The 11th Annual Smarties™ Awards program is just around the corner. It will showcase the best of the best in mobile marketing from the UK, EMEA and globally, recognising teams and talents that have created new benchmarks and engaged consumers in a way that is only possible through mobile. This year’s jury panel includes an impressive list of over a dozen brand marketers and agency leaders in mobile marketing from Fortune 500 companies. Included on the list is industry guru and R/GA London’s Integrated VP Executive Creative Director, Rodrigo Sobral. As co-chair, Rodrigo has discussed the theme of the awards, lessons learnt from the Smarties™ and shared his personal views on the future of mobile marketing during a Q&A session.
MMA UK: How would you describe the theme of the Awards?
Rodrigo: I think if you had to pick one theme that cuts right through all the different categories for the Smarties™, it would be innovation. That’s a word that is banded about far too easily these days, but I’ve always felt that winners of the Smarties™ down the years have been entries that have really shown bravery when it comes to innovation – and creativity. You have to be really bold to innovate, and take risks, and hopefully the entries this year will show that to the judges.
MMA UK: In your opinion, what are some lessons learnt from the Smarties™ Awards?
Rodrigo: Firstly don’t be afraid to fail. There’s so much creativity and new modes of thinking in the mobile industry that if you want to really to make an impact you have to take risks and try ideas that might seem at unreachable. Be bold. The work that usually go away with an award are the ones that are genuinely breaking new ground and are disruptive. And to do that, you have to dare to dream.
Secondly, always strive for excellence and never get complacent. There’s so many new and innovative start-ups out there blazing new trails in mobile, the bigger brands and agencies cannot afford to get complacent when it comes to designing and developing new mobile platforms. Winners of the Smarties™ represent those who are blazing new trails, exhibiting bravery and innovation across the sizzling and competitive mobile marketing ecosystem.
MMA UK: How do these lessons feed into what’s happening in the industry at the moment?
Rodrigo: The richness of the mobile channel is really exciting right now. Smartphone adoption is at an all-time high and the devices are sophisticated enough now to support a wide array of experiences across the channel. With so many new mobile medium to now interact with brands, it’s never been more true to that you need to be brave and take risks. Otherwise you’ll simply get left behind.
MMA UK: The Smarties™ honours Mobile Ad Campaigns, what are your views on the future of mobile?
Rodrigo: At R/GA we’re seeing advances in mobile display advertising, mobile search, responsive Web, native apps, geo-location, mobile in retail and mobile commerce. For marketers and creatives, this all means that almost anything is possible in mobile design and innovation. But perhaps once of the most interesting areas we’re seeing evolution in is with advancements in wearable technology. Wearable devices are quickly transforming the way we interact, build and design digital experiences. Just take a look at wearable devices from a couple of years ago, and you will realise how incredibly fast they are evolving.
Despite all this, wearable devices are still in their infancy. Big brands as well as startups are still exploring possible usages, form factors and overall purpose. The latter being key to success. In a world flooded with information and media channels, predictive, contextual and relevant information supersedes any fluffy functionality a device can offer. It’s an exciting time for mobile.
To learn more about the Smarties Awards, click here.