Culture eats strategy for breakfast
We came up with the idea of KLM Surprise: based on open information people sharded on their social media profiles, we would surprise them with random of kindness to explore how this happiness would spread. It was insanely fun and rewarding to do. Not only to explore how to “get to know” people through their social media profiles, but also the logistics of spotting people and surprising them within a very limited amount of time.
We had been dry-running for three weeks before starting the campaign. And it was amazing. Passengers were super excited and happy. I was super grateful to the agency (Boondoggle Amsterdam), my colleagues (Tom, Astrid, Gaston) and KLM (Tjalling, Anna, Lonneke, Simonette) to be able to do this.
And then a tweet came in.
On the spot, I decided to quit working in advertising. I didn’t want the infrequent campaigns and marketing awards thingies anymore. I wanted to work inside of companies to change them to be less about ads and more about acts. To do more about the customer experience, products and services that would help their customers rather than merely talk about these.
The campaign went on to win a lot of international awards. And still, more than 10 years after, people regularly contact me about the campaign. But the change inside of my was made on that day.
I do not see how this is a sustainable way forward.
So my plea is to advertise less and do more. Less marketing, more make-a-thing. Less yelling, more listening.
That is why I inspire companies to be less about ads and more about acts. I write about it, inspire people to change and above all, try and change companies myself.
Presentation: Acts, not ads.
Consumer expectations have changed. They expect more, faster, better and with better customer service. And when they don’t get it, they will complain. Offline but, more and more, online. Companies struggle to keep up with these new and changed levels of expectations. The only answer? Acts, not ads. Away from advertising and remarkable talks, towards really doing stuff. And that isn’t easy that requires to change companies.