Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should – An AD’s Plea

Another day, another ‘cutting-edge’ feature for marketers to take advantage of. We’re truly spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing how best to delicately slip our well-balanced, carefully crafted content into the everyday lives of our consumers.

“What a time to be alive!” some might say – “Whatever will they create next?” – Surely, we can’t be more than a stone’s throw away from smell-o-vision at this rate. Whilst it’s all very exciting stuff, it’s easy to become wrapped up in the great wave of technology sweeping through the advertising world. Everyone’s at it, whether they know why or not.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain

And that’s just the problem, we’ve lost sight of the why. We all know we need to be innovative, we all know we need to keep up with trends. But what happens when keeping up with trends takes priority over delivering a key message for example?

This is the part where I start to sound like the creative department and ask – whatever happened to having a good old fashioned idea? The industry has fallen into a trap of leading with technology first before attempting to reverse engineer an idea into it – often done via a poor attempt at ‘storytelling’ (we all knew that word was going to pop up at some point).

As you’ve probably been unable to tell, I’m actually an advocate of innovation. The world is changing and we’ll need to change with it if we don’t want to be left behind. What I’m even more an advocate of though, is responsible usage of innovation. With great power, comes great responsibility and that was never truer than for marketers and agencies alike in the modern-day content version of Gotham City. Consumers aren’t as naïve as we think they are (or at least they used to be) – they’ll pull apart an ill-conceived piece of branded content quicker than you can say ‘inverted 360-degree virtual reality live stream’.

What if zigging has become the new zagging?

‘Zig whilst others zag’- a phrase we’ll all be quite familiar with. As long as I can remember that’s been a constant line of advice in life, be it work or pleasure. So it got me thinking… what if we’ve all forgotten how to zag whilst we’re busy zigging? Suddenly, the status quo is reversed and in our endeavours to be different, we’re all in fact, more similar than ever. But perhaps that’s a story for another day.

Just my two-pence worth.

James Nelson

James Nelson

Account Director