Bacardi’s Fabio Ruffet: ‘People welcome branded content when it has a point of view’ | M&M Global

Bacardi’s Fabio Ruffet: ‘People welcome branded content when it has a point of view’

A panel of experts sat down on the afternoon of the first day of Festival of Media Global in Rome to discuss how brands are adapting to storytelling in the new world order.


OMD EMEA president Nikki Mendonca kicked off by pointing out the importance of story-making as well as storytelling.

“We all know how fast moving this experiential world is and telling stories is not enough,” said Mendonca, going on to discuss the power of data analytics and the importance of properly leveraged third party data.

Liberty Global vice president, consumer DNA, Line Leurentop said that, with so much data available, brands must get closer to customers, who she compared to icebergs with only a tiny tip of data sticking above the water.

“We need to get underneath and understand how consumers feel – we need to break some category conventions.”

Leurentop also discussed the need to go beyond product features and instead discuss benefits and emotional areas such as fears. “We need to learn how to step in clients’ footsteps in terms of product, service, communication, and we have to find right moments in time with the right piece of communications,” she said.

Leurnentop commented that a consumer focus should be obvious: “It’s everybody’s responsibility to first ask the question “is this relevant to the customer? There’s not a lot of fish in the ocean anymore, there’s fierce competition going on and every fish gone goes to a competitor.”

Bacardi international creative excellence director Fabio Ruffet praised the advertising industry’s heritage good storytelling. “What’s really changing at the moment are all the possibilities we have at our disposal,” he added. “My main focus is making sure that innovation is all about emotion, which is still biggest driver.”

Ruffet also addressed the danger of consumers blocking advertising in its various forms: “People welcome branded content when it’s well done and has a point of view. Those are all the elements with all possibilities have can make a difference.”

However, his concerns will be heightened when the conversation moves to a point where good storytelling is seen as secondary and people are seduced by the latest format.

“3D cinema for instance was more of a gimmick than a creative expression, that’s the reason why it fell and why it’s on its way out,” said Ruffet.

Renault Italy marketing director Fabrice Crevola argued the need for marketing heads sitting across all consumer touchpoints. “It’s very important to be at the right time and the right momentum the right place and able to touch the consumer in right way. All purchasing process is done nowadays online, it’s very important to be there,” he said

Facebook’s Ben Wood  concluded that the new rules of storytelling are to capture attention quickly, design for sound off video, frame your visual story and play more.

Anna Dobbie


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