Why your advertising sucks part 9 – you’re bogged down in the technology

Back in the 50s, cutting edge advertising was inspired by science and research. Agencies like Ted Bates studied consumer behavior and attempted to manipulate consumers consumers into buying products with science rather than inspiring them thoughtful communication.

Fortunately Bill Bernbach and the creative revolution came along and showed us a better way in where the consumer was treated as an intelligent human being who appreciated entertaining and thoughtful communication.

Not only have we seen a rise of technology in the marketing industry, there’s been serious discussion whether technology is now more important than creative. In fact, I’ve have read columns and articles positing that ad agencies should be run more like software companies.

The idea probably comes from a belief is that technology is now king  in our industry like it already is in many others. That today the real ideas in advertising are technological.

Trouble is people don’t really interact with technology. They interact with each other and maybe sometimes the media in which the interact is considered tech.

Understanding technology is crucial to success these days.  And it’s unbelievable how many senior executives still don’t understand how many social technologies work. But the only thing that’s going to make the tech compelling to an individual is creativity employed in making it compelling. Example of this would be the Old Spice campaign that uses social technology including YouTube.

OK. You still don’t believe me. Let’s look at popular technology. One could argue that iPhone and iPad were technological breakthroughs. Wrong. They were creative breakthroughs. The difference between them and what was developed elsewhere is that at Apple the designers are in charge.

The designers took mostly existing technology, even bought parts from other manufacturers,  assembled them together, created a great user interface to made something beautiful, compelling, and even groundbreaking. That’s what creative people do – not technologists.

And that’s also exactly what your advertising should do.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011, by :