Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The impact of new technology on advertising

I received an email from Sital, a student at the London College of Communication asking me for help with questions regarding her dissertation. I remember how much bloody work it was to write my own back at Bucks so I decided to help. Maybe some of you would like to join the conversation and share opinions on his topic 'The impact of new technology within graphic design, specifically within the advertising industry'. Here the questions including my short answers:

1. Do you think that digital campaigns pose a threat to the more traditional forms of campaigns? Why?

I think both traditional and digital campaigns should co exist and work closer together. It's about traditional advertising telling stories about brands using . Then digital campaigns should pick up on his and engage people further with those ideas and stories and start conversations with them. There's a great article on the BBH Labs blog about that: If you want a conversation say something interesting.

2. Idea vs. Media. Do you think campaigns nowdays are getting too carried away with the media rather than the 'big idea'? Why?

Yes, there are different kinds of campaigns, some that use media in a new way, and other that just rely on great storytelling (strong & big ideas). I think we need both, the ones that get carried away with media are good because they explore the boundaries of what can be done. But then once the technology is 'exploited' campaigns are created that use a new technology or a new media and connect it with the story of a brand in a meaningful way. I prefer the later ones, but as mentioned before, boths are valid things. A current example for this is augumented reality. A year ago just using this media/technology was enough to create a buzz for a brand, now agencies must work much harder to come up with ways to use augumented reality in a relevant way for the brand. They cannot just play the novelty card anymore.

3. What do you think the future of advertising (online) will hold? Why?

Media knowledge will be crucial in order to create tailored concepts to reach people in a relevant way. On the other hand we might see more engaging campaigns once creatives will manage to combine digital media knowledge with great storytelling skills, disciplines that are somewhat seperated in the advertising industry today. We might see more specialized creatives that will collaborate closer with partners from other areas, for example storytellers + technologists. And there should be more hybrid creatives that will be able to span big stories over multiple channels all in a relative way rather than just being replicated in a different format. I would wish for more interactive and engaging stories being told around products and brands.


Anonymous said...

1) Traditional, digital...these are just ways of categorizing media/delivery.

Advertising today is reaches beyond communication into branding, product innovation, information delivery, and so on. So, the question is, in my opinion, slightly flawed.

Note/some writing pointers: be careful to differentiate between advertising campaigns, which drive advertising communications over a period of time, sometimes years, and executions of those campaigns.

Anonymous said...

2) Wals's put it well.

Reminds me of prospectors in the Wild West. The early ones could stratch the surface and reap the benefits. Those who followed had to dig deeper. IH

Sital said...

Thanks for your reply on my disso questions!

I strongly agree with your point in question 2 about overcoming the novelty feeling of new technologies.

During an event I went to last week, I saw (dare I say, because I probably wouldn't be able to produce it myself!) a rather lame example of augumented reality. For those, who had seen this before (like all those YouTube videos) it was nothing new, therefore I didn't really think much of it. What I found really disappointing was that there was no core idea, just the aspect of interaction between the audience and the bit of meaningless type that moved when we held the card into the camera. No storytelling or purpose at all.

So I agree, we need to step away from just "WOW!"-ing audiences to coming up with fresh, innovative ideas by which we can not only create a buzz but use the power of storytelling in order to engage and interact with our target audience.