I was lucky enough to have attended the Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity this week (the MENA sister event to the Cannes Lions festival) and it only dawned on me, seeing so many fantastic advertising campaigns in one place, that the creative standard of the advertising that we typically see on a daily basis (mainly via the web) has seriously deteriorated in recent years.
While social media and tech capabilities have come to the forefront of the advertising world over the last three or four years, it seems that genuine creativity, at least as far as the copy of a campaign is concerned, has taken a back seat, having been replaced by gimmicky concepts aimed around getting the campaign shared. Creative and thought provoking copy, and it’s associated brand building benefits, has suffered with a move away from impact, to reach, and the folly of social ‘engagement’.
Humour can be used to great effect by some brands but it seems that more and more companies are opting for this approach, playing the role of the class clown, relying on Facebook Meme’s etc. to get their name out there, which is hardly a sturdy foundation to build your brand on (‘lads brands’ like Paddy Power excluded).
All is not lost though, as exemplified by the likes of the moving winner of the YouTube 7-Day Brief above, or the story of how a Hong Kong student rose from obscurity after a Steve Jobs piece received worldwide attention, and went on to create one of the most iconic adverts for Coca-Cola in the company’s history (below). Of course the online approach must be considered when developing an ad campaign but, as these ads show, this certainly doesn’t have to be at the expense of creative copy.
Creative advertising is still alive and well, even if it doesn’t show up in your Facebook newsfeed.