Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are You Creating Cut Through?

As I sort through the various ad industry tweets that pop up daily, I am stunned by two things consistently. One is the amount of creativity out there on a global scale, which is always pushing boundaries and always finding new ways to reach people in such unique and engaging forms (SEE Nike Ice Cream Truck Video above). The other thing I consistently see is the herd mentality towards one particular idea, concept or media. At the moment and within my world, it seems to be DOOH signage (digital out of home advertising) and a lot of companies have jumped on this one and are pushing hard towards setting up shop within this domain.

In as far as DOOH goes, I get it. If done right with good content and good locations it can be fantastic. However, those two variables concern me the most as they can often be out of one's control.  Without hitting those two points, the media itself can be lost in the noise of everything else. Your big ad spend in this area can quickly turn into a glorified television set which has simply been placed in an unusual location. 

Does a digital screen in a convenience store window really stop you? Or what about CM's in train stations? Do they ever force you to stop and react? For consumers, is this media new? Do they not watch TV at home and see commercials daily? Have you heard anyone recently talk about a CM and how great it was? In essence does this create pull and pure memorable engagement? 

My point is that we as advertisers, agencies and media firms need to be careful about rushing into things simply for the sake of being able to. Sure things sound fun and the technology could be amazing but ultimately what kind of pull does it create? How does it make things memorable for the intended target?  

As we all know within advertising, if we can create something pure and memorable which can 'physically' elicit a reaction such as a smile, a look of awe, a shriek of excitement or something of that nature the media/content worked. We need not worry about the rest such as the social media play because that will naturally follow if your original strategic play was good.  

In essence, my advice for those of us within advertising is to really re-consider the fundamentals of what the industry is built on, which of course is engagement and ultimately action. The tools to do this have certainly changed and that is what is difficult. However, we need to be wise in choosing the right mix to achieve our aims. 

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