Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bridging Understanding and Embracing Engagement.

Two recent pieces of creative advertising I admire for seeking to challenge common ground and engage audiences in a way that is actually, well, engaging, are Ogilvy NY's work for IBM "A Boy & His Atom – The World's Smallest Movie" and BBDO NY's online mini-drama series "Daybreak2012" combined with a multi-platform experience for AT&T.

For me, the reason Ogilvy's IBM spot works is because it asks me to be interested, learn something and appreciate the research and work behind the product. It showcases the capability of the scientists who work for IBM and their innate skill to produce something new and push their own boundaries. I see people who genuinely love what they are doing and really want to share this fascinating work as well as challenge themselves. This in turn gives me a unique insight into the commitment and desire IBM have towards innovation and development. Breaking weird and wonderful world records along the way is also a nice bonus. Most importantly; its interesting, educational beyond the product, engaging and I feel like I've benefitted from watching (a rare bonus from an advert).

BBDO's work 'Daybreak2012' for AT&T is a different animal. There's always the argument that agencies and clients are so keen to engage audiences on a multitude of digital levels for the sake of it that the idea (if any) becomes the secondary vehicle to getting a brand 'talking' in whatever online space is available even with no story to tell or relevance to the platform (ugh).

BBDO though have made sure the online platforms are utilised correctly and in an engaging and involving way (say I anyway). It doesn't feel like the product is being shoved into the spaces but it sits quite comfortably into them, admittedly here and there the occasional shoe-horn is used but not to the point were you're thinking 'For f**k sake! That was completely irrelevant and unnecessary.' I'm actually curious about the technology AT&T are flogging me. But again, more importantly, I was interested in the story being told around the product. BBDO have tapped into the available on demand TV series zeitgeist that people are gorging on (people talk about Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Dexter etc. like they matter more than real life sometimes but they are genuinely good shows, a purple patch for TV series'). The use of discovery and investigation within Daybreak2012 is a nice device that involves me, if I choose to, but it doesn't need me which might be the only flaw. If I made more of a difference to the story it could make the campaign more robust. But overall I was excited and engaged in being a Jack Boxer & following the Daybreak story. Good work BBDO, Tom Kring and AT&T.