A host of top digital thinkers and marketing fundies gathered in Cape Town's prestigious City Hall for the highly-anticipated joint seating of parliament at the Digital Edge Live Show - National Assembly on Thursday, 4 October, presented by NATIVE and Living your Brand. As with last year, local marketing mavericks and industry heavyweights faced off in a battle of wits and opinion that led to rigorous debate on issues and key trends facing the marketing environment.
Headlining the event was International Speaker Nathan Martin, founder of Deeplocal, who stole the show with his State of the Nation address - "Reinventing the Wheel" - offering some thought-provoking insights into the digital landscape. Nathan shared some of his exciting projects, including the Nike Chalkbot, the Reindeer Project and the Toyota Prius Concept Bike. He also advised on the importance of finding ways to "disrupt one's thinking" by spending time outside of one's industry to elicit fresh ideas.
These are some of the most quotable quotes from the show:
Nikki Cockcroft of the DMMA, a self-professed "stats-junkie from space", inspired delegates to "keep educating our clients as to what we're doing and why, to gain their trust and confidence".
Dan Pinch of Society and David Moffat of HelloComputer managed to sum up the third debate perfectly: "Use an expensive concept to launch your campaign and reach the masses and then maintain your campaign over the long term with the help of social networks. This way, when the budget gets cut, you still have a loyal community."
Nicholas Wittenberg of Ogilvy, Cape Town said: "There should be a symbiotic relationship between spending the cash on a great campaign and engaging your audience online with compelling communication. Loyalty doesn't come cheap."
Nathan Martin also added in his speech, The Maker Culture: "The saying goes that if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. This is true with new technologies. It seems we want to use the latest technologies for all of our clients' brands, whether it suits their business or not."
The debates made the Digital Edge a lively occasion, as speakers battled it out, head-to-head to assert their dominance and state their case. The twitter feed took centre stage, allowing the audience to interact and really get involved in the conversation.
The first panel session was a fairly even match-up between Andy Gilder and Nikki Cockcroft and their opposing MPs Ivan Moroke, Arthur Charles van Wyk and Matthew Buckland with their topic: "Are digital agencies blinding clients with science?". The second session of debate saw the likes of Jason Xenopoulos and the legendary Graham Warsop sweeping up the majority of votes with their panel topic "Is South African digital work really world class?", although their opposing digital ministers Mike Sharman and Rob Stokes made a compelling argument that the bottom line should be based on business results and not just international awards. Session three's panel discussion topic "Building long term social media communities is more important than creating expensive conceptual campaigns" was a heavily contested tie between Dave Moffat, Nic Wittenberg, Dan Pinch and Jacqui Boyd.
Feedback from delegates was that it was "truly a worthwhile, engaging and fun afternoon of lively debate highlighted by some of the most inspirational minds from the Digital sphere" - Tara Slade, Brand Executive at Omnivision Brand Solutions.
Sponsors included top brands such as Nedbank, Everlytic, Barron, Spur, Scheckter's Organic Energy, Liquifruit and Doritos. Visit @Digitedge or view the #tdelive thread to relive the action.