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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

[IMCC] Creativity through hacking

David Moffatt, Managing Director of Hellocomputer, believes that creativity and emotional advertising are keys to integrated marketing, and 'hacking' is one of the doors to creativity.
David Moffatt, MD of Hellocomputer
We're not talking conventional hacking here; we're talking people grouping together, regardless of their backgrounds, for a limited period of time, using unrestricted means, and coming up with a strong idea and putting forth a working prototype of their vision.

Hellocomputer embraces this new form of hacking by hosting regular events that are open to the public called Make. Break. Create. "I think that bringing this sort of mentality to the challenges that we face as marketers can produce some truly inspirational, innovative work," explained Moffatt in his keynote address at the 2014 IMC Conference in Cape Town earlier this week.

Behavioural economics

Moffatt believes that with unrestricted creativity, marketers are able to produce work that is more effective, and in order to maximise creativity, agencies need to be well-informed on the latest research on neuroscience and behavioural economics: "I'm not a neuroscientist or a behavioural economist, but I have had the privilege of being exposed to quite a lot of this thinking, predominantly through the strategy team at Draftfcb to which Hellocomputer is aligned, but these studies are fascinating, and I think that they've got really big implications for marketing - understanding why people do the things that they do," said Moffatt.

© pogonici –

Why does Moffatt favour emotional rather than rational advertising? "Empirical evidence to support that creativity and emotional advertising in particular, as determined by the Institute of Marketing Science by Ehrenberg-Bass, has been proven to be significantly more effective than rational advertising," explained Moffatt.

He points to the following research outcomes on human behaviour to support the use of emotional advertising:

  • Humans think in relation to things, and this helps us make decisions.
  • We don't always make rational decisions based on the information with which we are presented - irrationality is a behaviour that we consistently exhibit.
  • 95%of all our decisions are intuitive.

These findings, together with current consumer technology that is able to harvest data through its ability to measure and track human behaviour, make a compelling case for emotional advertising.

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Moffatt provided an outline of what agencies should take into account when considering their audiences:

  • People pay attention to anything that is different, surprising, and personal.
  • We simplify decisions by mimicking the actions of the people around us and by sticking to social norms.
  • We prefer to consider a single set of information.
  • We draw conclusions based on how information is framed.

How do agencies motivate behaviour? Through marketing integration - and not the conventional sort either. During his keynote, Moffatt also took an alternate view on the definition of integrated marketing. Rather than focusing on the integration of media, he believes that the industry needs to also think about integration in terms of intersecting people's lives.

"I think in this day and age we need to be willing to explore, create, invent etc. in finding ways of engaging our audience and being a part of their lives and conversations," explained Moffatt.

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"Some of the answers will be in your typical media plans... But you also may be seeking to integrate into your audience's lives - to have a direct relationship with them, track behaviour and better profiles that can give you rich insights and further augment your messaging, sales and ultimately your relationship with those individuals. In order to do that, I think we need to reinvent the way that we think about integrated marketing and hopefully you see the compelling case here for utilising hacking as an avenue through which to achieve that," he concluded.

The 2014 IMC Conference took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 9-10 June 2014.

About Sindy Peters

Sindy Peters (@sindylp) is managing editor at She can be reached at .