Low tolerance for shit, not low attention spans, affecting brands, argue creative leaders

Creative leaders at yesterday’s Mumbrella Sessions event in Sydney have argued that brands are battling a “low tolerance for shit” more than they are a small consumer attention span. 

A panel consisting of Louise Cummins, marketing and digital innovations director at H&R Block, Dan Monheit, founder of Hardhat and Dave Hartmann, strategy partner at Special Group Australia discussed the state of the creative industry in an environment that has brought on intense competition as we head towards a post-pandemic state. The panel was moderated by Damian Francis, Mumbrella’s head of content.

(L to R) Damian Francis, Dan Monheit, Dave Hartmann and Louise Cummins.

Responding to an audience question on how to measure creative effectiveness, Hartmann cautioned the industry on being too beholden to best practice guidelines.

“Because everyone is looking for the golden nugget, it can go in the face of creativity sometimes,” Hartmann said. “When you’re handcuffed by those best practices rules you rule out so many other opportunities for greater creative.”

He added: “I don’t think people have tiny appetites, I just think they have low tolerance for shit.

[There’s a] premise that people are going to give up on you in three seconds. If you have an idea that’s brilliant and it’s going to take two minutes… it’ll probably be more effective.”

Monheit suggested that matters needed to use a mix of lessons learnt as well as gut feel and brave thinking.

“There are lessons we’re learning in this twitchy world over here, about what sort of messaging is making people click an ad and buy that we can apply to thinking for bigger creative ideas on the other side.”

Monheit continued: “Half yes, there are things we absolutely know are working and half, we got a pretty good idea and just sort of go with the research as we get it.”

Cummins’ spoke of the importance of a holistic brand message across all formats.

“Actually tailoring [the story] to each of the different channels, having one creative proposition I’ve found works better.”

Cummins referenced a story told to her by a friend from the United States.

“They’re landing on the fact with all these different channels and greater segmentation, they’ve gone down these rabbit holes of creating all this content bespoke to all these different areas,” Cummins said. “They’re actually finding the pendulum switching back in the States of less customisation and more let’s land at the creative proposition, let’s have it work effectively in all the different channels.”

Hartmann agreed, referencing Special Group’s Uber Eats campaigns.

“We’ve been religious about sort of saying these are the four assets that we need, the four brand assets and no matter where we go in the world we make sure those things are just always there,” said Hartmann.

Video of the live stream can be found below.


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