Patrick Collister, Head of Design Google, at the 24Festival.

Last Tuesday I visited the 24Festival, themed “Will it blend.” A question raised to see if creativity and effectiveness go together. A bit of a rhetorical question, of course, but interesting starting point for an ad festival.

I was most impressed by Patrick Collister (Head of Design at Google Northern & Central Europe), who shared a case about milk. He started with sharing a 40 second commercial from the 80s, promoting milk. He made it when he was still a copywriter and in 2013 turned it into a cross-media concept for YouTube, together with his team at Google Zoo.

The commercial revolves around a boy who drinks milk because Ian Rush, a famous football player tells him: “If you don’t, you will be good enough to play for Accrington Stanley.” “Who are they?” the kid asks. “Exactly.” It became a national running gag in England. So a good basis for an advertising concept.

Collister and his team set up a match with the players of club Accrington Stanley against kids, who were selected out of videos dads created and uploaded on a branded YouTube channel. Some of the films were watched millions of times. The selected kids were then trained by Ian Rush, also a national symbol, which obviously formed more interesting content. Tickets for the live match were sold and won online. And the match itself could be watched live on YouTube. A very layered campaign using YouTube in smart and various ways.

Google Zoo is a division within Google that shows advertisers how they can use Google’s tools. But, as this example shows, they’re not just a media-agency, but also create concepts. And what’s quite unique is that they do this at what they call “creative academies,” together with their clients. A small task force of very different people with very different skills is put together to solve a specific problem. Most of the time this results in creative ideas the first days, new strategies during the next, and then; the golden nugget, which is real business change. Which is obviously where the real opportunities are.

This CCO should be someone with a “fascist” capability to protect the brand and make people collaborate

Collister asked himself out lout why most ad agencies can’t collaborate this way and then advised the marketeers to partly incorporate this kind of creative process within their own company by hiring a Chief Creative Officer. This CCO should be someone with a “fascist” capability to protect the brand and make people collaborate.

So, to answer the question of the 24Festival; Will it blend? If you combine Google’s tool and knowledge with creative collaboration, it most definitely blends.