There have been enormous changes in the way brands and agencies approach marketing on the web. We're in the middle of a second creative revolution driven by technology. "Code" is being added to the core creative team of art and copy, and the work being made isn't like the ads we're used to. Code is enabling the re-imagination of everything. It's connecting everyday objects to the web, telling more personal stories with data, and making our lives easier and more fun. How will this shape the future of advertising? We're partnering with the innovative brands, storytellers and makers to find out.
- Written by
- March 2013
In the 1960's, advertising went through a creative revolution that changed everything simply by partnering up art directors and copywriters. The idea of a creative team made up of art and copy was born.
Today, it's happening again. We're in the midst of a second creative revolution, driven by technology. Code is being added to the core creative process, enabling new forms of brand expression and engagement. Art, copy and code is the creative team for the connected world.
What hasn't changed is the need for human insights, breakthrough ideas and emotional stories. Code facilitates new kinds of experiences, but it doesn't replace the storytelling skills the advertising industry has honed over the past fifty years. Our connected world is giving brands more dimensions and touch points, but they still need something compelling to offer in order to create a real connection.
How will the modern web shape the future of advertising? Over the next year, Google is partnering with the innovative brands, storytellers and makers who are defining it to find out. We'll explore the following themes in partnership with forward thinking creatives & cultural game changers in and outside the ad business, and invite you to see what we're up to at artcopycode.com.
Connected Objects: Let's get phygital
It used to be that there was the 'real' world and the digital world and the two rarely met. Not anymore. Thanks to ever-evolving technologies like NFC, RFID and Bluetooth, as well as some folks with big imaginations, the offline and online worlds are increasingly rubbing shoulders. Physical events are triggering actions online, and vice-versa, creating new opportunities for marketers to invite people to interact with their products through the web.
By bringing the personalization and intelligence of the web to everyday things, we can make them more useful and entertaining. These connected and smart objects are sharing relevant information with us, turning chores into games and making us healthier. Not to mention giving us more acronyms to casually drop in conversations.
To explore the world of connected objects, we partnered with artist Zach Lieberman and YesYesNo to create a smart sneaker with personality that talks back and can connect the wearer's activity to the web, if the wearer chooses to. Using an accelerometer, a gyroscope, Bluetooth and some other off the shelf technologies, the Talking Shoe translates the wearer's movements into funny, motivating and timely commentary.
Re-imagined Canvases: Growing new ideas in familiar ground
Innovation doesn't always have to mean inventing something new. Bringing fresh thinking to established media and ad formats can be an easy and inexpensive way to stand out in a connected world.
Sometimes it's about the unexpected marriage of an idea and an existing technology.
Or it can be a matter of taking a well-known ad space and making it sing with an
innovative creative approach. Whether you're crafting surprising experiences with
pre- roll, giving the classic printed circular an online dimension, or simply
bringing wit and charm to search ads, there are plenty of opportunities on the
modern web that are coding-optional.
Useful marketing: Creating tools, not just ads
Marketing has become less about talking and more about doing. While ideas about branded utility have been tossed around for a while, lately they've been getting more serious attention. Brands, even the non-techy ones, are launching mobile, web and hardware products. And these products are being built by agencies, though you'd be forgiven for thinking they're the result of Silicon Valley hackathons rather than traditional marketing campaigns.
Tools that make people's lives easier, more productive and more fun can bring a brand's promise to life in tangible ways. Whether they're leveraging data to help users exercise more, tracking a pizza delivery, or making driving a social experience, the most loved brands of the future will create real value for their audiences through marketing.
To bring this idea to life, we've partnered with Volkswagen to bring more fun to the everyday drive with Smileage, the first social driving app.
Audiences of one: Crafted just for you
People can now decide if, when and how they interact with brands. Consequently, our definition of great creative work is changing. Today, people can choose the ads they want to engage with, which opens the door to fresh thinking about how to make them more relevant.
The best storytellers have always been able to make us feel as if they're speaking to each one of us individually. Can technology take that idea further? Using real-time data and cues like time of day, location and interests, we can already tailor and personalize ads in ways that make them more valuable and meaningful. Instead of creating messages aimed at audiences, consumer segments and personas, we can now simply talk to people the way they want to be talked to. How wonderfully old fashioned.
Collaborative storytelling: The audience is part of the show.
It's an old maxim that ideas can come from anyone and anywhere, but the web has been great proof of it. Given the opportunity, people have consistently surprised us with their boundless creativity. In traditional media, audiences are passive spectators. They sit back and watch a story created by someone else. But on the web, we can harness their desire to co-create with us by building platforms that bring ideas to life which could never be accomplished alone. More and more, inspiring this kind of participation is going to be crucial for brands.
By putting a piece of themselves into the work to create something meaningful,
consumers forge deeper connections with brands. So it only makes sense that we
should embrace them, encourage them and give them the tools to create alongside us.
In other words, we build the sandbox – and they fill it with really amazing
What hasn’t changed is the need for human insights, breakthrough ideas and emotional stories. From where we see things, it’s clear that the need to tell compelling stories has actually never been more important. Our connected world is giving brands more dimensions and touch points, but they still need something compelling to offer in order to create a real connection.
Data stories: The emotional life of numbers
Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion (that's 2,500,000,000,000,000,000) bytes of data. To put that in perspective, ninety percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years. It's a crazy thought, but it's also an exciting one.
We've begun using this knowledge for things like beautiful data visualizations and targeted messaging, but we've only scratched the surface of what's possible. In the right hands, data can be used to tell emotional stories that grow and change over time. And, because data-driven executions are grounded in cold, hard facts, they're tough to argue with. Which is also kind of a plus.
It's a pretty exciting time to be creating advertising and marketing- and we can't wait to see what happens next.