“Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising’.”
– Jef I. Richardson
As me and the producer were sitting on a stone bench in the middle of a busy street the conversation turned to one of his artists. We were spinning ideas about how to market her and get her in front of the right people.
I showed him an app that we could use to find out more about the people at the record companies than what it says on their websites and LinkedIn profiles.
When a couple passed by I pointed them out to him. They were pushing a stroller and both of them were staring into their phones with their earbuds in place.
And those were just two of the many.I said: “See? That’s where we need to be.”
Every single store were pushing products in their windows, big displays were showing video and did any of it affect the people walking by? Nope.
When we’d been speaking for a while I started smiling. Big businesses pouring massive amounts of cash in the hopes that somebody would act.
And then there was the man slightly to our right. A human billboard. What the actual fuck?
In the space of 10 minutes we’d actually witnessed every type of advertising from the past 200 years. And was any of it really working?
Probably not to the extent that they’d hope.
When human billboards were a novelty they drove business. Printed media’s been around for more than 1000 years and we’re rarely influenced by it anymore. Then came radio, TV, telemarketing, fax, e-mail, banners, etc.
Where’s the action gone? Look at that couple. That’s where.
We’ve become so immune to advertising we rarely even look at the right side of the screen because we know that’s where the ads usually are.
They’re looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat and so on. Why? To see what their friends are up to or share their own thoughts.
That’s what I was trying to explain. We need to go to where everyone’s attention is and build a relationship with them. To understand them and their needs.
It’s no longer about just turning up, showing our stuff and asking them to buy. Connection is the game.
We went into a convenience store and the air was filled with the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns. That got me thinking about Snapchat and the future of wearable technology.
While Snapchat right now looks and feels like MS Paint, what’s amazing is that it’s not just pictures and sound. It’s touch too. You need to press the screen in order for the media to be played. It’s basically checking: “Hey! Are you paying attention?”. Something that other media doesn’t do.
Once everybody’s doing that kind of advertising and the game needs to change, what’s left?
You remember “Scratch And Sniff”? The stuff in the picture above?
We’re going to have wearable technology that lets us not only see, hear and touch but also smell and taste.
Watching an ad for McDonald’s? You’re going to smell the burger and taste the fries. And it’s going to run just long enough for you to go all “Pavlov’s dogs”.
You know what your next move is? Yeah, 10 minutes later you’re all up in that Happy Meal.
But that’s somewhere down the line. Even that is going to become obsolete when we find the next big thing.
My point is this, we’re all stuck in certain patterns of thinking because we believe that it’s the way things are, always have been and always will be. You know what? On that point history’s proved us wrong every single time.
Take a look at your own behavior, look at other people, understand what’s going on and find a productive way of using it to improve their lives and yours.
How many creative ways of using these platforms and technologies can you come up with? What story would you choose to tell on them?
Let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!