Reel after reel of inspiring creative, good editing and heart pumping work shared by our panelists was a great ice-breaker in this standing room only Learning Lab at ADMERICA. The reels played from the Shocase profiles showed smooth, seamless blends between editorial content and marketing content rooted in stories that captured the audience’s attention.
The moderator, Ron Young, Founder & CEO of Shocase, led a team of panelists to consider the value of great creative in the increasingly digital world advertising and posed this thought: “Will we stop having great creative just because we are digital?” The panelists were world renown creatives, including Patrick Condo, Integrated Creative Director & Multi-Platform Content Specialist, Jonathan Elias, Composer and Founder of Elias Arts, Rob Palmer, Creative Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Rich Silverstein, Co-Chairman and Partner of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners
Here are seven key takeaways in case you were not there at Disneyland to see it in person.
- Digital just means content.
The amount of user-generated digital content is just staggering. Our job of telling stories that move to action is much harder than before because of the small amount of time we have to capture eyeballs. Patrick states, “The only thing that’s different is that we have a screen that’s with us the whole time.” Yes, we do, and that changes everything for the better when talking about disseminating great ideas. Digital now encourages brands to be publishers of content, to be networks and entertainment channels all their own. And it forces marketers to be as good as possible because consumers have so many avenues to consume content. In some respects we are now in the golden age of TV. We binge watch shows. The lines between networks are blurring, and the morals of society have opened up allowing for more authentic story lines to be told.
- A… B… C… Always. Be. Changing.
Radio gave us theatre in the mind. Print gave us faces for us to relate. TV inspired us to see beyond what was in our own zip code, and digital openly revises the rules on a weekly basis. So as the medium changes, so must you and your message. Don’t confine yourself. Adapt, learn and always keep the story at the heart of the idea. Also, never do something you’ve done before. Try new processes, technologies and formats. Learn. Why else would you want to get up in the morning if not to create a new concept that pushes and makes someone connect with your brand? Because the entire industry wants something new, the consumer wants something new. Like Madonna, Jack White and Prince we have to constantly reinvent ourselves, and it’s a blessing and a curse.
- Don’t give up on “traditional media”.
What? This new thing called Radio? Oh print is dead. This new media called TV? Oh radio is dead. This new thing called the Web? Oh all the other media is dead. Well, history tells us that it’s not that clear. So don’t abandon traditional media for digital alone. Every media has found a way to co-exist and you should use each appropriately for your clients. Digital gives us more options to distribute messages, and not just banners and ads on sites, but with robust content that adds value within the full suite of media. Nothing changes with the addition of digital. You just get more tools in the tool kit.
- Know the rules so you can break them.
This is true in any profession. Any good jazz musician or artist knows this. Knowing the rules first gives you a foundation in which to build the unknown upon. That’s where the true exploration lies.
- Technology still needs a story.
Digital mediums provide many different ways to optimize a concept, and using them does not guarantee an execution that resonates with your audience. For instance, a 3D movie with bad story is still a bad story despite the cool technology, and the audience is savvy enough to pick and choose what they want to spend their time on.
Many graduates from some of the finest schools in the country are crafting portfolio pieces centered on a 360 degree idea. And in some cases it’s easy to flesh out an idea from all angles. But that doesn’t instantly make it a great idea because it’s complicated. It still must have a good story.
- There is a golden age, and it’s now.
Rob pointed out to the audience, “I miss the simplicity of times in advertising’s past, but there is so much excitement of the technology now. “ “We have trained that clients can get something in one day, and it’s killing us (the industry).” There are no more good old days. The golden age is now. Millienials forced us the pull back the curtain of possibility in the digital space and there is no going back to OZ. Digital blazes new trails, and when it’s rooted in a concept it proves to the world that good taste, good art, good writing and good media can mean for good selling.
- The results are never in.
We get to stand behind our work with confidence in part because of the metrics. We are held more accountable, and while we all want to move product, placing too much emphasis on campaign results is a slippery slope. Contributing to pop culture and raising awareness is about all you can ask some advertisers to do. It’s an art form that weaves the marketing, the product, the store, the packaging, the design the esthetic, and the music all in one experience. Try to build a great brand first and results will come.
“There are a lot of great technicians in advertising. And unfortunately they talk the best game. They know all the rules. They can tell you that people in an ad will get you greater readership. They can tell you that a sentence should be this short or that long. They can tell you that body copy should be broken up for easier reading. They can give you fact after fact after fact. They are the scientists of advertising. But there’s one little rub. Advertising is fundamentally persuasion, and persuasion happens to be not a science, but an art.”
Bill Bernbach wrote these words in 1947, and just like every great concept or idea, whether print, TV or digital, they still ring true today.
About the Author
Joe currently serves on the NA3 committee for the AAF and is a former AAF club president of the Rochester Advertising Federation from District 2. He’s co-owner and Creative Director at Brandtatorship, a boutique advertising agency in Western New York that specializes in forging ideas that help companies take charge of their brand. Read more.