Former Kodak CMO Jeff Hayzlett delivered a boisterous and blustery closing keynote at ad:tech New York on Thursday afternoon that was equal parts George Carlin, Lewis Black, and South Dakotan cowboy.
Here are some of the key points from Hayzlett's presentation, "The Mirror Test – Is your business really breathing?"
“Elevator pitches” are too long. “The average adult attention span is eight seconds long,” Hayzlett said. “The average elevator ride in NYC is 110 seconds. You’ve got 118 seconds to pitch me; eight seconds to hook me, 110 seconds to close me, no more. I can figure it out. I don’t need a 30 page PowerPoint presentation.”
No one is going to die. “Take some risk, do some changes. What happens when you make a mistake? No one’s going to die,” Hayzlett said. He told the story of a campaign that flubbed miserably – a commercial that aired in move theatres and asked for consumers to text for a printer ink discount. The problem is, most people turn off their phones before a movie. But no one died.
“We said, ‘now what do we do with it?’” Hayzlett said. “We put it on the web, drove it, and it became one of the best campaigns we ever had, and we learned from it.”
Brand is nothing but a promise delivered. “Whatever the promise you deliver to the customer -- that is your brand. People can have different perceptions of the brand,” Hayzlett said. He recalled meeting a young lady when he first started and she didn’t know what Kodak was. He knew he had work to do.
Creative people should never have to compromise in selling the vision of their company. At the heart of Hayzlett’s keynote – and his larger-than-life personality – is that you can’t compromise. Everyone needs to push the boundaries, especially in digital.