I’m fascinated by the Thomas Heatherwick London buses. As a child I caught the Number 8 route master from Bow to Bethnal Green every day and it’s great to see a version of them back.
Thomas Heatherwick opened the WIRED conference a few years ago and explained his overall goal. To make the experience of riding a bus dignified again. Soften the unforgiving fluorescent lighting, banish the nuclear yellow poles, rip out the harsh plastic bucket seats and replace them with comfortable ones similar to those of yesteryear. The bus still gets you from A to B but the experience is more pleasurable; more dignified.
I’m sure the buses were put together by machines in factories in an automated way but they were designed with total care; mindfulness and with a clear goal in mind.
We could all learn from that approach. Too often people the aim is to get from A to B and lose site of the real goals. Box ticking exercises often take precedent. Who cares how viewable your ad was if all it did was annoy?
These ‘unskippable’ Geico Youtube ads are brilliant. They get to the point & make you want to watch on. If most digital advertising got to the point within five seconds; ROI for both hard and soft metrics would soar.
I’ve been on holiday for a couple of weeks. I have been back for a week and haven’t had much chance to go through the backlog of sales email until this afternoon.
In the past half an hour I’ve opened up 3 sales decks from ‘prospecting’ networks with amazing data and despite the logos and subtle differences of the data they use to target the hottest prospects on the web; they are all exactly the same.
They begin by stating that there is lots of ‘big data’ in the marketplace but no one has data as good as theirs or have technology good enough to identify the right prospect at the right time. Each of these companies will be good enough to guide the agency through this murky world should we choose them as the prefered media partner.
If we try our hardest not to be cynical; at least two of these companies must be wrong if we believe their opening gambits.
They then talk about the uniqueness of their data / tech for 4 or 5 slides before moving on to scale. x billion requests, x million users etc.
There are then a couple of wooly slides explaining how well it all works, each deck has slide saying 6x, 4.5x or 4x greater conversion rate than the average (at no point is the average ever specified). One states that targets are outperformed by 90%, another than we can achieve ROI of up to 19x. There are no case studies.
Next we get onto the slide where everything is brand safe in a number of ways from blocking to iframes to viewability.
Now we could buy separate campaigns from all of these companies; have no control over reach and frequency and no chance of delivering sequential or truly dynamic advertising.
On the other hand; we could use our own trading desk with access to first party and 60-odd third party data sets to build robust audience profiles, manage R&F, sequential, dynamic, optimise in real time and dovetail alongside other digital tactics we are running.
Just a thought.