Today in Sydney has been about as miserable as it gets. Rainy, cold, grey, just plain shitty, and not fair for a public holiday.
What a relief it was to find a distracting way to spend the afternoon.
After watching the replay of the unfinished French Open final, assiduously avoiding any media when I “rose” so I did not know the score, I started to clean up the hard drive of my laptop, removing some of the stuff that had accumulated to clog it up.
Amongst the “random savings”, were quite a number of advertisements I had accumulated from various sites, all of which had the common element of having struck me at some time as being enormously creative, funny, engaging, delivering a serious message, or just sufficiently different to really cut through, when flogging stuff from cars and fashion to condoms and computers. They all, in one way or another, rang my creative bell.
It also struck me that we are in the middle of a huge confluence of two enormously powerful forces, technical development, and creativity, that is changing everything. Hardly an original insight.
The technical advances of the last 15 years have reduced the costs of technology, and the distribution of content to relatively miniscule proportions, which has opened up huge new opportunities for creativity to be seen. However, the digital media has become so clogged with content, from the great to the absolutely inane, that being seen is still the greatest challenge, so creativity remains an essential element of all successful communication. It has also offered up the opportunity to focus laser-like on a very small group of individuals, delivering a compelling message that they would have been unlikely to get in the old mass communication days.
I cannot finish without offering my pick as the best ad of all time, at least the best I have seen. Perhaps surprisingly, it comes from my childhood, so is a very old ad, but is a very simple execution delivering a powerful message in unequivocal terms. Pity the companies management was not up to same standard as their communications people.