Advertising future – future advertising

The Danish government has awarded The Department of Marketing & Management at The University of Southern Denmark with a grant of 14 mio DDK (2 mio EURO) to establish a national network that will initiate innovation in the Danish advertising industry. 

The Innovation Network Market, Communication, and Consumption wants to improve advertisers’ notion of postmodern consumers, markets and branding – and to expand their tool box accordingly. We envisage that this “expansion” will happen through dissemination of acknowledged academic insights as well as through inspirational inputs from cutting edge advertising agencies. So a very important part of our mission is to develop arenas where model practitioners and researchers from leading business schools and universities can present, exchange, and develop knowledge. 

Hic Rhodos…

Our point of departure is that brands are building blocks in identity constructions that are supposed to be meaningful for people in their daily life. Consequently branding requires a much broader and deeper selection of methods to analyze and understand consumer behavior than the traditional marketing tool box offers. 

Because brands are embedded in all sorts of (sub)cultural contexts, and function at cognitive as well as emotional levels they can only be understood by a mix of insights and methods from research fields such as anthropology, neuroscience, aesthetics, sociology, semiotics a.o. - domains that experience sweeping developments themselves right now.

In our experience most agencies have recognized that branded goods are no longer differentiated by physical differences but rather by immaterial value distinctions and they are eager to learn how to handle this insight strategically.

Another essential dimension of postmodern market is that while the communicative dimensions of the product have become more and more important consumers have become more and more critical towards traditional advertising. So the differentiating values cannot just be pasted on the finished product in the form of advertising messages as in the old days. Today symbolic and emotional dimensions must be integrated aspects of product development and design so that the product itself can “Walk the Talk”. This requires on the one hand that agencies develop competences that will enable them to act as creative and strategic partners through the whole value chain, and on the other hand that their clients develop broader and deeper understandings of markets and consumers. Therefore we will also include manufacturers and service companies in the activities of the network. 

Why us?

The main reason that The Department of Marketing & Management at The University of Southern Denmark was selected for this task is first that we host an internationally acknowledged research group in the consumer culture field. Secondly we are already experienced in bridging the gap between advertising professionals and academics.

Six years ago we established Brand Base, a network with more than 100 firms as paying members, and the new innovations network builds on this basis. Our partners in The Innovation Network Market, Communication, and Consumption are faculty from other universities and business schools in Denmark: Aalborg University, Aarhus School of Business – Aarhus University, and Copenhagen Business School. They are handpicked so that we form a team of researchers that supplement each other perfectly and cover the multiple dimensions that are at play in branding and advertising today. Interdisciplinary collaboration is the answer to the challenges of a more and more complex market, and therefore the researchers in these projects have very diverse competencies.

Workshops, seminars and conferences

The Innovation Network Market, Communication, and Consumption is a dynamic and flexible network and we expect a continuous development of ideas and new projects that address challenges from the market. These projects arrange workshops and seminars where practitioners and researchers meet to share knowledge and experiences. In addition an annual conference is held for the total network. The conference presents more overall information and inspiration relevant to all participants, and here we invite speakers – practitioners as well as academic colleagues – from all over the world.