State Of The Industry: Boring Mass & Irrelevant Niche

“I’ve never met anyone who has seen a vending machine reward them for laughing, I’ve never walked through a door marked ugly, got a Coke from a drone, or been offered a crisp packet with my face on.
I’ve never had a friend share their personalised film, I’ve not seen outdoor ads that are also street furniture or had an ATM give me a funny receipt.
I’ve not received a magazine with a near field communication thing and I’ve not had a virtual reality experience outside advertising conferences.
I’ve not once seen a member of the public 3D print anything.”
Tom Goodwin (Senior Vice President for Strategy & Innovation, Havas Media)

The biggest problem with the advertising industry is not the lack of innovation, but the lack of distribution of that innovation. Ad industry is overly obsessed by the niche “marketing innovations”. At the same time the advertising for the masses has become utterly boring. As we are desperately trying to find something new, we are failing to move people.

When I was a kid, ads from Nike and Levi´s shaped my whole identity. Current ads don´t make feel anything (although I am exposed to them more than ever). There is a divide between relevant real work and totally irrelevant stunts. Big campaigns are researched and focus grouped till death. Stunts are driven by the inner need of us to win awards, not by real consumer need. When worrying about our internal politics and external professional image, we forget our main stakeholder:

The consumer.

Quite often we say that people hate advertising. That is not true.
People hate when they are conned.
People hate when their time is wasted.
People hate when they are interrupted.
Although the technology has developed, we are still having our old bad habits. More desperate we are as marketers the more we are wasting people´s time, the more we are interrupting and the less authentic we are.

People will notice and even care about advertising when it is either meaningful (giving you a tangible benefit, for example) or moving (makes you feel something: laugh, cry, whatever).

If your next campaign is neither of them, why even bother?

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