As they prepare for the LIA judging in Las Vegas we spent 5 Minutes chatting with Fred Levron, Worldwide Creative Partner at FCB Global and President of the TV/Cinema/Online Film Jury.
We believe that most of the world still sees product-centric ads in 20/30/60/15 seconds. Do you see this changing in the near future even for less developed countries?
No. And Yes.
What changed already and WILL continue to change is, Brands will not be successful in building their business and their brand love only through product centric ads. And THAT’S what makes our job as creatives so exciting in 2019. The times of building brands through one or very few types of executions are gone, brands need an ecosystem of creative executions to become relevant in our modern world. From product centric executions to brand values centric executions.
Some brands believe that 6-second ads work very well and are thinking of even running ads that are less than 6 seconds. What are your thoughts on this? Can a 6-sec or less film make a connection with the consumer?
I think media format and media length are not the answer. What do we want to say? Where do we want to say it? What makes your execution relevant in this specific media context? Would people care? The answers to all those questions will make your creative execution powerful or not. In 6 seconds, in less or more.
A lot of people watch video on their mobile. Research has shown that it takes only 1.7seconds to read a News Feed. Can this be effectively translated into an online film?
It could but why? Would it be the best way for people to get the information they’re looking for? Part of what makes creativity so powerful is the many forms it could get. A news feed, 140 characters could be more impactful than a video. It comes back to understand how people lives and what value you can bring them depending on what they are doing, where, on what device. Editorial content and video content work together. One will not replace the other.
People are always talking about tools such as AR, VR and data like they are trends. In your opinion, what is the most important trend that is happening in our media landscape?
I feel the mistake we’re making quite often is to call everything a trend. I remember running my digital shop 20 years ago and hearing people say “oh that thing called internet, naaannn that’s a trend”. We know how this turned out. AR, VR, Data, they are available for us creatives to unleash, accelerate, execute relevant creative ideas. But a shitty idea will always be shitty even in augmented reality! The biggest trend right now (which you understood it by now is not a trend) is to get back to what makes us so unique as an industry. Solving business problems using creativity. Whopper Detour for Burger King by our FCB NY office was exactly that.
As a Worldwide Creative Partner, how do you work with the local offices to bring greater value and impact to the work?
Susan Credle (FCB global CCO), myself and our local CCO we identify the briefs, the creative opportunities around the world. The briefs which, executed brilliantly, could impact the business of our clients and in the meantime our business. Then I fly in. and never leave ?? before we either cracked the idea, pushed the execution to its top potential or packaged the work to get the most impact possible. I team up with the local creative leaders but also everyone in the team who touches the creative product in a way or another. I’m in the tranches with the teams and we act like a band of brothers and sisters obsessed about the same thing: doing the best work.
We have heard you mention the phrase “creative and meaningful network”, can you please elaborate on what you mean by that?
What is a business worth if it’s not meaningful?
What’s a company worth if it’s not meaningful?
That’s something at the core of what we do at FCB. Brands have a great role to play in the world we’re leaving in. A great role and a great responsibility. We help our clients to find and bring to life a meaningful voice for their brand and company that will be heard in our modern world. “Out&Proud” for Times of India in FCB ULKA or “Storysign” for Huwaei in FCB INFERNO are exactly that.
Tell us why you think LIA has become one of the top international award shows?
Because its ALL ABOUT C-R-E-A-T-I-V-I-T-Y. nothing else.
This should be the obvious but now days, it’s not. At a time, there is so many new players in our industry it’s important we remind ourselves what’s our ultimate value in the business. Our magic power. We solve business problem using creativity. We should nourish, protect, be obsessed about it. Doing this or not will make our industry successful or not in a near future.
Over the last 18 years, Levron has been recognized as one of the industry’s most progressive creative thinkers and leaders. His vision of creativity had been shaped by the time he graduated from Europe’s first truly creative school for the digital age in the ’90s and was running his own digital shop at the age of 22.
Pieces of work such as “Whopper Detour” for Burger King, “Same-Sex Wedding” for Google, “The Sharing Can” for Coca-Cola, “Circles” for Levi’s, “Sindoor Khela – No Conditions Apply” for Times of India helped him become one of the most awarded creatives of his generation. Levron was ranked #3 best chief creative director in the world in 2019. He has won 95 Cannes Lions including 31 Gold Lions plus 2 black pencils at D&AD.