Global viewpoint from Italy
A view from Carlo Noseda

Global viewpoint from Italy

We are sick of old. Especially when old means bureaucracy and needless complexity. In Italy, we have the youngest prime minister in our history and he is riding this newfound sentiment to bring a new way of thinking and doing. A sort of "new deal" based on change.

Change: what everyone seems to want, but which almost no-one is willing to accept easily in a country where collective cynicism makes it difficult – if not impossible – to spread a new, fresh and positive message. Especially when these messages come from big brands.

Today, however, brands can’t absolve themselves from the responsibility of acting like institutions any more. Inspiring people and supporting them in their daily lives. Sometimes filling the gap when institutions fail.

Consequently, just like institutions, they have to change too, reframing the way they build their relationship with us, as people. By being where real people are, by thinking like normal people think, all in order to evolve consistently and symbiotically with our habits and feelings. To do so, there is an inherent need for agility and, as a result, a need for radical simplicity.

When it comes to advertisers, we strive not to replicate this deplorable old.

Last year, in Italy, digital investments overtook traditional ones. In an old-fashioned country such as ours, "dynamic" media are finally consistently gaining ground on "static" forms.

Of course they are, as long as our lives today are anything but static. With almost half of the total population holding a personal device in their pocket with potentially more technology than the Apollo 11.

In an old-fashioned country such as ours, 'dynamic' media are finally gaining ground on 'static' forms

A tool that gives brands new and almost endless opportunities to interact with people throughout their day. To be there, in the moment of truth, when they are really experiencing a need, with the whole world available for us to play with. To enhance experiences, to solve problems, to create a dialogue with a new relevance in people’s lives. A relevance where the private screen functions as a bridge, becoming truly part of their existence.

Change means creating and identifying new opportunities like these and finding ways to catch our attention. Brands today have the possibility to become meaningful not only for a target cluster, but sometimes also for clusters made by a single person. Collecting data, tracking behaviours, tailoring messages meant for "the single moment of a single life".

Brands, just like institutions, have to become more human. Both can do so (here’s the tricky part) using the less human aspect of our life. "Technology storytelling", where tech is no longer just a means to tell stories but has become part of the story itself. Technology that allows us to create new meanings but also something able to generate emotions "inside" our stories (remember WALL·E?).

Carlo Noseda is the managing partner at M&C Saatchi Milan