Positively Genius Series: Attention in an Add Economy

August 21, 2017   |   Yuliya Mycka

This summer, we launched a new speaker series – “Positively Genius.” An ongoing event for our team, clients and agency friends that taps the brightest minds, boldest perspectives and just plain cool ideas from a diverse cross section of creators and communicators. Like our July guest speaker Faris Yakob, co-founder of Genius Steals, world-renowned nomadic planner and author of “Paid Attention: Innovative Advertising for a Digital World.”

Why did we start with Faris (@faris) and what did we learn? One of the best planners in the world, Faris and his business and life partner Rosie are nomads, traveling the world while consulting, writing and speaking. Their ideas are based on the in-depth study of human attention as the foundational idea of communication and advertising. The most valuable resource in the world, it powers the new giants of culture, yet few of us know much about the concept of attention. Here are some sound bites and takeaways from Faris:

  • Figuring out ways to capture and hold people’s attention is at the center of contemporary capitalism (The Guardian).
  • Our society has reached “peak attention,” spending more than 8 hours a day consuming media.
  • The less attention consumers have, the less traditional advertising methods work and the more we need to explore different, innovative approaches.
  • In order to capture attention, brands need to provide real value; one way to deliver value is by doing things instead of only telling things.
  • The Great Blur: PR companies doing video, agencies co-creating with the media, consultants working on ads. The roles are expanding and blending.
  • Everything is PR – the best advertising today is work that had a public relations success. A brand’s impact is rewarded when people see it in a positive light.

Explore Faris’ ideas further in his book “Paid Attention: Innovative Advertising for a Digital World (Kogan Page)” and weekly newsletter “Strands of Genius.”

Why did we start the series? After all, there’s no shortage of industry events and meetups in our bustling ad community. Hosting our own event is an opportunity for us to have an original, shared experience as a team (that includes you, clients and partners) a few times a year. It’s our proverbial bonfire around which we’ll gather to explore new ideas, question convention, get inspired and have fun bonding over what brought us all together – the power of creativity to build brands that are a plus in people’s lives.

Got an idea for a future Positively Genius speaker? We’d love to hear it. There’s only one criterion, and it’s both big and intentionally broad. We’re looking for modern-day geniuses, in any and all forms. Inside or outside of advertising. Corporate or independent. Philosophers, creators or analysts. The field is wide open. Drop me a line with your suggestions at ycrevier@prestonkelly.com or tweet us at @prestonkelly.

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