Shanghai :President and CEO of DDB Greater China Group Dick van Motman was a keynote speaker at this year’s Asia Pacific Advertising Festival (ADFEST 2011). Titled “A Six Degree World”, van Motman discussed how the power of social creativity and the “six degrees of separation theory” is increasingly being demonstrated in the world today, and how marketers needed to look at the world with different perspectives. The power of social creativity and six degrees lies with each individual, and when mobilized behind a common cause, can jumpstart movements and change things overnight, be it for brands or for countries.
Using the recent events in Egypt as a compelling example, van Motman explained how it took Egyptians 18 days to change their future, aided fundamentally by social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. It was a dramatic demonstration of the power of social networks.
“Digital technologies are changing the way we live, work and play. In the post-consumer era, consumers are in charge – able to access information, join communities, and participate when they want, where they want, and how they want. Today’s consumer engages with multiple media simultaneously. Couple this change with the groundswell of social media and the ability it gives consumers to connect and you have greater opportunity to engage people with brands,” said van Motman.
Word of mouth has been proven to be the most effective form of media, but the Internet has opened up its reach and access. In the world today, people have come to trust each other more than they trust marketers, and therefore it becomes critical that creative work doesn’t simply have “ad value” but “share value” – work that people want to participate in, play with and pass on.
DDB’s work has shifted from motivating people to connecting people with brands, and also connecting people with people. Traditional ideas like 360 degrees of connectivity are now obsolete, replaced by much more effective ones like 6 degrees.
“360 degrees only takes us in circle whereas 6 degrees drives us a step forward. Never in our history could our ideas have moved so quickly if it were not for the existence of the Internet. But more than that, if not for the connections they had with one another – connections of trust. That is the power of six degrees. I hope [we will all] throw off the ‘head cuffs’ of old thinking and see the world from a new angle – a six degree one,” concluded van Motman.