On Friday, we were delighted to welcome Mark Bell to the studio. Mark is the Experience Planning Director at digital ad agency Dare in London http://www.thisisdare.com We first met Mark while we were visiting Dare’s offices during our 2014 London Study Week in November. He overheard that we were from Falmouth and, having himself graduated from the Communication Design course here back in the late 90s, offered to come and give the students a talk. He’d not been back since he graduated, so he was fascinated to see how much had changed on the campus.
Mark’s very entertaining session centred around ‘The Imperfect Human’ – the idea that people won’t necessarily react the way we would like them to – and how we need to understand this in order to influence consumer behaviour. He explained the difference between what a brand promises and the customer reality (i.e., what the consumer actually does with the brand). The opportunity for us in advertising is to understand what this might involve for any particular brand and how behaviour can be controlled with various ‘tools’ like mimicking, framing, loss aversion, default choice, etc. But this wasn’t just a lecture – from the word go he had students standing on chairs and tables!
At the end of his session, Mark gave the class an exercise to demonstrate how all this can be applied to the projects they’re currently working on – or any advertising problem. Finally, he toddled off to check out some old haunts for a well-earned beer.