What did you speak about at MAD//Anywhere?
TRUE social media engagement and how to achieve this la-la-land! Hopefully my In my 5 minutes at MAD//Anywhere in front of an audience with the most sophisticated BS detector gave you a handful of practical tips to take on your engagement journey!

Pandemic and Brexit aside, 2021 is the year of what? Why?

On the consumer end, marketers must contend with a public that remains downbeat over the thorniest year in modern memory. Overall, 2021 will be the year of the customer. CMOs and their teams will need to balance purpose-minded tendencies with intensified mandates around areas like data and commerce — all on shorter timelines than in the past.  

What are the 3 most exciting things on your to do list for today?

Let me see, what is exciting in the lockdown reality of 2021? I was finally pressured into downloading TikTok so I’m having a little too much fun creating myself and watching the wonders of the internet. Laundry and trying my hardest NOT to eat more chocolate whilst WFH are also on that list.

Who inspires you in adland? Why?

To date, believe it or not, it’s still Coca Cola. Their messaging and legacy brand has seen it all and the one constant that I appreciate most is the authentic and human-first approach that resonates with audiences far and wide. Whether or not you’re a Coke drinker, their ads make us feel good. 

What was the last ad your saw that made you buy something?

I have a sweet tooth and it was a cookie from a local bakery. Not just any cookie, Levain bakery is one of NYC’s top locations with lines around the block even during covid. 

I knew them from before but it was one of those weird “is Facebook listening?” couch moments where the ad popped up and immediately made me pause. Chocolate walnut heaven 10 minutes away from my house was just too much temptation!

What’s your all time favourite ad campaign and why?

I really loved Skullcandy’s “12 Moods” which was developed across 12 months and features products, storylines, influencer and UGC contributions and so much more in what can only be described as one giant scope of a campaign. 

The results were phenomenal. You can listen to McKenna Taylor, Skullcandy’s Global Brand Manager discuss 12 Moods here

What’s your single biggest learning of 2020?

Practical has become the new premium. The coronavirus crisis has offered an opportunity for people to rethink what matters — and what doesn’t. 

People’s priorities have shifted. As a result, we’ve adjusted our spending toward essentials and crave products that truly meet our needs. 

What does that mean for marketing in 2021? We can expect to see more campaigns anchored in human-centric practicality. The story of 2021 will be practical help for real people.

How do you plan to take your business forward in 2021? 

Victory will go to the swift and adaptable. If there is one thing the pandemic taught us, it is to be nimble. 

Yes, we are thinking 10 steps forward, 5 steps back but once the world bounces back, you want to be ready to pounce! Set the right foundation today, to be ready tomorrow. 

To give you something more concrete, we’re investing heavily in marketing technology. Personalisation at scale starts with data and so much data today is trapped in organisational silos. We’re cleaning all of that up so both marketers and sellers at Falcon.io can truly take a coordinated approach.

What keeps you awake at night?

Logistics in this virtual world of webinars, events and podcasts, and the one currency everyone wants more of today…stronger WiFi!

We just hosted our own virtual summit with 15K attendees and I knew the programme, content, speakers would kick ass but the tech and logistics are only part within your control – oh lord, that can keep you up at night!

What’s the biggest opportunity in marketing and advertising right now?

We talk a lot about reaching an audience. When the whole world is focused on the same thing, we rely on social media to express ourselves and feel connected. 

And people are paying attention. We’ve got nowhere else to go so phones and endless streams of content are more present than before (god help us if we compared our device screen times!)

So work on keeping your audiences’ attention for as long as you possibly can. That’s why your numbers are more than likely going up this year. But don’t take it for granted, the opportunity can disappear just as quickly as it came.  

What kind of innovation excites you the most?

This world has seen it all. In such a reality, come up with a true showstopper. We always say that but what will truly make a person stop and reflect for a moment? Think education and entertainment. That is the formula for remaining memorable. Innovation that isn’t a copy-paste of the same concept is what excites me the most, i.e. NOT Stories on EVERY social platform. 

Lockdown is over. The office is open. Describe your perfect working day...

I want to return to a flexible working environment. I am so eager to return to the office but I also like elements of WFH so a 3:2 setup would be ideal: Mon and Fri at home and Tues-Thurs in the office for things like creative briefs, brainstorming sessions and hosting in-person events.

What would you most like to change about the ad industry?

I want the hyperconnected personalised approach of ads to continue to grow. I’d like messaging to be clearer and wittier in both static and interactive examples for online and TV.  

Dino Kuckovic is Director of Community + Events, Falcon.io