepoel said marketers need to begin embracing the technology to which consumers have access. Those are the areas where revolution is required so as to reach consumers.

In the 10 years that he has been at One Club, Swanepoel is known to have built the One Show Interactive into the top international interactive awards show worldwide. He had loaded his presentation with examples of how new media could be used to bring about a creative revolution and to reach the right target audience. In his first example, he talked about how a can of Coca-Cola was advertised on the web in a clever way. During the soccer World Cup, the message, Keep Your City Clean, was replaced by an animated character playing soccer.

In another example, he talked about how TVCs started promoting the “.com” towards the end of the commercial. He talked about www.tubonium.com, the first ever dotcom that was sold online. The TV commercial for Volkswagen directed consumers to this URL, which became quite a hit.

According to Swanepoel, a number of clients seek to create interaction between the consumer and the product using online innovations. Top on his list were Nike and Adidas. He talked about Nike’s online Join the Chain campaign, which required users to send in videos balancing and passing on a football. Every video sent in was linked to a chain as if the football was actually being passed on. This campaign saw 129 players from 87 countries in the chain – it ran for two hours and 42 minutes!

Revolution is the new buzzword. With the emergence of the new media, bringing in a creative revolution is that much easier. All the creative folks need to do is bring about a sudden change of thought regime, be bold and convince the client about the importance of the thought process.

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