If traditional advertising agencies are struggling against online text-based ads, why don’t they try a little of the same game?
I find there are two* types of advert I willingly tolerate: 1. text-based ads that are non-intrusive but, in a world of increasing noise, are becoming more relevant in search results when I’m looking for something with a commercial slant; and 2. beautiful ads. Beautiful ads being the ones that stop you in your tracks, delay your trip to the kettle and that you actually want to watch again. Examples:
- Guiness – Evolution
- Jaguar – Gorgeous
- Apple – 1984
- Xbox – Life is short (banned on TV)
- Playstation – Double life
Why not make these adverts freely available to download and use? (All links here point to amateur hacks uploaded to YouTube.) They are advertising after all. Surely the more people who play them, the better the result?
Take a simple example – the Jaguar Gorgeous advert from the list above. It has four comments attached to it on YouTube:
- “I love that ad so much”
- “Best cars in the world…”
- “I love Jaguar”
- “This is the best advert I have ever seen”
We are being told that mass marketing is dead and that companies need to connect with communities and social networks to establish and grow their brand. Google has managed to achieve some success here with its Adsense model for promoting text-based ads. Why aren’t beautiful ads going one better and taking the online model offline and beyond the browser?
I can think of plenty of times when I would have liked to have used one of the above ads to support/enhance a presentation. Thanks to YouTube and the likes, I could insert a clip in a presentation, provided I have a suitable Internet connection and can tolerate the poor quality. More often than not, I don’t have a suitable Internet connection and poor quality projected on a big screen is not a pretty sight (not helpful for presentations about improving visualisation and usability of information). I want to download a high quality copy of the advert. Why can’t I?
I daresay some bright spark will tell me that it’s not that simple. Probably something to do with royalties and fees to the actors and artists involved. If that’s the case, challenge the system because it is killing the product. When I present to an audience, I always share the presentation. If the session gets recorded, it gets shipped out with talking notes, warts and all. People are free to do what they want with that presentation – reuse, abuse, misuse whatever. The more they use it, the better I like it. The same should apply to adverts.
Isn’t it funny that, on the one hand, the media companies are doing everything possible to prevent us from skipping ads on digital and recorded TV and are forever trying to interrupt our web browsers with annoying pop-ups and screen-hungry banners. And then when we want to watch one of those ads again, we’re not allowed to! Seems bonkers to me…
*There’s actually a third type of advert I don’t mind – the bog standard tells-you-how-it-is advert that happens to be for a product that solves a current problem. Simple example: an advert for gel that unblocks sinks when I have a sink that needs unblocking… but that method relies too much on lucky timing. The rest of the time, I hate them and their dysfunctional stereotypes: ‘woman cleans house’, ‘man mows lawn’, ‘woman washes clothes’, ‘man washes car’ etc.
Final observation – it’s interesting how the best ads have themes that can be described in three words or less. The power of simplicity…