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From Istanbul with Love – Planning a Campaign for LaLiga at Dialogue International’s Creative Forum

On a humid Wednesday evening, I arrived in Istanbul together with three colleagues to attend Dialogue International’s annual Creative Forum. Valve forms Dialogue International, a network of independent marketing agencies, together with 15 other agencies from Europe, Americas and Asia. Twice a year we get together with our international colleagues to share ideas and inspirations or to challenge ourselves with interesting business problems. The latter was the case this time as we were assigned to plan a marketing campaign for one the world’s most popular sports league – Spanish football league LaLiga. Including such giant clubs as rivalling Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, this was truly a world class case to work on.

I’ve travelled for business far and wide over the world and was surprised when the city of Istanbul so passionately captured my heart. It was not my first visit, I’ve been to Istanbul before to coordinate industry branding and websites for Middle-East. This time though, I and my colleagues got to work in the front row of the city, on the shore of Bosphorus. Opposite our meeting room was Asia, the other half of Istanbul, and in the skyline view to our right, Hagia Sophia.

Inspired by the international, fascinating atmosphere of the city, myself, my colleagues and marketing experts from Austria, Belgium, Iran and five other European countries began our cooperation the next day by delving into the customer brief. In her brief, LaLiga’s Head of International Marketing, Maria Barbera, asked us to create a marketing plan for their sponsor cooperation.

Big customers have big sponsors, and the sponsors of LaLiga were no exception to this (starting from Santander to Nike and TagHeuer).

Our international team set out for the task by combining wits and knowledge of close to 30 experts in brand & marketing & communication strategy, graphic design, creative planning, motion, copywriting and digital media. We wanted to present the client with several campaign options, optimising our capacity and angling through different B2C products.

Using Data in a Creative Way

Our days in Istanbul varied between high level learnings on newest developments within marketing and creative campaign building for LaLiga.

Founder Viktor Kuzu and Managing Partner Ihsan Özcitak at Deeper gave us insight on how market research and customer targeting is changing its focus from demographic to human behaviour centred facts. Deeper states that:

Data is rational, people are not. But we love the irrationality of humankind.

Kuzu and Özcitak have developed proven methodologies to increase marketing return through behavioural marketing research. For example Deeper produces customer journey insights for several international companies, such as McFit GmbH (the largest fitness chain in Europe), to support their expansion strategies.

AI & Machine Learning

Do you know the difference between Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?

I thought I did – now I definitely do. AI systems are smart, Machine Learning is not. Professor, Dr Zehra Cataltepe, co-founder of and employed by some of the most prominent businesses in the US, told us that through AI, we can predict the future much more accurately than through machine learning. We can predict income levels, demand according to location and customer, which products or services are going to grow, and which customers to invest in to reach higher profit.

With AI we have the luxury of seeing further into the future. AI systems learn from each other and make cascaded predictions with higher accuracy than machine learning predictions.

In marketing, this will be an invaluable source of information when planning solutions for different companies and help the profit on their long-term marketing efforts.

Data or not, creative minds will always be needed

You can’t believe how much I laughed during these three days in Istanbul. The campaign suggestions we were building were fun and activating, but most importantly effective.

At no stage, we forgot the metrics, nor the impact simple, engaging campaigns have nor the long-term effect of 360-degree campaigns. The expertise of all attendants was used to a maximum and campaign solutions busted with digital, social media, impactful copy and graphics as well as AR (augmented reality) were presented to LaLiga. Comparing LaLiga campaign suggestions created by our international teams in Istanbul, it became obvious that out of all the network partners, Valve was the only company providing the full array of marketing solutions for its customers: from brand development to marketing strategies and VR/AR solutions.

As a result of two days of work in international teams, we handed the customer, LaLiga’s Maria Barbera, a very convincing array of marketing campaign suggestions created by the most talented minds from 9 different offices in Europe and Iran. The days were very intensive but totally inspiring! I’d love to share the solutions with you but due to the nature of our business, I will have to leave the revelation of the campaign to LaLiga. I’ll give you a hint though, look out for any LaLiga and B2C sponsored -campaign this autumn in term of the LaLiga Trophy!

Valve’s LaLiga team:

Minna Kylänpää, Communications Consultant (and “I” in the story)
Mappela Riima, Creative at Valve Motion
Susanne Työrinoja, Art Director
Anna Figur, Project Manager

Valve is a member of Dialogue International network of creative independent agencies with strong digital capabilities in Europe, US and Middle East.