Re:Generations

Futurist: Lewis Jaffe, 75, president and founder of 21st Century Networking, a nonprofit organization, and its offshoot, the Intergenerational Institute, both based in Latrobe, Pennsylvania....

Futurist: Lewis Jaffe, 75, president and founder of 21st Century Networking, a nonprofit organization, and its offshoot, the Intergenerational Institute, both based in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Scenario: "We are living at a unique moment in history: Seldom has a society changed so thoroughly, so rapidly. The big challenge for everyone – but especially for older generations – is to accept, rather than resist, the pace of change. Only by embracing change can we mold it in a way that benefits all of us.

"There is a a disconnect between people of different generations. They look at the same events, but they see different things. For us to move forward together, generations must find common ground."

So What? "Internet time requires us to take a leap of faith into new ways of working and communicating. Young people have no problem leaping into the unknown. But many older people are bewildered by the shift to Internet time. The changes that they’re living through now are obliterating all of the boundaries – time, space, geography – to which they’ve grown accustomed.

"In an age of sweeping transformation, young people can use new vision and new ideas to help older citizens adjust to change. At the same time, older generations can supply young people with wisdom, experience, and the ability to put change into context."

Futurology Decoder Key: "In healthy communities of the future, the old spirit of competition – rugged individualism – will gave way to the power of collaboration. This transformation is already happening in business, now that teams and virtual alliances have become the way to get things done. Society is too complex for individuals to go it alone anymore. As the generations establish common ground, they will learn to appreciate one another for their disparate talents."

Contact Lewis Jaffe by e-mail (lewisjaffe@aol.com)

Reprinted with permission from Fast Company June 2000

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group