SapientNitro Exec Explains How To Speak To The Digital Consumer [Cannes]

SapientNitro Exec Explains How To Speak To The Digital Consumer [Cannes]

Freddie Laker discusses why brands need to revolutionize their attitude taking into account the new mobile focus of their customer's lives.

Carib Guerra
  • 23 june 2012

Freddie Laker, self professed Digital Evangelist, is currently supporting and expanding SapientNitro’s multi-national accounts in a rapidly evolving marketing landscape. While preparing for his talk at the Cannes Lions Festival, PSFK spoke with Freddie Laker to get his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities in thinking globally no matter what your marketing scale.

Freddie, you’re back in Cannes. How do you think the industry has changed over the last 12 months?

In conversations with our global clients, we’re seeing more digitally led strategies and, overall, in-house marketers are becoming more sophisticated in their use of digital. That may sound like a no-brainer to PSFK readers but most large enterprises continue to treat digital as a separate “channel.” The :30 spot still rules and attracts the big budgets, but the center of their customers’ lives is no longer the living room couch. Getting an 800 pound gorilla to lead with digital thinking requires a sea change for large companies hindered by outdated organizational structures. We’re starting to see this shift as companies recognize that digital has become the center of their customers’ lives — they’re connected at the hip, quite literally. When we go into client meetings now, we’re increasingly seeing the CMO and CIO at the same table, a sign we welcome. In addition, I think that data will be another revolution in our industry over the next couple years. Super smart use of data hasn’t gone mainstream yet, but big brands have been talking about it a lot more over the last 12 months.

What recent piece of work at SapientNitro really reflects how your agency has been evolving?

At SapientNitro, we call ourselves Idea Engineers — meaning, we not only come up with game-changing ideas but we build them too. We’re a culture of strategists, creatives, and techies working collaboratively — this “mixing” often results in innovative solutions that come out looking very unique, very “SapientNitro.”  For UK client Ladbrokes, a venerable betting and gaming company, we transformed their business by developing a first ever multi-channel, real-time betting platform. The mobile app connects hugely complex technology with a clean, usable interface to deliver live results against live odds. Plus, as their AOR, we promoted the live betting in print, shop window posters, digital, mobile, TVC’s and social media campaigns through the famously wacky Italian football commentator, Tiziano Crudeli. TV ads started to get real–time betting opportunities in them. Mobile connected customers in the living room, at the pub, or at an event had an instant opportunity to get in on the action. I can’t think of another agency that can deliver TV spots and billboards all the way through to complex tech platforms involving mind-boggling mathematics – all under one roof. Through Connected Thinking we were able to reinvent Ladbroke’s business and the way they connect to customers. Using technology as a catalyst to create amazing brand experiences for customers – that, in a nutshell, is what excites us.

You’re speaking with Omar Epps on a panel called at “Global Brands vs. Global Celebrities: Who’s the Smarter Marketer?” – How did this come about? What point are you trying to make?

In the last 6 months, SapientNitro conducted 20 in-depth interviews with senior marketers, and followed it up with a survey to 115 senior global marketers and CMOs, as well as secondary research. What we found was an industry struggling with change. The marketing world is in a state of flux. Driven by parallel trends of globalization and digitization, senior marketers are operating in a world increasingly connected through technology.  While this is well understood, driving successful marketing on a global scale remains a big challenge for brands.

To operate in this new environment, we believe brand marketers must use a new global marketing mindset. Our research and experience have shown that disproportional success comes through “connected thinking” – thinking that’s underpinned by the mastery of data and technology.

We chose Monday’s topic at Cannes because we think that being successful as a global marketer is more important than ever. Understanding a global marketing mindset could be what defines the most successful brands of the next 10 years, but having a global mindset doesn’t mean you need to be a global brand. As businesses look to export their success into other markets and the number of global brands increases, you will find that your brand or your client’s brand will need to increasingly defend against new global competition.

We recently became the agency for LeBron James (go Heat!). During the process of researching his competition we realized how many interesting insights could be shared in the way that global celebrities market themselves and their message. We had a discussion in the office about the marketing savvy of Lady Gaga, of Dr Dre. It got us to thinking: what can brands learn from celebrities? Conversely, what can celebrities learn from brands? Many know Omar Epps through his many years playing Dr. Eric Foreman on the global hit TV show “House.” But, you may not know he’s a savvy web entrepreneur, to boot. I met Omar through his online video platform venture, Beeyoo (, and knew he’d be a great fit for our seminar. We’re taking a brand vs celebrity debate-style approach that I think the audience – and PSFK viewers — will get a kick out of and, hopefully, provoke some discussion of their own.

Thanks Freddie!

Catch up with Freddie at this year’s festival when he teams up with the Actor and Web Entrepreneur Omar Epps to debate:

Global Brands vs Global Celebrities: Who’s the Smarter Marketer?

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology Yesterday

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Yesterday

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Jennifer Lopez

Science, Space, Technology, Innovation, Social Good

Travel Yesterday

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment Yesterday

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI Yesterday

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs Yesterday

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials Yesterday

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food Yesterday

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising Yesterday

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work Yesterday

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail Yesterday

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children Yesterday

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Yesterday

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology Yesterday

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.