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The100: Paradoxical ignorance, storytelling plots and Upernavik

The 7 basic plots

I’ve read mixed feedback on this year’s Cannes Lions Festival.

Some have been gushing, whilst others appear exasperated.

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My favourite pieces to come from the 5 days? Oh alright then…

The Marketoonist’s depiction of events, Murray Cadler’s home truths, and Adweek’s breakdown of how Cannes winners used the 7 basic plots of storytelling.

Purpose matters. Planning matters

Rob Campbell (big fans) tickled us again with this brilliant piece on purpose marketing.

No doubt (genuine) purpose can have a huge role to play, but it’s not the kind of thing you can just make up.

Too often, the focus is appealing to the ego of the company directors rather than the pulse of culture which is why we’re seeing more and more ‘purpose work’ that communicates in the corporate monotone of egotistical, bland, business-speak.

Rob also shared Andy Whitlock’s brand purpose diagram and gave this final piece of advice:

Remember brands, by being yourself you will be different. Stop inventing BS and start acting your truth in interesting ways.

The paradoxical character of ignorance

Stephan Schwarzkopf from the Copenhagen Business School published a compelling paper on organisational excess in an age of toxic data.

It’s pretty heavy going and I genuinely had to read it 3 times, but it really is quite something.

Essentially, Schwarzkopf is saying that market research creates ignorance by producing too much data. This, in turn, enables market research firms to mark the escape route from said ignorance with, you guessed it, even more data.

The global data industry is held together not only by the aim to remove ignorance but, paradoxically, also by reproducing it


So on that note, here’s some more data: Julian Cole, creator of the Planning Dirty newsletter, shared this data source cheatsheet.

Inside insight

Why not try generating customer insight in house by asking fellow employees to act as market researchers?

Alessandro Di Fiore explains how to do so; encouraging a flow of deep, strategic understanding of your business and your customers.

Ask your colleagues to video record experiences in-store, when visiting other countries, or when they’re with friends-who-are-consumers. Just make sure you have a central platform that can host it all and make the content usable 😉

DNA – Do Not Assume

Unilever tried a different customer empathy approach by asking 63 of its marketers to take a DNA test.

The aim was to un-stereotype their minds and change their perceptions around diversity. Many were surprised about their backgrounds.

The result was a 35% reduction is how people stereotype inferences from consumer data. Nice.

You still can’t solve a problem that you don’t understand

For those of you who enjoyed Mark Ritson teardown of Febreze’s marketing strategy in the last edition of The100, he’s only gone and done it again. This time it’s Dove’s Campaign for real beauty. Another valuable 10 minute watch.

Out there…

And finally, some photos to make us all realise that we need to invest a bit more time and effort into planning some adventures. Take it away National Geographic and your 2019 travel photo winners. You had me at Upernavik.