Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Game Changers for 2011

Families no longer sit around the TV as captive audiences to commercial breaks. Fact. As early as June 26th 2002 Lord Saatchi announced "The funeral rites have been observed" to advertisers. Even for the most innovative TV commercials, audiences will often struggle to remember the product being promoted.

As I commented in last year's final blog, Generation Y are more preoccupied by ipodding, texting, phoning and downloading and so responsive to this far more than television.

Advertising has traditionally been following the interruption-disruption model, where TV programmes are separated by a number of commercial breaks. The same goes for newspaper ads, google ads and anything punctuated by adverts, treating the consumer as the passive recipient of unaviodable messages.

So what's coming (what's already here)? Smartphones and in particular the Apple iPad. These have been major behaviour changers.  One French duo, named Konbini, have set up their service based upon product placement (PP). This is currently illegal on television in their own country, however it is unregulated on the internet. This embedding of products has been a long-time standard for Hollywood movies, whereby products used by the hero or heroine become more popular by association. Konbini produce short films with ingenious themes. London's W Hotel is another example, commissioning a short "film" featuring two famous supermodels ( which would never stoop to overtly promoting their hotel, other than the viewer seeing the hotel as the venue for these two incredibly beautiful people to meet.

In overcoming the problem of language barrier associated with transmitting messages, many Europeans are now turning to the language of "globish" - a truncated form of the English language, containing around 1,500 words ( Konbini's films are all written and produced in Globish.

So, it appears that we will need to become more prepared for being sold things through the medium of fiction, art, music and drama; as well as a new English language, adapted for international use. I guess like all trends, this one could last for a while, before it becomes incredibly novel and exciting to make art without allowing PP once more; and using something other than a basic version of English. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose? May we live in interesting times and happy 2011!

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