Greetings students, welcome to the the ongoing Official AdLand Advertising Tutorial. Today we will teach you about the swiss army knife that can stab the talking head testimonial ad in the back, the Manifesto ad. You can use the Manifesto ad for anything. No, we mean anything. Add a stencil grunge font and it's for sneakers. Add poetry-slam reading and it's for skinny jeans. Add neon-haired celebrities and it's for hipster sports gear. Add Denzel Washington and it's A Very Serious PSA™.
The creative Director is running in circles all over the place yelling "Bring me a big idea! Bring me a big idea!" The smug VP gives you the friendliest of smiles while chanting the usual meaningless war slogans: "bring me a campaign that no one has seen before. Bring me THE new idea. Bring me an idea that is like nothing that's ever been done. Not even close! Don't worry, I have the client eating out of my hand, just get it and I'll make it happen". And suddenly, you start believing. The fumes of battle are blinding you, the old addictive aroma of gun powder takes hold of your senses and you start sweating. You are telling yourself that this time its for real. This time they actually mean it. It is not you against the client, it's you against you.
Meeting with Mistress in their space, at the very epicenter of Venice beach from where they can see surfers, skaters and even bank robberies, I am treated to a tour of the office built with reclaimed wood and passionate ideas. Their large windows will let the sunlight in, as well as serve as dancing space for their parties where suddenly the entire neighborhood thinks there's a new nightclub in town. Mistress tend to do everything with the essence of their brand name in mind, the agency party date they own is of course Feb 14, Valentines day, and the time it begins is right after the quiet fancy dinner you've had with your spouse.
The advertising and media industries have teamed up for about the past 50 years to train people that 30 seconds is all the time they need to dedicate to a message. For a while, I thought this long-taught learning only applied to advertising, but I’ve realized now that it applies to videos, news, your portfolio, websites, weddings. Everything.
For an ad a minute can sometimes seem special, but in most circumstances just seems long. A three-minute sponsored video seems to last forever. Most websites users get to, tick off most of the time on site looking for the one thing they need, absorbing that and getting out. Personally, if I am greeted by a load screen, I get itchy.
When it was easy it was still overwhelming. Even with the old media empires and a few standard shapes and sizes of what were then known as "ads", it was a near impossible task to produce something you could be proud of. It was still rare. There was TV, radio and print. I started my career in the apocalypse of this time. The end times. We knew it was happening, but we didn't know what was happening.
This isn't a good-old-days piece. F that. I was there. They weren't so much better than now. Like everything there are plusses and minuses of every situation. But realistically, to appreciate the plusses of today, it helps to understand where we’ve come from.
As we get close to another year’s end, today I’m turning the tables on the CEO of Adland to get her perspective on the current state of advertising vs. when she started this site back in 1996 when Clinton was President and Quad City Dj's had a hit with C'mon N' Ride It (The Train).
1. You’ve been doing this since 1996, Other than the obvious media changes, what other changes have you seen?
There's a lot less branding and a lot more "storytelling" these days. Not that there's anything wrong with telling a story, but sometimes it's so far off the map of the brand that one wonders why brands are putting money into it. Brands have given up their adjectives. Volvo is no longer "safe", Volkswagen is no longer "reliable", the Economist is no longer "informed." Instead brands are entertaining, or trying to entertain you, like they did in the late 90s with the BMW films. They hope that by catching a viral wave, they might sell some product.
Robert Taylor, A.K.A "Robot Terror", accidentally became a Social Media professional from 2008 to 2011 while at Rackspace. He has since returned to his customer service roots and lives in Seattle, WA, which, appropriately enough, is home of the Cloud. Since Adland has been watching how brands engage in social media, with Kidsleepy listing the heroes and scoundrels of superstorm Sandy, and me discussing dark social in Adweek, we thought we'd talk to the people who have been the brands in social media.
Take this Lollipop, the creepy stalker thing, was seen by over 120 million people and had almost 14 million Facebook likes. It received Best in Show at SXSW, 4 AICP Next Awards, Webby Award, Clio, Art Directors Club and most recently it won a Daytime Emmy Award. Now they want to kickstart the sequel.
So I asked Jason Zada director of Lollipop; With the wild success of Take this lollipop one - why do you need to kickstart a second one?