Annabel Palmer talks to Havas Media’s Paul Frampton
UNUSUALLY for the media world, Paul Frampton, chief executive of Havas Media, has only worked at one group over the course of his career. He talks to City A.M. about the cultural and leadership changes his industry must make to prepare for a fast-changing media landscape.
How has Havas Media evolved since you were appointed chief executive in May 2013?
The market is rapidly changing. Everybody is talking about digital transformation, but few are walking the walk. My focus has been on shifting the leadership team around. No longer will we invest in staff for old school traditional media channels. Everything is now more focused on two strands: data and content.
What challenges does your industry face this year?
People are falling out of love with brands. It started with the finance vertical, now it’s energy. And in the social media age, brands are exposed. If they don’t deliver, consumers can bring them to justice.
So brands have to do more to boost people’s wellbeing. They need to help deal with the issues shown on Channel 4 documentaries most weeks – with social and economic policy. To do that, they need better data and analytics to understand what people want. With the real-time marketing world fast-approaching – YouTube becoming as important for consumers as TV, social media enabling content to be shared very quickly – brands need to invest in customised, personalised content that can be quickly distributed to the right people at the right time.
But that was always what advertising was meant to do. It upsets me that we still get excited about a 60-second TV ad for John Lewis. While I admire its creativity, if we only celebrate old school advertising techniques, we miss the importance of the opportunity technology offers to give consumers more of what they want.
What changes are you seeing in the media landscape?
It is becoming much more data driven and programmatic. In the last 30 years, the media and creative industries have separated. They’ve got to come back together. In digital, you cannot unbundle the medium and message.
There will still be a place for big brand broadcast messaging. But I think the leading broadcasters are in denial about the fact that TV is going to change. You only need look to the US to see how the model will shift.
What impact will wearable technology have on the industry?
Today, the vast majority of the media world is focused on paid media. Hence the success of people like ITV, and Google or Facebook. But there are smarter, more organic ways for brands to market their products. In the wearable tech space, if brands can add value to people’s lives, they will be popular. The most compelling product which came out of CES 2014 was a Louis Vuitton bracelet that picked up UV readings. It looked good, it’s a great brand, and it has an application that improves quality of life. But the vast majority of wearable tech, at present, doesn’t fit neatly into people’s lives. It has huge promise, but outside the odd innovation lab I don’t think you’ll see marketers doing much in the space this year.
What we will see, however, is brands working with more startups. For example, we’re building a partnership with Google Campus, working together with Tech City, to connect our brands with exciting new businesses. It’s early days, but it clearly shows that there are new interesting routes to market.
What’s the most exciting campaign you’ve worked on?
The EDF “Energy of the Nation” campaign, which turned the public’s mood towards the Olympics – as transmitted across social media – into a lightshow every night on the London Eye. It showed that social media can be the glue of a campaign, rather than just a hashtag at the end of an ad.
The campaign I wish I’d worked on? The Lynx Fallen Angels campaign, for its great use of technology.