Advertising guru Dan Cohen, Creative Director of Publicis New York, introduced the ever-evolving advertising industry to NYU Shanghai students on April 19-20 in two workshops that explored the industry’s future and the need to balance creativity, data and technology in a world where advertisers have only 1.7 seconds to capture the consumer’s attention.
Hosted by the program on Creativity + Innovation (PCI), Cohen drew on his rich experience with Procter & Gamble brands, such as Bounty paper towels and Charmin bath tissue, where he oversaw the interdependent creative development in servicing brand objectives.
According to Cohen, interdependence of various functionalities in an advertising firm is a new, more fluid and efficient way of creating both an impactful and cohesive consumer experience in advertising. “Interdependence requires leveraging a fusion of capabilities of an agency to deliver bigger ideas for the brand objective, and in this way redefined its role,” Cohen said.
In terms of future trends, Cohen pointed out that data and technology are challenging the definition of what makes successful advertising. He said creative content is needed for practitioners to survive in the intensely competitive new era of digital advertising.
“Creative content should involve stopping power, speed and transparency to develop results-driven advertising,” said Cohen. “What’s more, brands should be able to communicate in the changing media landscape, in both traditional and new channels.”
Moderating the workshops, PCI Director Professor Adam Brandenburger invited students from from all PCI classes to participate as a co-curricular event.
“At PCI, we want to help students explore and enhance their creative and innovative selves by adding both courses and workshops in non-traditional areas such as design thinking, entrepreneurship, innovation, also creativity in the world of advertising,” Professor Brandenburger said.
“The workshop broadened my perspective on understanding advertising, not just as the target audience, but also through the eyes of a practitioner,” said senior student Sang Rong, who after graduating will start her career with GroupM, one of the world’s largest advertising media companies. “The conversation with Cohen helped me gain a more pluralistic sense of advertising,” said Sang.