When one is asked to think of an ad she or he likes, most people would think of a TVC. It shows that big screen and great storytelling are still the go-to recipe to make memorable advertising. For now.
As creative thinkers, we are naturally attracted to long-form advertising: emotional, sensitive, thoughtful content. However let’s face it, that romantic ideal is probably not going to survive any longer in a world where consumerism is driving technological prowess.
As things move fast from storytelling to experiences, the winners will be brands that trigger genuine and short-lived sensory encounters that are embedded in the real world and live action.
I like to think we’re in between two eras, the ancient and the new, the physical and the virtual. Therefore, I’d like to share one good ad from the soon-to-be ancient world, one that’s not technically an ad, but a sneak peek of what could happen in between, and finally, the worst and most common type of ad.
UOB (United Overseas Bank), Right by Every Generation
Your standard 60 seconds TVC
This Singaporean bank wants to be the reference for young audiences and they do it very well with a TVC worthy of Apple. I myself am not a selfie enthusiast but I reckon the ad delivers the message effectively: each generation expresses themselves differently, for better or for worse. In any case, I’m sure the brand message will delight the “self-obsessed”, “entitled” and “impatient”.
Minority Report (Film)
Anywhere between the extrema of the virtuality continuum.
While not technically an ad, what Spielberg has done beautifully in the movie Minority Report is to give a glimpse of a future where brands may be rooted in our everyday life, and on a personal level. First, surroundings become smart and alive. Next, brands are personified through robots or holographic companions (think: Joi in Blade Runner 2049), and capable of influencing one’s entire behavior.
We could someday reach a point where we finally succeed in humanizing brands. But will it be at the cost of dehumanizing ourselves?
Some may place this into “Ads I Don’t Like” but I find it a rather exciting future. At least it is a welcome change from those intrusive pop-up ads that pollute the Internet.
What I Don’t Like
Most mobile banners.
Surely we won’t be using smartphones forever, and a prophecy of new technologies will soon allow advertisers to take a magic leap and offer unrivaled brand experiences.
Nevertheless, in the present, we’re living and breathing mobile – we touch our screens a thousand times a day, and our phones are packed with technologies. There is clearly scope to create exciting ads that are intuitive for mobile audiences.
Yet many brands are nothing but annoyance for most of their target audiences and are still serving intrusive pop-up ads or uninspired 320×50 standard banners. We see hundreds of them every day. How many do we remember?
While we are not yet in the same future as Tom Cruise in Minority Report, let’s start by making advertising great on our first and often the only screen.
Innovation, yes! One step at a time.