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Face to Face with... Martin Lange

Face to Face with... Martin Lange

Martin Lange, executive marketing director & global lead of mobile for O&M Worldwide, talks mobile.

As the New York-based executive marketing director, and global lead of mobile for Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Martin Lange has even more of a vested interest in Cannes this year what with the introduction of the Mobile category. Here he talks about the importance of brands having a mobile experience that is properly tailored to their users, and how Apple is the standard we should all be aiming for.


What are you most looking forward to most about the Cannes International Festival of Creativity?

There are many great things about Cannes; the weather, the parties, the company with peers. But in the past I have very much enjoyed the presentations and lectures combined with a healthy exchange with fellow marketers about the topics presented. The festival fosters a very creative atmosphere that allows you to forget about the day-to-day work for a moment and inspire creative sessions even while at the festival that go beyond and above what one is usually constrained by.

Do you feel that it’s been a good year in terms of creative output from the industry?

I think what we are seeing is that creativity is changing. While in the past it was that one perfect OOH execution - a spectacular flash website or a highly emotional TV spot - we are seeing more and more programs that are very intricate in how they tie in all aspects of communication such as mobile, social and even commerce opportunities. So it is hard to compare to earlier years.

You lead the mobile marketing department at Ogilvy; how integral has mobile become to brands in the past five years?

It is a very mixed bag. Clients are in various stages of adopting mobile as a core aspect for their programs and really understanding it as a key thread throughout all communications. There are the ones that are still contemplating on whether it could prove useful to launch a pilot, while for others it is at the core of every briefing.

The industry still suffers from a lack of proven effectiveness of mobile as a touchpoint. While this is a similar situation to 15 years ago when "digital media" appeared in the ad industry, I do believe that mobile will become an integral part much faster. 

Are you looking forward to seeing what work comes to the fore in the inaugural Mobile category?

Very much so. And I hope that we will see work where mobile is not just a standalone campaign or platform but where it is an integrated aspect of a larger program. Also I hope to see results associated with these programs that will make our conversations easier in the near future.

How important is it for brands to have an engaging mobile presence rather than simply a mobile presence?

It depends on what the mobile presence is supposed to achieve. If we are talking brand building and emotional engagement, then I would argue that an engaging presence is absolutely key.

In other cases, when content is at the core of the offering or simple transactions (e.g. click to call) are at the center, the experience needs to focus exactly on these core aspects. What is important is, that the experience is built around the user's behavior. Apple has redefined how we look at user-interface interaction. That needs to be the standard for all experiences.

How important do you think the festival is in inspiring and motivating the industry?

I think the most important aspect of the festival is that it actively pushes the industry out of their day-to-day routine and opens minds and eyes to work from other advertisers and thus creates conversation. In my past I have come back from Cannes very inspired and full of new ideas.

What themes or topics do you think will be/should be the main talking points inside the Palais this year?

Advertising is not only for advertising agencies and their clients anymore. The landscape has massively increased with new players entering such as ad-networks, start-ups, tech and management consultancies. I think this may be a hot topic, on what the future agency-client-partner models will look like. 

I also think SoLoMo (social/local/mobile) will be a big topic, and how the industry players are struggling to get it right. Social media is still a hot topic with some learnings in the market now that allow for more substantiated discussions.

Lastly, not unrelated to the above, I think we will see discussions about the importance of content for brands and how content is being created and distributed by brands.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in Cannes?

Some years ago, a Japanese agency won a Cyber Lion and the creative directors appeared on stage in what looked like Japanese superhero costumes. That certainly raised eyebrows and stirred a good amount of well-tempered laughter.

What’s your one tip for surviving the Cannes week?

I do not see the week as being threatening. But if you refer to the high intensity of conferences, award shows and those dreaded parties, I would argue that a good dose of sun outside of the Palais is always helpful to balance concentration and relaxation.

It’s 2am, the party’s over, where to; Martinez, Carlton Terrace or Gutter Bar?

Gutter Bar


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