For nearly ten years I worked for a company who was averse to collaborations amongst its own internal outposts around the world and even more scared of working with anyone who could tenuously be described as a competitor. In my opinion it is this type of short-sightedness I promised myself I would never allow to happen if I were to ever run a business.
Since taking over the reins of Festival of Media in the middle of last year I have encouraged, developed and established a number of key collaborations that I believe will help grow the business and protect its future. These collaborations can be with competitors, start-ups or businesses that you wouldn’t ordinarily think of working with, but they must be of benefit to both parties and have a similar set of beliefs and ethos.
Collaborations are nothing new, but they are something often talked about, thought about and then forgotten as politics, rivalries and business interests get in the way. In this fast-paced, and at times, breathless world it is understandable short-termism is often the key factor in this.
One only has to look at the publishing world where not only were they dealing with civil amongst the sector, but – and in some cases still – dealing with the church v state issue internally. We all know the result of this has been the disruption of media, the rise of new pure digital content plays, the development of the duopoly, and publishers having to reinvent themselves successfully in some cases and not so in others.
The smart players are those who managed to transform with the ever-evolving consumer consumption and distribution trends, but most importantly those who developed strategic and key partnerships with potential rivals. If you look at someone like Viacom you can see as an organisation it embraced disruption and took the brave step of distributing its content on rival platforms and the result has been a growing interest in its content, an increase in revenue and an ability to reach consumers at more touchpoints than ever before. Other examples include numerous magazine brands utilising the likes of Twitter and Snap to enhance the distribution and engagement levels of their content resulting in greater revenue opportunities.
Having just been in Brazil for the last week it’s clear that partnerships are helping media recover from a few tough years in the region. The culture nuances of a relationship-based society certainly help this process and with it bring an interesting outlook and vibrant advertising sector full of innovation and creativity.
Yes, as a country Brazil is facing similar issues to the rest of the world in terms of disruption; transparency; trust; the role of agencies; inclusivity and a need for universal digital measurement standards, but it is trying to face these head on and global clients ranging from Unilever, P&G, Fiat, VW and GM are investing heavily in a country that has a population of more than 202 million inhabitants a media industry set to grow by 4.2% in 2021 and was worth $10bn in 2016. There are also a number of Brazil based brands that are growing outside of the country and resonating with consumers worldwide.
There is an edginess to Sao Paulo, but this is what keeps it exciting and a hotbed for media and creativity, which makes it an attractive proposition to advertisers.
Underpinning all of this is an eagerness to intellectually understand the actions and intent to purchase consumers make when consuming advertising and having seen first hand the lab set up by Nielson and Pointlogic in Sao Paulo and the way the data has not only been used by brands such as Mentos, but interpreted, actioned and delivered an increase in sales, is quite impressive.
It’s why Festival of Media is so excited about bringing a larger Brazilian delegation to Miami at the end of October for its Latam iteration of the event, but most exciting is a potential partnership with one of Brazil’s leading events in 2019, a number of key associations and its ongoing relationship with the inaugural Ad Week Latam event.
It really is an exciting year and if this week proved anything Brazil is hungry to collaborate, understand the new media eco-system and engage with consumers in innovative and exciting ways.