In a conversation with Communicate, Peter Mears, CEO of Havas Media Group, reiterated the significance of looking at advertisement as a field that has changed within its ecosystem, yet the “fundamentals of the craft” remains the same. Considered one of the most powerful people in the advertisement world, Mears said that the craft is about making meaningful connections with consumers. He said that despite the explosion of different channels and the availability of data technology, brands must engage and making meaningful connections to stand out
An excerpt from the interview is published below. Communicate will publish the full interview in the next edition of our printed magazine.
How do you define brands in today’s world?
A brand is a series of conceptions in a consumer’s mind.The role that brands play today is very different. The role of brands are evolving all the time. We have a study at Havas which is called the “meaningful brands” which is kind of one of our cool foundation pieces, one of the pillars of the foundations which attempts to assess the role that brand plays in consumers life and how important different brands are to consumers. What you can see is that over time that the importance of the relevance and meaningfulness of brands is eroding. So today in the U.S. for example 75 percent of the brands could disappear and consumers wouldn’t care. If they were to disappear, consumers wouldn’t care because there is so much out in the world, consumers are so bombarded with different messages and different content, vehicles that there is so much clutter in the world, that is very difficult for brands to cut through and to be a successful brand in that dynamic you have to be more meaningful.
What’s the solution for that?
Our solution as a media group is to better understand the role that media comply and really hone in on what is the most meaningful media for a client. If I think about my media consumption, so much of what I consume today is through non advertising available channels. So for example net streaming channels, content providers that we all have, so the average US consumer, 56 percent of her media consumption is in non advertising available modes. So that makes our jobs very difficult. I mean the fundamentals are the same its the tools that we have is to change. So what we really have is to identify which are the most meaningful channels, which is the most meaningful environments for us to be able to reach consumers for our clients and then position our messaging and content around those.
With the current status on data restrictions, how do you think the advertisement industry will transform?
Thats a big concern for us and our clients right now is how we navigate the different privacy regulations that there are. Depending on where you live there are different regulations. Our role is to attain the right route to consumers for our clients. So we are in a position that we are not gonna own different data sources. We are going to help our clients navigate the right route, the right sources, the right databases and help them with the right vehicles to us to do that.
Such restrictions on data, for example, does it help this industry to transform?
I think it helps. Everything that helps create a better environment for the consumers, it helps the industry. So if you think about the challenges that clients face us today: first of all consumers streaming content in non advertisement context, secondly concerns around privacy and data protection, thirdly concerns around fraud- is an advertisers reaching a real human being or a machine. These are all challenges that our clients are facing and our role is to help navigate through that to get to the most meaningful environment which is a real human who can engage and make meaningful connection with.