New Year’s resolutions for adkind

A year ago in this space, I asked agency and marketing execs to reflect on the Year That Was and share their observations on the impact of the biggest trends. It worked well, I think, as our pundits displayed high-functioning divination skills.

A year ago in this space, I asked agency and marketing execs to reflect on the Year That Was and share their observations on the impact of the biggest trends. It worked well, I think, as our pundits displayed high-functioning divination skills.

This time, we asked brand management and advertising folks to shoehorn their concerns about trends in marketing – or the impact of industry sea change – into the form of a resolution for adkind. After all, we like to be solutions-oriented at strategy. Here’s your 2008 To Do list:

‘Everyone over 35 (except those with teenage children) must join two social networking sites, chat on MSN once a week and post a picture on Facebook. Then relook at your media mix.’

Peg Hunter, VP marketing and communications, Home Depot Canada

’2008 is the Year of Living Dangerously. Let’s break out from our borders and develop strategy and craft creativity for the global marketplace. If England can do it, so can we.’

Tony Chapman, CEO, Capital C

‘Let’s resolve to make damn sure research and marketing communications work together from the get-go. Bringing research and insight late or keeping it in some sort of ‘testing’ box is a horrendous blunder. Consumers are increasingly creating culture, and thus increasingly in charge of culture. If you’re not integrating their ideas early on, you’re not covering your bases.’

Mike Farrell, partner, chief strategic officer, Youthography

‘This year, I resolve to be more discriminating about marketing trends and try to market my brands in a truly original way. Chances are, if you’re reading about the latest trend, it may already be past its expiry date. Besides, my Facebook page is starting to look like Times Square.’

Rob Assimakopoulos, VP marketing, Canadian Football League

‘We will lose more traditional media weight. We will exercise our multicultural advertising strategy. [And for ad agencies] we will quit smoking whatever we were smoking before we suggest a creative concept involving free meat and chequing accounts.’

Lawrie Ferguson, SVP marketing at Surrey-HQ’d Coast Capital Savings

‘No more making fun of focus groups, even when they say things like, ‘That stoplight looks purple to me.’ Make sure all ‘comedy buttons’ are actually funny. And when asked at parties what you do for a living, stop replying, ‘I weave the tapestry of the folklore of industrial man.”

Glen Hunt, Dentsu Canada creative catalyst

Based on what seems to resonate with both the common man and senior execs, I offer a resolution: Be meaningful. Take risks to do so. Canada’s business community is doing important work in the eco arena, and retailers, working with suppliers, are making an impact. As Environment Minister John Baird said at a recent ECO CEO event held by Summerhill Group and sponsored by Home Depot, ‘There’s no answer to the environmental issue. There are millions of answers.’

And millions of opportunities. Home Depot president Annette Verschuren, when leading a tour of its new Project concept store, pointed out that the POP for its greener products program, Eco Options, is incorporated into every section, across the country. As per her keynote at the ECO event: ‘There’s a million reasons to not do things,’ The reward is in finding a way to do it.

On page 33, trendspotter Marian Salzman, EVP/CMO of JWT Worldwide, tells us consumers’ concerns will migrate to water conservation. And as she previously identified the CSR arena as a great way for Canadian brands to take a global leadership role, get on that too. Cheers, mm

Mary Maddever, exec editor, strategy and Media in Canada