I love it when you come across a sweeping statement that just takes your breath away.
In Australia there’s been a doozy this week- which you can follow here, particularly if you think that humor is a good way of addressing misogyny….
Anyhoo…and before I get well distracted….
I came across a notion that UX didn’t exist before digital – that the spirit utility, interaction and participation was ‘invented’ by introducing digital to brands.
It might be surprising that the discipline of mapping out optimal interactions between humans, machines and contexts has been around since the 1940′s. Participatory design’s been around since the ’60s.
I can’t help but agree with Jon Steel’s refutation of the statement
…these days everything has changed, planning has to change because advertising has changed, nothing is the way it used to be, everything is digital now and if you propose anything other than digital solutions then you’re old-fashioned and generally hopeless…you should drag your sorry old ass out of the business and work somewhere else.
I believe that’s completely wrong, because in the end in an analogue world, in a digital world the key to success is understanding the basics of human communication.
In order to most effectively influence a group of people “you don’t target them you engage them as willing accomplices”
I think the best brands have always inspired individuals to become willing accomplices…
Mr Steel also mentions the amazing work of Howard Gossage in the 1950s.
In short the example of Gossage has never been more possible to follow and more needed, particularly as dreary advertising drifts from our televisions to the places we spend time online, his idea that you should never confuse the product and the message becomes even more powerful. Howard would build his messages around something he thought would interest people and then weave the product into this story – the first international paper airplane competition for Scientific American being a brilliant example.
If you haven’t the slightest clue what all the fuss is about ….it would not be an exaggeration to say that Howard Gossage:
1) Invented interactive advertising (as opposed to direct response advertising) in which the audience is invited to get involved with the brand’s life and participate in its activities
2) Invented the idea of creating communities of interest around topics and then galvanizing those people into action through advertising
3) Invented the PR stunt as a marketing tool using advertising to catalyse and popularise the activity
4) Created the fee based remuneration model in place of the widely used but utterly discredited commission system
5) Invented the independent media planning agency with the Kick Back agency
6) Discovered Marshall McLuan and made him a household name in ‘60s America, a man who predicted the rise of the connected global village that we all live in today
7) Saved the Grand Canyon from flooding with advertising that changed the way that environmental campaigning forever
8) Helped create the modern environmental organisation and both named and housed the Friends of the Earth
9)Helped start the anti-globalisation movement
10) And almost won independence for Anguilla
And so to wrap up this rather long rant:
- If a brand wants want people to play with (and they do)
- What do we need people to do?
- Why would they do it?
- What are we going to make or do that will enable them to do it?
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