Round table featuring Jacques Séguéla, French advertising legend closes Communica 2014.

Author: Arnaud Grobet

Jacques Seguela (Havas Group, Vice President) together with Arnaud Grobet, (Emakina.CH Managing Partner), Raymond Loretan (SSR President) and François Besençon (Swiss Advertising CEO) debated at the 5th edition of Communica.



They were invited by Stéphane Godet to speak in front of 200 professionnals. The discussion centered on “Issues and challenges that now face audiovisual communication“.

After a short talk by Stéphane Santini, who amazingly moderated the discussion, the debate was opening by Jacques Séguéla – special guest – who presented four impressive TV ads:





His objective was to underline that to have good communications they must be a BIG IDEA that touches the heart. Everybody agreed on that. Looking at today’s trends, François Besençon felt that: “Advertising needs to be more creative, more innovative and even smarter” and Raymond Loretan that: “We have come from a one-to-all society to a one-to-one society”.

Arnaud Grobet’s position was that “today there are so many possibilities that we cannot use ideas in the traditional way anymore. In terms of global experience it’s important to use a mix of different channels“.


“At Emakina, we don’t talk about on- and offline, above or below the line anymore. We talk about no line communications”. He added “we cannot think in silos anymore. Today’s communications is omni-channel“. This means that, we don’t know how, when and where the client will connect with your brand. This increases the complexity of the ecosystem for the advertisers, but also the possibilities to be creative”.


Jacques Séguéla retorted that TV remains the best channel to transmit emotions: “Some say that TV will die, killed by the Internet. Bullshit. Only TV can represent a brand’s DNA“.

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Arnaud Grobet took the microphone to ask the audience: “What is today’s television? No longer the big tube in your living room. It now can be seen on different kinds of screens (TV, mobile, tablet, etc.). Not only live, but also on demand.” The debate then moves towards the evolution of print. Everyone agreed that this won’t disappear.

Arnaud Grobet talked about quality, saying that: “We live in a Darwinism World, a Digital Darwinism World. But again, this offers many new opportunities“. For example, more books are sold today than 10 years ago, but not all of them are printed. Also, we have recently seen the emergence of very high quality expensive books.

Raymond Loretan said that ” we should pay attention to manipulation”.


Arnaud Grobet explained that his friend Simon Sinek, always said that there are only two ways to influence people. Either you manipulate or you inspire them. “The internet and social media have given everybody the possibility to enter the debate“. So there is no need to manipulate, because people will soon find out. You have to use communication that inspired.

So, last but not least, to inspire people you should focus on quality and content that makes sense to your audience. In this case, quality meaning contents that match the interest of your public (using the right channels, at the right time in the right context). And finally perfect execution.


Jacques Séguéla concluded this debate by one of his magical quote “Money doesn’t have idea, only ideas make money”.

Jacques Séguéla, who is now celebrating his 80th year, was responsible for the creation of about 1500 ads, including twenty political ads that ran throughout the world. He noted that about every ten years he has seen important changes in advertising.

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