Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2

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Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2

Laura Geagea, managing director and executive producer at Sweetshop, China, Asia & MENA reports for Campaign Brief Asia from AdFest 2019.


Day two came around soon enough, and after a quick morning dip in the pool, I headed over to catch the first talks of the morning.

Michelle Cao, Founder & CEO of VPhoto Shanghai took the stage first and started off by introducing her company in her talk ‘Picture says a Thousand Words’. Cao’s message is simple. The important moments in life need to be recorded. VPhoto is a real time image and video sharing service platform of live photo streaming.

After showing us a nice overview of the company, Michelle ended her talk with the social responsibility they focus on in the work they do – a charity fund foundation that they’ve created and are working on using the lense to give a voice to charity causes.

So, it’s not just about the business creation and the profit but they want to be able to record special moments, important moments and “light up the world” as she said. Their charity fund will work with other Chinese charity organisations and Michelle calls out to people to work with VPhoto on these projects to make a difference.

Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2

Leslie Hodgin from Cheil Worldwide Seoul was next up with a fascinating talk about ‘The changing face of retail’.

Traditional retailers are dying, and modern shoppers want more than a “normal” experience. They want to shop in stores that have really engaging experiences. 45% of these modern shoppers say that the experience of buying something is just as important as buying a product itself.

So, it’s about finding an innovative and authentic in-store experience. And what does that mean? The three principles for Leslie are first about creating convenience, then community and finally defining lifestyle.

It’s a mix of technology, social media, working around customer’s lives and schedules and many more points of the retail experience to get to that happy perfect.

There is no magic formula for how this works, but balance is key, we need to understand the shopper and their shopping journey. And most importantly be brave with our ideas and products!

Leslie gave us some examples.

InnisFree in Korea, they partnered with Tmall to encourage shoppers to play with the products and experience things in the stores.

Nike opened two new flagship stores that they are calling Houses of Innovation. They are designed to be personal and responsive and driven by digital commerce data from Nike +, the mobile app for Nike. They opened a test store in Los Angeles called the Melrose store so, they could test it out and make sure that it all worked beforehand.

Warby Parker with their new stores that are a destination more than anything. And a self-guided one as well.

Gentle Monster is a sunglass store that’s pretty awesome, definitely on my list of favorites. Go visit one!

Samsung Galaxy Showcase in Harajuku just opened last week ahead of the 2020 summer games. And then another one in Gangneung last year for the winter Olympics. Some pretty awesome setups with phones and screens and just making it really interesting for anyone who walked in to have a look around.

Yeti is a utility brand and they made indestructible coolers. Their stores are quite special, they have a bar, do concerts and there’s a personalization counter. It’s basically for people to come hang out and while they are there, they can learn about the brand and the products.

So, Innisfree and Nike are bringing convenience. Warby Parker and Gentle Monster and creating community. And Samsung and Yeti are creating a lifestyle and sparking lifestyle trends.

So, it’s all about creating the right experience that is based on new ideas that in terms are surprising and true to the brand.

Marko Klijn next told us about ‘World Animation Domination’ in a talk that he opened up with a series of pretty awesome animations. Marko is from Cirkus Auckland and is passionate about the animation process, creating characters, making them come to life and telling some pretty special stories.

In the recent year, the animation pipeline has become more flexible. The industry is realizing that animation is not only for kids. It’s a medium we can use, it manages to connect on a human and emotional level. Some clever animation character designs can deliver some great brand positioning.

And so, Marco’s question after showing us what was mostly “Western” work, is how do we bring this to the APAC region? How do we make it work here with our crazy timeless and challenging budgets?

Marco’s closing words were ‘be bold, join the World Animation Domination and of course get in touch with Cirkus!’

Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2

Emile Rademeyer, Creative Director from Vandal Sydney took the stage next to talk to us about ‘Augmented Reality being the future of advertising’.

After a quick intro about what Vandal is and does, Emile took us through a brief history of advertising, moving on to Augmented Reality 101, what is it, why and where, to then showing us some examples of augmented reality and finally she told us about what the future holds, (theoretically).

Now AR is always something I find quite scary, but also perhaps fascinating in a sense that it’s just another world really. And that’s exactly what Emile is trying to tell us. We basically combine the real world that we live in and the digital world that we think we don’t live in (although we all spend hours and hours online every day) and there you go, you get Augmented Reality.

But that begs the question of why do we need to change the normal physical world? Why do we need to add more stuff on top of what we already have?

Firstly, because our world is becoming a digital one. People will spend a billion years online this year. Yes, a billion… And then, that augmented world will basically be enhancing human experience. That being said, it’s up to us to mold the future and make sure that the digital advertising of tomorrow isn’t too cluttered and overboard. It’s definitely about taking advertising and the digital media of advertising to a responsible place.

Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2 Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2

Umma Saini from Google India was up on stage after lunch with “What would Juliet do? Staying creative in a changing world.’ She told us that creativity is about challenging things. Not working within a box. And how to use the mediums and different tools to be at the service of the story, not the opposite.

Amp Amsterdam’s Diederik Van Middlekoop was next with ‘2019 Brands: Your Success is in Sound’ and some smashing hits. Amp amplifies brands with the power of sound and music and creates a sonic identity for brands in order to make their campaigns more successful.

And there we go, end of my Day two. Well almost, still left is the Lotus Pond Welcome Party, which I’m just getting ready to head over to right now!

Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2 Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2 Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2 Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2 Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2 Laura Geagea’s AdFest Diary: Day 2