Primarily based out of VICE Media Group’s Dubai workplace, the just lately appointed senior director and head of experiential for MEA, Joseph Aquilina, joins the management workforce to help innovation throughout the corporate. Housing the VICE, Refinery29, Pulse Studios and i-D Journal manufacturers, he’ll help the 360-degree firm which, in keeping with Joseph, goes “past the bounds of standard expertise codecs.”
Appointed to this place in July 2022, Joseph is eager to make use of an inside information of tradition to form significant model experiences and have interaction with a wider viewers. And the latest evolution of web3 means he’s eager to see how manufacturers faucet into the know-how to create “multi-dimensional experiences that matter to their customers.” He believes that this, mixed with displaying up in rising areas, is vital in creating model progress and recognition.
Telling LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about how know-how influences cultural shifts, and the necessity for manufacturers to grasp this to have interaction with audiences, Joseph shares what’s to come back from his new position.
LBB> Firstly, congratulations on the position! How did you’re feeling whenever you received the information?
Joseph> I used to be so completely happy to listen to I’d be becoming a member of the management workforce at VICE Media Group as a part of a brand new and progressive arm of the enterprise. VICE has all the time been on the forefront of what’s subsequent in media, tradition and information – pioneering new territory in bringing individuals collectively and empowering creators to push the world ahead. I’m very excited to be becoming a member of a world-class workforce that continues to transcend the bounds of standard expertise codecs, supported by the highly effective 360-degree VICE ecosystem. I’ll be working throughout each VICE and Advantage, the inventive company powered by VICE, so I’m lucky to have visibility and publicity throughout our full community of manufacturers together with VICE, Refinery29, Pulse Studios and i-D Journal.
LBB> We’d love to listen to concerning the method you’re bringing to the position and the way this ties into the way in which by which the MEA area responds to innovation and experiential.
Joseph> I’ve labored in Europe, the US and, for the previous six years, within the Center East. I’d wish to suppose I’ve come armed with a well-rounded perspective on the business as an entire and a superb cultural understanding. Our operation in MEA has a very international footprint and we work carefully with the broader enterprise, together with our VICE Insights workforce who’re always making predictions, sharing factors of view or conducting fascinating analysis which permits us to maintain our finger on the heart beat and maintain innovating for ourselves and our purchasers.
We’re discovering that the very best outcomes are being constructed from those that harness purposeful curiosity and an experimentation mindset, as each are energetic brokers of figuring out what new applied sciences in advertising and inventive industries are most helpful in your model and enterprise. That is very a lot the profitable start-up method and one which many firms in MEA undertake which makes it such an thrilling area to work inside.
LBB> In your opinion, what are the largest experiential advertising challenges in the case of successfully reaching an viewers?
Joseph> Manufacturers now compete in an extremely fragmented world the place client consideration is break up throughout a number of channels which leaves them struggling to be related and visual. When constructing model experiences we’re always questioning the ‘why?’ to make sure we’re approaching the creation course of in a significant approach for audiences.
We wish to construct campaigns that problem the established order, supply worth and empower communities by pondering extra about what issues to the viewers than what issues to the model.
The ‘why?’ permits us to make use of cultural understanding to form the experiences we create for manufacturers – making them extra related, seen and valued by inviting their communities to have interaction and be energetic members in forming what manufacturers imply available in the market. Our goal is to behave from inside tradition with the first-party information we personal by means of working inside the guts of the media panorama, and never from the skin trying in.
LBB> How are AI, web3 and different rising applied sciences reworking the way forward for experiential?
Joseph> The evolution of web3 presents a extremely thrilling and uncommon second for manufacturers and entrepreneurs who’re keen to have interaction inside the house. Manufacturers that observe and be taught from these pioneering new alternatives are gaining insights that may allow them to construct multi-dimensional experiences that matter to their customers. There’s worth in being part of this exploration section, as we all know the principle drivers of name progress and recognition are fame, salience, distinctiveness and affinity. due to this fact displaying up in new and rising areas, utilising new applied sciences and having an influential position in shaping tradition will all act as a catalyst for enriching individuals’s lives.
That is notably necessary within the context of experiential, the place cultural and market relevance is being constructed upon the flexibility to type group manufacturers by means of digital-first personalisation and anticipation. Sensible manufacturers can anticipate the distinctive wants and expectations of their customers in a approach that demonstrates empathy by means of built-in experiences, slightly than merely treating them as a quantity or metric.
LBB> What are your favorite elements of the job thus far?
Joseph> I’m loving the quantity of collaboration that comes with working as a part of VICE Media Group. We’re always sharing individuals, concepts and sources throughout continents and time zones, with a shared function and want to provide culture-shaping and award-winning work.
We’re additionally pioneering new methods of working. We opened our personal ‘Metaverse HQ’, which implies we are able to lead from the entrance in the case of working inside web3. This identical method leans into the way in which we foresee experiential persevering with to develop in each the bodily and digital worlds.
LBB> What’s subsequent in the way forward for experiential advertising? The place will it take us?
Joseph> We’re seeing better funding in experiential than ever earlier than and types are discovering their focus. There are a whole lot of technology-fueled experiments getting used and prototypes being constructed, and I imagine the explanation for that is to in the end improve studying and momentum inside organisations and amongst customers. This curiosity, creativity and motivation have turn into the bedrock for what the long run has to carry for experiential. The established order has undergone evaluate in mild of rising client wants and triggers that would in the end result in new client actions. In case you are a model that has participated within the above, you might be more likely to have constructed influential proof factors that validate the onus on model expertise in creating long-lasting relationships together with your viewers.
LBB> Any parting ideas you’d wish to share with us?
Joseph> It’s been a pleasure as all the time and I’m excited as ever for this new and thrilling problem. Our latest progress in MEA is a testomony to the distinctive groups and purchasers we’ve got and I’m proud to be part of such an influential workforce. Keep tuned.