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Highlights from WPP's Stream (Un)Conference 2015

The WPP Stream (Un)Conference was a mash-up of discussions on the industry's biggest challenges, demos of new potentially-disruptive technology, a pitch to solve a major world crises - and so much more!

With no agenda, no PowerPoints and no pre-determined content planned, Y&R worked with an on-site illustrator to capture the loose structure of the conversations, the honesty of the questions, and the openness of the participants.

Enjoy the highlights...and Stream On!

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Highlights from WPP's Stream (Un)Conference 2015

  1. 1. STREAM 2015 Marathon, Greece .
  2. 2. DISCUSSIONS PITCH GADGETHON IGNITE TALKS OFF THE CUFF The 3-day (un)conference was a mash-up of discussions on the industry's biggest challenges, demos of new technology bound to be disruptive, a pitch to solve a major world crises; and so much more. Here are some of the things we learned and shared.
  3. 3. Consider the differences between the two — the famous scientists we learn about are often dead historic figures, while the technologists we admire are our heroes. Science fairs include one-dimensional poster boards while technology is composed of hackathons and live streaming. Science reports usually include long, boring papers with charts and confusing language. Technology is about cool, well-designed press releases (think about Google’s Alphabet release) with great graphics and design. What would happen if we gave science the sexy edge of technology? Imagine the impact on students and future world changers. WHY IS TECH SO SEXY – AND SCIENCE SO NOT?
  4. 4. Baristas have long impressed us (and inspired us to share pics with all our friends) with lattes that come with shapes, hearts and smiles. This year, a 3-D-printing latte machine came all the way from Tel Aviv company Ripple Maker, and with it an entirely new form of communication called “P to C” or Person to Coffee. Consumers can choose from a wide variety of artwork or use their own to be printed on their lattes. The technology is now being integrated into Lufthansa lounges — imagine printing “I love you” on the cup of coffee your significant other orders before they board the plane. The machines will soon be launched with select coffee chains. Interestingly, those who have inquired about bringing a Ripple Maker machine into their businesses have not only been limited to coffee retailers. Coffee has become such an integral part of our culture and latte art such a commonly shared image on social media, that brands are thinking creatively about how this new platform can help drive engagement despite the fact that their business has nothing to do with coffee. THE LATEST PLATFORM FOR MESSAGING — LATTES!
  5. 5. MRIs of people listening to different music and sounds show the highest levels of excitement when listening to Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” across age and gender. The impression of sounds is significant and the data around it can lead to impactful insights and ideas. So why hasn’t the advertising industry harnessed the power of sound? While the rest of the industry continues to evolve — :60 spot…:30 spots…:15 spots…:06 videos…140 characters — radio has been left alone with little experimenting and, therefore, minimal advancement. In fact, some argue radio is more mobile than mobile — think about the impact of hearing an ad for soap on the way to the supermarket… So why is radio not getting more of our attention? WE’RE NOT PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION TO RADIO
  6. 6. Insights from a recent retail study based on 15 billion data points a day, 1.5 million publisher sites and $700 million in ecommerce transactions per year showed a correlation between the intent of consumers to buy something and what they ended up buying. Noteworthy: Those shopping for baby clothing and equipment also bought wedding dresses (spot the trend here). Those in the market for pornography also bought high-end camera equipment. And children’s toys shoppers also bought gaming consoles — which could be a testament to parents wanting to buy their kids the toys they grew up with, like Lego, but also supplementing the physical toys with gaming consoles that will surely hold their attention for longer! INTENTION BEHIND THE PURCHASE IS MORE TELLING THAN YOU THINK
  7. 7. Angelina Jolie’s choice to understand her genetic makeup allowed her to make informed decisions about her body. But genetic testing is a tricky topic. While it has become significantly more accessible and affordable, the results of your likelihood for a disease can be difficult to bear. Knowledge is power, but DNA is not your destiny. Your “inner space” can now be considered a public good as researchers, doctors and scientists can expand their knowledge of the human body and disease. It’s worth asking yourself — are you willing to help yourself and others to treat, detect and overcome disease? YOUR BODY CAN BE A PUBLIC GOOD
  8. 8. An 8-year-old in 2015 runs the same sprinting time as a gold medalist in 1896. Why? Genetics; better diets; dedication to one sport; knowledge of how to train and what to eat; access to facilities; bigger pool of athletes because more people play within athletic associations when they are in school. In fact, there are significantly more cases of young kids needing to get Tommy John surgery (replacing an elbow ligament), which in the past was only prevalent in professional pitchers at the end of their careers. TRENDS IN ATHLETIC CAPABILITIES EXPOSE TRUTHS ABOUT EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUNG KIDS TODAY
  9. 9. Parents need to be careful. It is their job to help kids understand the permanent repercussions of the contributions they share. If the next US president’s life will all be on Facebook, their career will be defined by data and privacy, and the skill sets will include expertise in filtering and processing data. Regarding screen time, there is a lot of concern about how much time is too much. How can we ensure our children continue to healthfully develop?  Distinguish “social” online games that offer an opportunity for interaction (like Xbox) from those that involve sitting in front of a computer and are not social at all. Manage family screen time in the house by designating a box for all devices. Walk to use it, then put it away – rather than in your pocket. Understand that kids have a different perspective on problem solving — it’s not about “Can I do it?” but rather “When will I do it?” HOW MUCH SCREEN TIME IS TOO MUCH? WHEN DO KIDS ENCOUNTER PORN AND HOW SHOULD PARENTS DEAL WITH IT? WHAT IS SOCIAL VS. UNSOCIAL GAMING?
  10. 10. The potential of drones is in the hands of their dispatcher. On the one hand, drones are being used to plant trees, using detailed terrain data to build 3-D maps of the areas to be reforested. Beyond this, the potential of drones to help in emergency situations; security, search and rescue, monitoring crops on farms, clearly gives us hope for their impact on the world. On the other hand, they act as dangerous tools for terrorism — like dropping bombs in densely populated areas — and even scarier than that are the dangers still unknown. DRONES AS AN EXTREME GAME CHANGER
  11. 11. Looking at the success of Warby Parker, Bonobos and many others around the world, retailers are all looking to figure out how to harness the power of both the digital and physical worlds. So here’s some inspiration — A store known for its delightful fragrance upon entrance shipped its cartons with goods bought online with that same familiar brand fragrance upon opening the box! UNTAPPED CREATIVITY WHEN LINKING DIGITAL AND PHYSICAL
  12. 12. While Virtual Reality is still in its early days, there is a real sense of hope for its power to create a culture of empathy that physical distance today does not allow, despite the many connected devices we have. Imagine caring for your mother from across the world, where she can see you in your kitchen reminding her to take her medication as if you were sitting right next to her in her kitchen. Picture political leaders envisioning the lives of the people with whom they are negotiating. Visualize a student from Brooklyn and another from Kenya collaborating on projects and understanding the resources, skill sets and challenges that each side brings to the project. VR can bridge differences and create a culture of empathy and understanding in the very places that need it most. THERE’S A REAL SOFT SIDE TO VIRTUAL REALITY
  13. 13. If consumers’ expectations aren’t met on digital, they quickly become frustrated. So if you’re integrating a new technology into a retail store, it better work well! But problem solving should not always rely on technology. For example, a service that allows you to schedule a delivery with a 10-minute window to try on the product is brilliant. If you are not happy with your purchase, you hand it right back to the delivery person instead of shipping it back. Eliminate unnecessary expenses and the hassle of logistics. RETAILERS ARE WORKING TO CREATE HIGH-TECH EXPERIENCES THAT FEEL SIMPLE AND PHYSICAL EXPERIENCES THAT FEEL ADVANCED
  14. 14. Remember when you went out for dinner and discussed an episode of your favorite show from the previous night? Today you discuss the entire season, perhaps the entire series. TV isn’t dead. It’s on steroids. According to the FX Research Department, “The number of first-run scripted cable shows has doubled in just the past five years, tripled since 2007 and grown a staggering 683% since the turn of the century.” It is worth pondering what will happen when the NFL’s contracts with TV networks expire in the next few years. Who will own the precious driver of live viewing? Who will partner with whom? Who will take the lead? TV ISN’T DEAD. IT’S ON STEROIDS. AND ADVERTISING STILL PAYS. BUT WHAT’S NEXT?
  15. 15. As more and more products and objects become connected to the Internet, the product itself becomes the media channel, which opens up entirely new possibilities for personalized communications and experiences. And these aren’t just typical objects — phones, cars, appliances — but everyday products like shampoo and soft drinks, and thanks to the development of “connected packaging,” they can link to personalized experiences, reorder themselves, etc. The key will be the underlying software layer that can serve as the infrastructure to ensure there is seamless connectivity between everything. CONNECTED PRODUCTS WILL REORDER THEMSELVES
  16. 16. When choosing a brand ambassador, YouTube stars are quite attractive — they make your brand more accessible, are aspirational personalities and may be more relevant to your audience. Will Smith may be a sure bet but too safe; Kim Kardashian may be too strong of a brand (She was quoted in Cannes as saying, “I know some of the brands I work with might get frustrated. I will only post a picture of a brand I like if I really love it.”); YouTube stars seem to easily and seamlessly gel with young consumers. Keep in mind, there is a level of engagement that they typically expect — they look for brands that share their values and their level of engagement depends on it. THE HIGH COST OF SOCIAL MEDIA STARS
  17. 17. The field of economics assumes people are purely rational and have access to perfect information, when in fact this couldn’t be further from reality. One might say that marketing is the science of knowing what economists are wrong about! Being able to understand the systematic ways in which people are “irrational” can help us be better marketers, product developers and policy makers. For example, the “IKEA effect” shows us that people become more attached to products and objects when they feel ownership over their creation/ construction. Similarly, simply putting a picture of eyes near a tip jar increases donations and reduces theft. A REASON TO STUDY IRRATIONAL BEHAVIOR
  18. 18. A UK police detective shared the challenges facing police forces in the UK — unconscious bias on behalf of the police and low confidence in the eyes of the public. With old-school technology, budget cuts, siloed departments, how can the organization both improve on its unconscious bias and improve its perception and confidence among the public? Marketing experts in the audience suggested solutions such as creating a platform (perhaps Facebook) that allows the community to communicate with the police as it relates to crime; inspiring the police to smile more on the streets; showing police officers are just like us — (given the insight that kids with a friend whose father is a member of the police have a very different opinion than the general public); transferring police officers to different cities so that they can get experience working with different kinds of populations, etc Ultimately, you can’t build the plane, fix the plane and fly it too. Sometimes innovation has to be built separately from the business so that it can continue to function. UK POLICE DETECTIVE CHALLENGES THE EXPERTS TO HELP SOLVE A MAJOR PERCEPTION PROBLEM
  19. 19. There is not enough content being produced; production costs are still high; directors are challenged with the best way to use the 360-degree perspectives that VR allows. Some are recommending bringing in theatre directors and sculpture artists who understand the multidimensional spaces in a different way. While there is so much promise for industries to transform their businesses with Virtual Reality — ranging from medical, education and entertainment — the consensus was that the porn industry will take the lead as a pioneer (as it did with video streaming, pay-per-click banner ads, stimulating traffic and profitability, selling and sharing content, and real-time credit card processing). Only then will there really be a chance for it to become mainstream. LOTS OF TALK ABOUT VIRTUAL REALITY — BUT IT HAS YET TO BECOME MAINSTREAM.
  20. 20. Six teams formed to find and present their solution to a team of judges. Here’s what they came up with: TEAM 1: “SECURE BANKING” presented M-PESA, a mobile banking solution, popular in Kenya, for safe secure banking that can be offered at Registration upon arrival in a new country. TEAM 2: “PROJECT TRIAGE” wanted to leverage the same technology that powers SMS messaging from a carrier (that you receive upon arrival to a new country about data and text messaging costs) to share immediate help and support to Syrians upon arrival to a new country. TEAM 3: “LYCA” connects refugees to jobs using a connected platform. TEAM 4: “MAKE HOME” (inspired by Burning Man) seeks to set up a maker-like community in refugee camps. TEAM 5: “AYADI” (My House is Your House in Arabic) is an app that connects volunteers with refugees. TEAM 6: “AMAL” (hope in Arabic) is a virtual nation supported by a marketplace to exchange services between locals and refugees. Team 5 took home the prize! WITH A SURGE OF MIGRANTS LANDING ON EUROPEAN SHORES, HOW CAN MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY HELP REFUGEES GET THE MONEY, NETWORKS AND SERVICES THEY NEED TO THRIVE?
  21. 21. STREAM 2015 Marathon, Greece @WPPStream#WPPStream