I can remember back in the 90’s, how impressed people were with anything that moved on their computer screens. If it looked cool and did something slick with any new kind of effect, jaws started dropping.
Visiting New York back then for the Flash Film Festival, I was completely taken aback by the leaders in the Interactive field. I’ll never forget seeing Joshua DavisYugo Nakamura. Their work made an entire audience of two thousand people react in the same way “waaaaaaaaa”. I could not have been more inspired. and
What happened to the idea?
I soon became unimpressed and disillusioned. Something more was needed. Behind all the flashy special effects, where was the idea? This became key to all of my future work. Interacting with consumers in an intelligent way by making the communication interesting, entertaining and noticeable without being gimmicky.
Consumers are bombarded with advertising from all channels on and offline and have learnt to switch off to it. So how do we get under their radar?
I’ve heard many people say, ‘I hate those annoying banner ads when I’m surfing the web’. I agree. But just like watching TV, listening to the radio or reading a magazine, most advertising is irritating. Yet on that rare occasion I’m oblivious to the fact I’m being sold something, I’m delighted. This is the challenge.
Unlike traditional channels, on-line provides a canvas to allow people to respond and interact with an idea.
People are surfing the web with a purpose and if you’re going to interrupt them with an ad, it had better be good, It needs to be relevant to people, and can offer something consumers want or solve a problem they have. If it fails to do this, then it doesn’t matter how well executed it is, if it’s not important to anyone then its useless.
Highlighting the best
Fortunately today, Interactive Awards, particularly the OneShow are filled with great examples of work founded on big ideas. Polished execution is now a given. Every element has its purpose and relates back to the core idea. If it’s unnecessary, take it out.
Big ideas don’t need slick effects. The simplest things now excite me. Take for example, a banner for Lipton Ice Tea light, from JWT Brazil
These next two banners are by TBWA, also from Brazil. The first cleverly demonstrates the benefits of using Fedex:
While the second is a nice and simple way to show what treat your dog wants:
This piece from Japan is a very unusual approach to educating people about the dangers of children not wearing a safety belt when traveling in a car.
A banner from Ogilvy London makes use of the fact that dynamic data lies at the heart of IBM's e-business solution. A live data feed from Wimbledon delivered up-to-the-minute match results, statistics and news.
Yet another from Brazil features demonstrates the benefit of using Tam Express:
The following selection of banners, are some of the work I’ve done:
This banner is a little more unusual and in keeping with The Economist brand. If people blow hard on their computer screen ‘The Competition’ gets blown away. This won’t function on all machines.
It’s targeted at traveling executives and for this reason the code has been optimized to work best with inbuilt microphones. The Economist realized that this would be a small target audience, but they did benefit from some good PR.
To demonstrate the effect life would have on a pair of jeans, users can throw elements of life straight on to a pair of Levi’s.
To showcase the four finishes of the re-cut 501® jeans we put them in the wash. Viewers select buttons on the machine to check out the entire range.
To promote an Irish pub, we used a pre-loading sequence as a familiar online device, and linked it to a pint of the black stuff.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Unwanted pets are abandoned all the time in Singapore, and those that are not adopted are usually destroyed. This should be an issue that arouses strong feelings amongst the public.
Unfortunately it doesn’t, probably because most people have the attitude of: “Yes it’s a shame this is going on, but surely someone else will take care of it.”
That was the starting point for our concept; we wanted to play up the fact that people would much rather shut out the problem than give it serious thought.
However we soon realized that creating a standard banner that simply asked people not to ignore the problem would be a non-starter.
So we thought it might be better to develop banners that weren’t so easy to shut off. We realized that this would entail a delicate balance of being intrusive but not annoying.
A second banner for the same cause addresses the other major issue of dumping animals. People can navigate through various solutions and even download a PDF to make it easy to donate their money.
Presenting the idea
Where possible I prefer to present ideas as pencil drawn sketches. This is to avoid the client getting caught up with irrelevant issues such as the size of their logo or a particular font. All they see is the idea. This also gives more time to spend on the concept.
These days, I believe an interactive creative person is far more valuable if they’re strong conceptually. After all, we’re in the communication business, just like our colleagues in traditional advertising.
About the author, Dominic Goldman
Dominic Goldman is the VP Creative Director at Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco.
He has achieved recognition in numerous International award shows such as The Clios, One Show, New York Festivals, Cannes and Communication Arts and has served as a judge for many international award shows including OneShow and the Clios.