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ARF Brings You Cannes Lions 2015

Consider Majoring in Geography: Wherever You Are, Create Utility

Jonah Bloom, Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal

Top-ranking Chief Strategy Officer reveals the importance of ethnography in how advertising works today: connecting consumers with their environment.

Jonah Bloom iterated How Advertising Can Work Today by stressing the understanding of a consumer demand (which they are clearly expressing) and combining that with a well-tested creative hypothesis that elicits a response.

Technology has put the Consumer in control: they are telling us what they want and what they need, with the expectation that they will be helped. Advertisers can learn to interpret the intent signals, knowing when to be present when the consumer needs the service, as opposed to “being an annoying voice in their life when they’re not interested.”

Historically, creatives have used their instincts to test concepts, but testing hypotheses with data-driven tests can drive true value.

The hottest job on the rise at KBS is the Data Analyst—but not just any old analyst: data analysts that can tell stories. “I don’t want people who can observe a pattern but not tell me what that pattern means for the client.”

“Content was a quick proxy for true utility. Content is a brand message that starts with the idea of ‘What do we want to say about ourselves’ not with the idea of ‘what do people want to hear?’”

Bloom’s predictions include: “Product will be the marketing. The gap between advertising and product will close… We will create things of greater use to people in order to get their attention.”

Check out more in the video interview, brought to you by The ARF in Cannes Lions 2015.

Jonah Bloom is the co-president and chief strategy officer of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal (KBS), where works for a host of brands including BMW, Vanguard, HomeGoods and Keds. Prior to KBS Jonah tried his hand at being an entrepreneur and before that enjoyed 8 years as the editor-in-chief of Advertising Age.  He spoke at Cannes 2015 on the topic of Collaboration at the Speed of Light.