(VIDEO) Brand-Inspired Experiences Are An Emerging Cannes Focus: JWT’s Ingram

What the Global CEO of J. Walter Thompson believes is “incredibly interesting” about creativity is that it can exist in product utilization. This comes at a time when despite the continued expansion of digital platforms, consumer engagement is all that really matters.

As she looks ahead to the 2017 Cannes Lions festival, in this interview with Beet.TV Tamara Ingram talks about pregnancy customs in China, her passion for video and predicts there will someday be a Cannes brand “experience” award.

As an example of successful product utilization with the aid of technology, Ingram explains JWT’s award-winning work by its Shanghai office for the Elevit brand in China. A device designed to share the early sounds and emotions of being pregnant turned into a vehicle for changing some of the traditional mores regarding gender participation.

“Very interestingly, in China men do not go to their women’s first scan. It’s just not acceptable,” says Ingram, who took the worldwide reins at JWT in 2016, as Advertising Age reports. “But a lot of men want to see their babies and hear the baby’s first heartbeat.”

Elevit captures fetal heartbeats and, when placed on the father’s chest, enables him to share those sensations. “It enabled a conversation in China that it wasn’t happening about the role of men and women during the whole process,” says Ingram. “And it created some cultural connection between Elevate and people who purchased the brand and people who engaged with it.”

Within 24 hours of its launch, the campaign video garnered 3.5 million views and became the top trending topic on Weibo, the Chinese platforms that combines features of Facebook and Twitter.

Ingram “passionately believes in the value of video because of its ability to immerse and engage the audience.” She points out the paradox of people patiently binging on long-form video content but also willing to ingest short snippets of video content.

“What I think is marvelous is that one can use film in many ways. To be very fast in the message, very present very now and then be very immersive, be very informative.”

She’s also very interested in what she describes as “street and experience” and thinks all things experiential will eventually come to the fore at events like Cannes.

“I think the uniqueness of experiences and brands owning those experiences will be increasingly important as, oddly enough, platform explosion becomes so broad and so available that people want something that is special to them,” says Ingram.

This segment is part of the Beet.TV lead-up to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. 2017. The series is presented by Storyful. For more from the series, please visit this page.

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