It’s always risky to form a definitive analysis or draw conclusions in the world of advertising, an industry which is in a perpetual state of re-definition and adaptation. But what I’m seeing today is that we seem to have made a slight step backwards when it comes to brands’ presence in mass media.
After an era dominated by Kotlerian thinking and micro-targeting, I get the sense that, soon, brands will have to start re-orienting their focus back towards mass consumers, and therefore return to using mass media. This isn’t just a vision laid out by the particularly brilliant marketing expert Byron Sharp, it’s also a story of a cycle. Brands have massively invested in social media and created an immense amount of content so they can have a year-long presence and talk to each target group, but more and more brands are starting to realise that if they don’t do anything else, it could degrade their image. The content they create is rarely qualitative and by deserting mass media, you run the risk of people forgetting who you are, a problem that concerns all brands.
A fairly recent study showed that consumers would be indifferent about 70% of brands were they to disappear. Brands have to re-learn how to create a specific image and offer unique services, while continuing to create diverse content and activations, and using influencers.
In short, it’s not a revolution, it’s just a necessary rebalancing. But one that we’ll have to go through.
This is excellent news for creative people all over the world, who will have more opportunities to develop powerful brand images and explore opportunities unimaginable to even the most technical experts working in AI.
Recently, it seems that creatives - especially young creatives - are distracted by all the new forms of creation that are popping up - stunts, product design and all the opportunities offered by the digital world. They’ve forgotten one of the pillars of this profession, and still one of the most important: film advertising.
I like to think of creativity like a muscle – when you don’t work it, it loses strength. That’s why creatives need to re-learn how to use their 'film muscle' and develop top-tier films – I think we’ll be needing that kind of talent in the near future.
Naturally, anyone would look at this and think that, as a creative director, I’ve made the predictable choice, supporting a trend that brings water to my mill. But I’m truly excited by all forms of creation, and how we can make them work together to serve a brand in the best way imaginable.
There are lots of ways to express yourself today, and that's interesting, but personally I’m glad to see that film will again have its day of glory. I could cite all kinds of examples, but one that stands out for me is 'Nothing Beats a Londoner', which demonstrates that, as an industry, we can still make a magnificent epic film and bring it together with social media and influencers to create an outstanding beautifully-orchestrated campaign.
In short, long live advertising and its ability to reinvent itself every day!
Fabien Teichner is CCO at La Choseview more - Trends and Insight