043: Retaining loyalty and disrupting it
[During - Session 14] Assignments 2 and 3 are mildly at odds
Let’s begin here: We still need audacious thoughts.
We still need ideas which shake up established thinking, and propel culture forward. Artificial intelligence by itself won’t achieve those ends. Humans using AI appear more likely to, however.
The future of advertising = more ideas, produced faster, with greater legibility, by a broader range of talent.
There’s so much AI-generative music! Here are 75 “hits.” My friend Peter is working at Boomy. I made this. Just as Art has become more broadly accessible via text prompts, so too is Music. It’s all in the chat rooms.
Microsoft just launched Designer. Currently free, the tool will be folded into the 365 suite soon enough. Worth noting, via Tech Crunch, “users will have ‘full’ usage rights to commercialize the images they create with Designer and Image Creator.”
Private Island, a London-based production co., generated an entirely madcap beer advert, “Synthetic Summer.” I mean… 👇🏽😆
The Future of Advertising course at the Minneapolis College of Design is drawing to a close. In this evening’s penultimate session, the students presented their ideas for Assignment 2, and they got briefed on Assignment 3 (both below).
Next week we’ll receive their final presentations and “pack for the journey.”
And I’ve got updates to share on the continuity of this newsletter. Cool stuff ahead!
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Assignment 2: Great Clips + Loyalty
Recap: Our second assignment asks the students to develop retention ideas for Great Clips, the world’s largest hair salon franchise. With this assignment, my goal was to shift the students into future-forward media and technology. How can tools like augmented reality, AI chatbots, geo-location, photo history and social help influence a change in customer behavior?
“Why does the haircut have to occur in the real world, first?” asked Kamryn, Annalise and Hallie. Their solution: Leverage the appeal of Roblox among the target audience, specifically the known frustrations around hair mods within the gaming platform. Great Clips would partner with Hair Salon Tycoon (inside Roblox) to offer periods of free Roblox cuts, which trigger a coupon to drive traffic in the real world.
“[Snapchat] forces you to look at yourself,” noted Lux, Armel and Zamira. “And we can use filter technology to suggest it’s time for a haircut.” While noting Great Clips has engaged with the platform before, this approach suggested using AI to recognize a change in your appearance—triggering a geo-located coupon to drive in-store traffic.
Assignment 3: Move Fast/Weird
Scott Galloway deserves credit for sparking this idea with one of his predictions on the Pivot podcast. It’s the opposite, politically speaking, of loyalty. But I think it sets up a juicy final task for the students.
In case it isn’t clear: This is hypothetical and not real.
The premise here is simple: Newsom and team have made a calculation their time is now. And they’ve determined how they’ll handle issues like age, decorum, precedent, continuity, experience and results with dignity and respect.
For the sake of this assignment, I’m assuming Team Newsom have solved the core idea. Something along the lines of, “Governor Newsom is the best candidate to continue advancing the policies and ideals more Americans favor.”
So this is a tactical brief: To “think fast and weird” about ways—many of which we’ve already covered in class—in which the status quo of American presidential politics could be turned upside down.
And their focus is the launch only: the critical first 60 seconds to ten minutes that define the candidate brand. The iconic moment. We’ll just agree any announcement of this stature will reach the 10pm news cycle…so the focus isn’t how to get on the news, but how to generate relevant, meaningful, sustained attention, so Newsom’s campaign sticks around for all the right reasons. I’m asking the students to focus on the initial 15 minutes of an announcement, i.e.:
When and Where do you launch? What platform/channel best signifies and differentiate’s Newsom’s candidacy, and why? If the medium is the message, what medium best suits a Newsom run?
What Moment best positions Team Newsom in its quest? It’s about affiliation and timing—what context amplifies the announcement?
How does “the best candidate to continue advancing the policies and ideals more Americans favor” come to life in terms of choreography, timing, casting, demeanor, pacing, and mood? In other words, what’s the narrative?
Who do you initially target? What is it about those voters’ behavior Newsom could leverage effectively? Who are you betting will receive Newsom’s message with the most interest that could propel intrigue and adoption from other Democrats…and then Independents?
How can you craft and execute the announcement for maximum effect? What tiny details will make all the difference in generating authentic enthusiasm, and sustained interest?
Again, I’m assuming the core message is baked. The focus of this assignment is creating the campaign to dramatize and amplify the core message successfully.
We will return next Monday to see what the students develop!
And I’ll have a reflection on this week’s themes some time Wednesday.