Content doesn’t have a reference point

Content doesn’t have a reference point

In the early days of youtube, we saw a myriad of ad agencies from good to awful that used youtube vids as ‘inspiration’ for their ads. In fact it still goes on today. Some of this was down to lazy creatives, and some of it is down to the simple fact that a client can easily buy into an idea if they have a very strong reference and can see pretty much how the final ad would look like.

An example of this is the lastest maori enrolment ads from Saatchi & Saatchi Auckland:

Which is an appropriation of this Ukranian artist:

The argument could be made that sand artists have existed from before this youtube clip but the question has to be asked, would the ad be greenlit if there wasn’t a hot youtube clip out there from which to draw reference from..?

However in today’s day and age, a true ad agency that understands the content generation knows you can’t really innovate by approximating work. Why? Because a copy may be the most sincere form of flattery, but a copy is still a copy. And consumers / the public under the age of 30 usually can spot it as well. Nice idea, but you just ripped off the The Go! Team… etc.

Content generation is an exciting area. It gives the creative teams the ability to write TV shows, create music, collaborate with architects to make structures…. The sky is the limit, within reason (and budget).

I’d ideally say it goes beyond web 2.0 that relied on users to comment or take a pic of them to upload… Content advertising gives the power back to the creatives to create core content that is powerful enough to compete with consumer’s attention spans. Content isn’t competing against ads, it’s competing with the latest season premiere of Game of Thrones. In short, it’s scary but it’s very exciting at the same time.

For me, where content gets interesting and gains traction is where creatives can do their thing and the clients can understand that. I’m meaning no references, because fresh ideas don’t have a reference to draw on. I’m talking a sitcom set inside a weather balloon at 30,000 ft and shot for real for an airline. I’m talking about ad content where Adidas creates a new DNA structure for real and implants it in their athletes. I’m talking crazy shit that isn’t already out there. That’s where content gets interesting, and that’s where brands can be seen to be innovating.

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