Q&A: Sangsoo Chong – To Attract the Attention of Snap-Judgment Consumers You Must Read Their Insights Well

“We must meet the expectations of new generation consumers who consume outside of the typical framework.”

As part of the recent Asia Pacific Stevie AwardsBranding in Asia has partnered with the organization for a series of post-event interviews with jurors to get their insights on what they saw during the judging period – including the latest trends, business challenges, and those exceptional entrants that stood out from the rest.

Next up we talk with Professor Sangsoo Chong, the Department Head of Advertising & Public Relations at Cheongju University in Seoul. Prior to his academic career Sangsoo served as an Executive Creative Director and Vice President of Ogilvy Korea

Over the course of our Q&A, he shares what he looked for when evaluating entries, interesting innovations, APAC regional trends, and more.


 

What were you primarily looking for when evaluating the entries in your category during the 11th annual Asia Pacific Stevie Awards?

“Does the idea include consumer insights?”

When judging, I looked at how well consumer insights were incorporated into the ideas. This is because I believe that finding consumer insights is most important for effective marketing communication. Sometimes, our sense of purpose is so strong that we convey the claims of a company or brand one-sidedly.

“Remember that an ad has a life expectancy of 2 seconds. In that short moment, consumers immediately scan the message to see if it is what they need, and if not, they immediately ignore it.”

In an age where there are so many interesting stimuli like YouTube and Netflix, if you just convey your opinion, you will naturally be ignored. It’s easy to think about why short-form videos like TikTok and Instagram Reels are so popular. On YouTube, a video that summarizes a 16-episode drama in 5 minutes is gaining popularity.


 

Remember that an ad has a life expectancy of 2 seconds. In that short moment, consumers immediately scan the message to see if it is what they need, and if not, they immediately ignore it. The same goes for the judges. To attract the attention of snap-judgment consumers, you must read consumer insights well.

Considering the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards focus on innovation in all its forms, what were some of the most interesting innovations you saw based on your reviewed entries?

I’m sorry to say it, but it was difficult to find any innovation that stood out compared to previous entries. The idea is to solve the problem. Therefore, it would have been good to approach a certain problem in a slightly new way, but it was disappointing.

As the saying goes, “There is nothing new under the sun,” but you have to come up with a solution that seems even a little new.

The Stevie Awards judges’ average scores determine the Stevie Award winners. What factors helped certain entrants receive higher ratings to rise above the competition?

In short, “Is there shock value?” This is because if the idea doesn’t include it, the judges won’t pay attention. Many of the ideas submitted this year are mostly small ideas for small teams or companies. You have to go a little further and come up with bigger ideas to score better. Because all awards are competitions.

You can’t win the competition with ideas that are just shared in company newsletters or on the intranet. I’m not talking about ideas that cost a lot of money. We need to make it bigger so that word of mouth spreads, and we need to come up with an idea that other companies will want to follow.

“We all know that consumers do not make sufficiently rational purchasing behavior. We must meet the expectations of new generation consumers who consume outside of the typical framework.”

Looking ahead, what are your thoughts on the biggest challenges and opportunities facing organizations in the APAC region in the coming years?

Let’s respond flexibly to consumers who make irrational purchasing decisions. The biggest challenge that organizations in the APAC region will face in the future is creating high-quality products or services that can be recognized in the global market. Consumers in 2025 will no longer only care about price.

We all know that consumers do not make sufficiently rational purchasing behavior. We must meet the expectations of new-generation consumers who consume outside of the typical framework. If you plan and produce as your predecessors have done so far, it will be difficult to achieve better business results.

The opportunity is also the use of artificial intelligence. I like the definition I read recently: “Think of AI as your marketing assistant.” We must acknowledge our limitations as humans and receive as much support as possible from artificial intelligence, the terrifying collective intelligence. Let’s remember when search engines first appeared and make the most of artificial intelligence.


This Q&A was published in partnership with The Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards. To learn more, including how and when to enter visit asia.stevieawards.com

 

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