Thursday, August 3, 2017

How a tiny ad managed to ask a lot of tricky questions.

I know this article is not asking something that is has not been asked before, but might as well raise those issues. In a recent tech news that even a technophobe like me managed to read, Google is ending its instant search to align web and mobile since 50% of the searches is now done on mobiles and the drop down suggestive screen is too big to fit on the smaller screen on the phones. The photos above from the new GMC Acadia were simple screenshots offered to me in a promoted post on Instagram and eventually reworked on the layout app and eventually sent to my email to post here as I write on a PC.
It amazed me how a simple ad for GMC could suddenly spark such big questions. Why bother with a big production value when the ad will end on a tiny screen? Why care for details when obviously they will not show on a small surface? What does it mean that the ad will end up being seen on a phone rather than on a screen? And even if seen on a screen will anything transpire of the production value when uploaded on a site such as youtube?
There is a full new generation for whom using the PC as a main source of technology seems unheard of, the telephone (smartphone) is the extension of their limbs, Instagram is a reflection of their life (real or imagined I know not since some seem on a constant vacation there, or seem to obliterate the vomit-mess-issues associated with motherhood only to post pitch-perfect images of them and their toddlers dressed from brand that sponsored them!), snapchat is still the go-to place to enhance their features, and frankly when everything gets binge watched on Netflix while slumbering in bed pretending to be hygge-style Danish person while lying in bed and looking at a minuscule screen.
People not involved in advertising might not have seen that the 30 seconds advertising is now a thing on the border on extinction and there was a clear move towards "content advertising" in longer, story-telling formats which are not destined to television in the first place but rather to a different audience which will be seeing them on other formats. Pressure on production houses is now to still churn out quality for longer visual products while trying to please customers and clients who have slashed their budget by as much as 60% (actual figures from leading clients) and who are now wondering why bother invest in traditional above the line ads when their visibility is shrinking and when material can be posted on youtube for nothing and on a Facebook page for practically a dismal sum comparatively. Adidas has ceased all its traditional media ads to focus on digital only (do read my piece on its comparison to Ford, and how the Out Of Home (OOH) industry is faring lately).
The head of the communication department of a major institution admitted to me that most of the traditional print spending is "tenfi3at" (the Arabic word which stands somewhere between "pity spending" and "clientage"): "we are just used to book here and there and we keep doing it, and some of these people are friends so we do it anyhow, but if it was up to me I'd go totally digitally and the company would not lose a single client. I have unaided 99% logo recognition according to our latest stats."
Funny how a GMC ad managed to trigger all these questions, the world is changing - some people though are still stuck in a past which will never be recaptured and are writing similar articles to this one "to be published in next month's print issue". Yeah, good luck with that!

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