Sanjay Nazerali, dentsu X Global Client and Brand President, sat down with the Amazon Ads team at this year’s Cannes Lion festival to talk about how brands can connect with consumers in an authentic way, by deep diving into their motivations for buying and loving a company.
Watch the Amazon Ads interview with Sanjay Nazerali.
Amazon Ads: How can brands show they’re purpose driven?
Sanjay: I think the truth is, that actions speak louder than words. This is an era when everybody is talking about how green they are, and how woke they are, and I think consumers have now got to the point where they want to see what’s really being done. And even more than that, for brands to utilise their power to create channels, where consumers can also come together as communities to make change happen.
Amazon Ads: How can diverse talent impact the future of advertising?
Sanjay: Advertising exists on the basis of innovation. Today, more so than ever before. You don’t get innovation from the same types of people, sitting in the same room, having the same conversation. Diversity is the only way to bring different thoughts, different people, who may actually turn around and say, “I’m not sure about that, what if you did it this way?” That is the only way to drive change. It’s the only way to drive innovation. So yes of course, I believe in diversity as a moral good, as an ethical good, but more than that, it’s a business mandate.
Amazon Ads: How can marketers make a positive impact?
Sanjay: Building better for the future, in my view is societal, as much as anything else. This is such a great industry because we impact the way people think, and what they do. Every single choice we make within creative advertising, every choice we make, actually makes a statement by default. Take an ad, you decide you’re going to have a mum and dad shot there. You’ve already made a statement. That already propagates a particular view. We can build a really positive future by being more deliberate in the choices that we make, and not always relying on the default.
Amazon Ads: Challenges of brand growth today?
Sanjay: I think there’s one real challenge to brand growth, to business growth in general, and that is short-termism. We see this on the agency side, with clients coming to us saying, “yes, but how can I impact next quarter?” And they don’t necessarily think about what’s happening three years hence. I don’t think this is an issue just in advertising. Think about it, the financial market operates on the basis of quarterly shareholder returns. Most of us have democracies that only last for four or five years, before you are up for election again. The world is too short term, and it’s led us to some pretty terrible places. What I think will be really important, is the day that money, the financial markets, start to reward sustainability and long-term growth over quarterly shareholder dividends.
Amazon Ads: Advice for someone new to advertising?
Sanjay: There is one thing that has never changed in this industry, and it remains the single most powerful thing there is. Can you understand human beings? Do you understand people? Do you understand why that person should fall in love with this product, and build a long-term relationship with them? My view would be insight. Insight will always give you competitive advantage. In the words of one of my heroes, Carl Sagan, “out there, something amazing is waiting to be known.”
Amazon Ads: What excites you about the future of advertising?
Sanjay: I’m really excited about our ability to look at long-term customer relationships. To get away from this idea that, it’s a consumer who is buying something at a moment in time. It’s actually somebody we can get to know in the long-term. Somebody we can build a relationship with. Somebody we can be there for throughout their lives.
See more of what we got up to in Cannes, in our Cannes Lions Wrap Up Report here.