Interview series V9 – Lars Bastholm
Happy Easter everyone and please enjoy these answers from the Chief Digital Creative Officer at Ogilvy, 2009 Chairman of Judges at Cannes and all-round nice guy Lars Bastholm. He has even been drawn by the Wall Street Journal (below).
Q1. What is the number one thing about your job that gets you out of bed in the morning?
The joy of working with passionate people who all want to do stuff that is not only fun for the creative community, but is also appreciated by consumers. And the smoothies in the cafeteria are killer good!
Q2. What are your favorite sites/digi campaigns right now?
Like everyone else, I’m impressed with the Old Spice responses campaign. It was such a superb idea and execution. Otherwise, my favorites tend to be small non-commercial things like Star Wars Uncut, The Johnny Cash Project and The Wilderness Downtown.
Q3. Who is the new kid on the block – the agency/business to watch for the future?
Any shop that can crack mobile and make it engaging and valuable for consumers and can do it at scale.
Q4. What sector would you say is furthest ahead in digital marketing at the moment?
There are always glimpses of hope in each sector. CPG/FMCG does well with the aforementioned Old Spice and Axe has been doing great work. So has The Coca-Cola Company. And automotive is always a strong contender. The entertainment industry used to do great stuff online, but it seems they’ve moved mostly to social now. Facebook has cannibalized a lot of the stuff that used to be fun online.
Q5. What technology or initiative is most likely to revolutionize Web/mobile marketing?
Something we don’t see coming. Both Facebook and Twitter started small and slowly consumer uptake grew. Today, Facebook reminds me of AOL in the 1990s; a walled garden that tries to be the entire Internet. And iAds are the new microsites. There’s no doubt that mobile computing is changing the way consumers access information/entertainment/utility, so marketers and agencies will have to follow.
Q6. If you could wave your magic wand and change one thing about digital marketing what would it be?
I wish we could reinvent online advertising, particularly banners. I know it’s a multiple billion dollar business and, along with Google’s AdWords, the main driver of the Internet’s economic engine, but I don’t know a single person who actually interacts with them. Nor do I know many creatives who are excited about creating them. I wish we could start over and come up with a better way of reaching online consumers.
Q7. What’s the biggest mistake people are making in mobile/Web marketing?
That consumers want to spend a lot of time with brands. Agencies and clients often make the mistake of drinking the Kool Aid, so they think the average person is as interested in a brand as they are. With very few exceptions (Apple and Nike come to mind), people don’t care much about ‘engaging’ with brands.
Q8. What is the most useful resource site/blog you use?
I find endless mirth and stress relief on Damn you, Auto-Correct