Q&A with Steve Ackerman of Somethin’ Else

January 11, 2018

Q&A with Steve Ackerman of Somethin’ Else  and also a judge for the World Media Awards which are now open for entries UNTIL 25TH JANUARY 2018. You can enter here.

General questions:

Q: Why should agencies/advertisers enter the World Media Awards?
Steve: Top work needs to be confirmed as such. It’s a way to showcase work, win new clients and gain attention for great work.

Q: What are you hoping for most when you judge the awards?
Steve: To see a high standard of creativity and hopefully some work that pushes boundaries. Most of all I want to see work that truly understands the audience it’s designed to target and has evidence of having done so.

Q: What advice can you give potential entrants for creating a winning entry?
Steve:  Be concise and tell a clear story. If you can’t explain your entry clearly, then don’t expect judges to “get it”.

Content/native advertising questions

Q: What is the best content-driven advertising campaign you have seen in the past 12 months (which you weren’t involved in)?
Steve: I think both GE and Marriot have been clever and consistent in their approach to content and showing a strong understanding of how it can compliment their more traditional advertising.

Q: Podcasts are having a ‘golden moment’ in content-driven advertising. What’s driving their ascendance?
Steve: A combination of great tech (headphones are of a high standard now), great content and some stand out podcasts such as S-Town that have brought new users to the medium.

Q: Repeatable content is a big trend right now – so how do you create a campaign that will bring consumers back again and again? And do brands need to start thinking and budgeting differently to sustain this kind of ongoing content creation, rather than using the traditional campaign model?
Steve: Repeatable content is more than a trend – it’s the key way brands need to think if they truly want to use content to best effect. Brands are in a battle for eyes and ears with all the other major content creators (BBC, Netflix, newspapers etc). They are specialists in repeatable content and building relationships with audiences. Brands need to learn from and copy this behaviour rather than think with a campaign mindset.

Q: Content needs to be able to attract audience’s attention, not simply disrupt and annoy. What’s the key to truly engaging content?’
Steve: Think of the audience first and how to attract them, rather than thinking of the brand first and what it wants to say.

Q: What role does social media play in content-driven advertising campaigns?
Steve: It’s a crucial component and like saying you’ll make a TV show without trailers for the show. It also offers a great opportunity to build audience interaction into strong creative thinking.

Q: What are the killer questions an agency/media owner should ask a client to ensure that their content brief is fit for purpose?
Steve: Now that would be telling!

International planning questions

Q: How do you balance planning and implementation of cross-border branded content campaigns between ‘local’ offices and ‘head office’?
Steve: Completely depends on the creative, but without local input, the risk of not understanding cultural nuances is high.

Q: What is the key to finding a content marketing idea that can translate across borders?
Steve: Thinking about the passion points we share, leads to creative touchpoints that can appeal in different territories. But every idea needs adapting to reflect local subtleties.

About you:

Q: What was your first single/music download?
Steve: The first thing I bought was a cassette. I’ll explain another time. It was ABC The Lexicon of Love.

Your favourite TV series?
Steve: Nothing will ever beat The Wire. Ever.

Q: Your favourite drink?
Steve: A well made Negroni or a high quality Malbec.