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TEDxDF - Daniel Granatta - Digital Invaders

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Well, it is very exciting to be here I am really scared, I don't know if opening the event is really my thing. I hope we all eventually find an interesting point of agreement on what we will learn today. I work in advertising, a profession with a not-so good reputation, in fact, I brought this quote, a local joke for us publicists, "Don't tell my mother I work in advertising, she thinks I play the piano in a brothel" I will talk about advertising, not about what it is, but what I would like it to be especially in a country like Mexico. I based this talk on an invitation I will leave until the end, But especially, I based it into two lines of argumentation: one is the opportunity brands have to trascend beyond the products and the services they offer. and the need to develop multi-disciplinary talent to achieve that. I think this is important and necessary, so Mexico does not go through the same thing that happened to this guy who sent a letter to a newspaper in Spain, which tells how the Spanish government heavily invested in scholarships on him, and in the end he never found a job that was related to his studies in Spain, so he had to emigrate to Belgium, and is a productive citizen now. Besides from money and scholarships, Mexico is a country with an extraordinary and creative talent, but this talent is not being taken care of, and is not being cultivated, so it will end up migrating somewhere else or will stall and end up rotting. I here have this doll, it's one of the most valuable things I have. If my house burned in fire, this would probably be one of the first things I'd save. The students from Digital Invaders made these dolls for all the teachers that had taught the second generation. We just founded them on our desks. They are very valuable, not only because they actually made them, but because the doll was inside a box, you can't see it very well, where they all wrote their feelings about what they had learned during the 3 month course. It filled me up with joy. They thanked the professional learning but mostly the personal learning. they said they were surprised with how broad their view of things was after 3 months. I really value this box. because it treasures unique moments of my life. Digital Invaders is a school founded by the agency I work for we wanted to make the company grow and we were looking for talent, but could not find it, so we decided to create it. So we offered free 3 month courses so talent would approach to us through them. Some stayed with us at the agency, some went somewhere else, but at least, we sow the seeds of change. Teaching is one of the many things I have done in my life. I am a conglomerate of strange things. I came into the world of advertising through the world of technology. I studied engineering. I made things people used. But one day, it turned out to be more interesting to me, to ask myself why would people use or not something I had made. I needed more answers to answer that question. I decided to study anthropology. I don't know why because I like architecture. There is a very interesting issue: being a foreigner in Mexico. We can never explain mexicans the fascination Mexico exerts on us. This fascination is a form of auto-defense so we don't interprete rationally images like this one, in Saltillo. I think this represents the "magical Mexico". A house whose first floor has a door into the void. If I try to understand this, my head explodes, but speaking out from fascination I say, " Oh it's Mexico!", "I'ts cool", and then I enjoy it. Saltillo is relevant to me because it hosts the agency where I work, group W. I arrived there 4 years ago. My first proyect was for a deodorant brand. I discovered that advertising nights can be long and slow, and you need an outlet to be able to escape those moments of mental lapse. My outlet was a comic called "Black horse": a story of zombies, love, sex, bizarre and esoteric characters. I found it very useful as a relief at 4 a.m. Two years later, after some more deodorant campaigns, we found ourselves on this list. We were the fourth most awarded agency in the world, from Saltillo. I didn't bring this chart to say "look how great we are", but because probably 99% of the people here, didn't know this. The normal, understandable and admirable thing is you didn't know, because advertising doesn't interest anybody. That only interests advertisers. (A crazy laugh out there) By developing deodorant campaigns, what I do is try to influence you to make a decision in a particular time and area: the deodorant aisle of Guadalajara pharmacies. A little sad, isn't it? This has to do a lot with the form in which brands adress people. Brands don't adress people as individuals, but as numbers, targets, consumers… that's a horrible word to me. I think Facebook's banners are a good example of how wrong advertising is. Supposedly, everything you see there are things that interest you. I am never interested in any of them, and I think the context in which advertising works can be explained with this story. This is the room's door in the hospital were my father passed away. They found out he had an advanced pancreas cancer in 2008, he passed away three months later. And throughout all the process, the question my mother and I had was: why? The doctors would answer with a scientific and medical reasoning how the disease had developed, and how the body was being affected. But that was not what we were asking. What I was asking was: why him? Why do I have to go through this? Even though we both responded to a "why", we were speaking in different languages. I found emotional and intellectual shelter in a movie called "The fountain". It is a beautiful love story in which a doctor finds the recipe for eternal life to save his wife, she has a brain tumor. but he is always seconds late, and he can't understand that the way of being with her is not by being inmortal, or by trying to resucitate her, but by dying so to join her. I always thought this was a metaphor of how advertising works. Advertising and brands talk the way those doctors were talking to me. They hire agencies to transmit those messages, but the answers and reasons people need, are not given by them. I thought it would be interesting to make advertising a vehicle between what people want and what people need, especially in a country like Mexico where you can find pictures like this one: "Smoking is forbidden, without exception, in any area of this building, except for Mr. Governor, can't help on that! The Mexican society is completely disconnected from the politicians, unfortunately. No one sees politicians as change agents that could benefit myself as a person. That cynicism is in the end harmful, because that poster speaks more poorly of the person who put it than of the politicians. It is something like giving up completely instead of interacting with them. I asked myself again, Wouldn't it be interesting if advertising didn't only create consumption but helped in the recovery of spaces and the creation of values? Should all transactions between people and brands be measured in money? sure about that? Could people not access advertising the same way with the same expectations they have when they go to a movie theater? My answer would be yes. Considering that, I think brands have a unique function: profit and personal benefits, and are not looking at the context in which they live. That's why I brought this quote: "Brand advertising can no longer be left on the brand's hands, or on its advertising agencies". What brands think is all we want is to go to the World Cup. Purchase code, website raffle code, and go to the World Cup. They think we all want to go to South Africa. And damn, I don't want to go. All I want is go to an OXXO and buy my breakfast. In OXXO, a convenience store, you can find sensationalist newspapers like this. I personally hate them. I think the way they trivialize something so important as death is grothesque. Once in a while, interesting things happen in Saltillo. For example this article: A guy goes out with his friends to a cementery and his friends beat him out, they think he is dead so they bury him, but the guy is not dead and rises from the grave and scares some old ladies to death. Next day, the story continues with the story of the "fugitives"; next day, "they smoke pot on Bible", Every day, the man at the OXXO asked me: "why are you buying the newspaper if you always criticize it?" I told him I could not know how the story ended. That showed my need. I wanted to know how it all ended. I didn't want to go to the World Cup. I discovered this 3 months ago. I had an Ipad. I hadn't used it for 3 weeks. I think the value of things does not depend on how much they cost but on how much you want them. That's why sometimes you pay more to have your favorite artist's cd before anyone else. So I had this Ipad. and I decided to get something in exchange for the Ipad I was not using. Something remarkable for me. I got very varied offers. A girl offered 30 days of free sex in exchange for the Ipad. I asked her why did she want the Ipad, and she said it was for her boyfriend, whom she really loved. In the end, Jorge wrote to me. He is an illustrator from Monterrey, author of a comic, "Black Horse", the one I had been reading for the last 4 years. And I was like, wow, this is a good story to tell. How did I end up in a comic I read with an exchange that can't be payed with money? I think advertising can consist of that. Telling people things money can't buy, things that dreams can buy. Like this: Orange Rockcorps is an innitative of Orange, a telephone channel in the UK. They organised exclusive concerts with world-leading artists, in which you could not buy the tickets. You had to do 4 hours of volunteering in the poorest areas of London. That's how you could get the tickets. The plus of picking the rubble up was that the artists would be doing the same thing along with you. So that means you could spend 4 hours with your favorite artist. That's something money can't buy. And that would really move me. Not going to the World Cup. Some may say the English are very formal, organised and all. And yes, it could be. Everyone knows this girl: Ximena Navarrete, the current Miss Universe. What many of you don't know is Ximena won a runway contest organized by a deodorant brand 4 years ago. I'm not saying this is a cause-consecuence thing. But probably this moment in 2006 has something to do with the moment in 2010. Therefore I asked myself: If brands did something that could be the beggining of a platform so anyone can be Miss Universe, why can't brands encourage journalism, architecture or chemistry? There could be a Pulitzer or a Pritzker price within 4, 15, 20 or 40 years. Could be. I don't know. What I do know is that for this platform to have a real background, advertising is not enough. Advertising creates advertising, and that leads us to the deodorants aisle in Guadalajara pharmacies. That's what we learned at school, teaching. You don't have to see what others do but what others really are. That brings up interesting results. Here's Pit, a school teacher, and several students from the 3 generations that have passed through the school. They all have marketing and advertising profiles. That's why they went to this school. But what is it being generated here? More advertising. What happens if we see people for what they really enjoy doing. That is what people really are, they really are not what they do. Then we have that Pit is not a marketer, he is really an architect. The other one is a ballet dancer, the other one is a musician. If you looked at the profiles, the results would be much more interesting. It would be something indefinite I can't name, but I think this is potentially more interesting, and this generates projects like the one some students at the school did. Four of the students were locked down in school for 2 days in a row, without getting any sleep, to draw all the things people sent them via twitter, facebook or e-mail, meanwhile some web cameras recorded them. Behind the 4 students drawing there was a staff taking care of the transmission cameras seeing what came next. In the end they realized they were working all together, doing something different Doing something different than that they had arrived to school for. They were all different. 15 different profiles. This was interesting because the way the audience connected was spectacular. They had thousands of visits and interactions. They showed that in order to connect with people in an honest way, an advertising agency is not always needed. I think this is a great time to work in advertising as a tool, but I especially think it is a great time for not being sure about anything. Speaking of education particularly. It is said that this is a technological and digital world and that we are dehumanizing. I think it is quite the opposite. We are now more human than ever, and what technology does is to encourage this in a supersonic speed. I think the pictures of a party in Facebook will never be as fun as being on the party itself. What technology allows us is to live in a more mixed world. A world of genders, races, disciplines. And this is what allows us to be a little more "Leonardos". Knowing a lot from something, and a little from many other things in order to be better in that what we are. That is helpful when cultivating talent. To polish people up in what they already are and to teach them more things so they are better. An example is when football players train ballet to excercise their coordination, flexibility, but all above, discipline and respect for the "contrary". The reward is, I think rejuvenation. I feel much younger now than 10 years ago. I think this sentence sums it up nicely: "I'm not 40, I'm 18 with 22 years of experience". I get to the end of my dissertation. This is a poem by Maria Zambrano, a well-known spanish writer. It talks about how every single precious thing we have in life, at some point, was something else, and someone else was responsible for forging it and for sowing it. I think we all came to TEDxDF today, looking for ideas to take with us to our places, so a change can be made. And I think it's important not to lose sight of the fact that for these ideas to be planted, they need a talent in which they can detonate. So, basically, my invitation here is that talent, as well as air or water, is everywhere. Talent surrounds us. And you are all surrounded by "digital invaders" beggining with the person who is sitting right next to you. But we need to start looking at the people we have right next to us for what they are, and not for what they do. That way, with all the ideas we take home today, we can trigger a change. A small one first, because if we take everything and try to make it big, we'll see we won't be able to do so because we are alone. But by triggering a small group of people, and teaching them something, in return, this will allow us to be change agents and to be able to surprise someone else. Finally, this is my invitation for all of you today. If you want to change things, you need to let yourself be surprised. Let yourself be surprised to surprise. That's how we will all have a better place to live. For us and for those who come behind us. Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 34 seconds
Year: 2010
Country: Mexico
Language: English
Producer: Matruska Films
Director: TEDxDF
Views: 167
Posted by: marigari on Jan 21, 2011

Nacido en Cáceres (España), donde aún tiene un Vic20 y un Commodore64, Daniel vive en Saltillo, una pequeña ciudad del norte de México a donde se mudó para ser Director Creativo de Grupo W, una agencia dedicada a "cosas" digitales. Posee un oscuro secreto (ya no cree en el destino) y cuando no está trabajando, disfruta de las piezas de Jimi Hendrix "1983 (a merman I should turn to be)" y "Moon, turn the tides... gently gently away" simplemente para recordar cómo era la Atlántida antes de hundirse.

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