Throughout the last 100 years, the art of advertising has gone through many changes due to advances in technology and data collection. Rebirth after rebirth with each new insight into how consumers operate.
How would these advertising legends navigate our now rapidly digital dominant landscape if they were just now starting out? The following is a series of predictions regarding how the advertising greats would use social and digital tactics to dominate the present day market.
Now I’m not saying that they would deny their roots or abandon their traditional roots, but I do believe that they would continue to innovate and experiment through this new terrain. We now have access to endless data streams and multiple platforms and vehicles of content delivery. Let’s see what we can learn from the pros.
Legends of Advertising
Jay Chiat– Chiat/Day Advertising
Jay Chiat and his team were responsible for the famous “1984” Apple spot during Super Bowl XVIII, which has been studied in countless advertising classes around the world and hailed as the beginning of advertising as an event, rather than simply a passive business tactic. His skill for stunning visuals and thematic storytelling would fit perfectly with the video and image driven platforms today, such as Snapchat and Instagram, both essentially completely visual platforms and that hold consumer attention better than any other platforms.
In the 90’s, Chiat made one of the first serious attempts to create a virtual office, showing once again that his vision was revolutionary and predictive of where the world was going. Today, he and his team would be one of those we read about using Slack in order to have a widely remote team and adopting radically unique advertising- as well as general business- practices before they were adopted as mainstream.
Mary Well Lawrence– Wells Rich Greene
Well Rich Greene was known for its creative, innovative, and revolutionary work. They developed many of the campaigns that we all recognize today, such as the “I <3 NY” campaign and the “Flick your Bic” idea. But while they may have stayed relevant with clever catch phrases, their work was revolutionary on many other fronts.
Mary and her team designed the “End of the Plain Plane” campaign, which redesigned everything from the posters in the airport, to the flight crew’s’ uniforms, to the inside of the plane itself. Her knack for adding stunning color and bringing things to life, would be a perfect candidate for the “Buy It Now” ads on Pinterest, which often feature stunning visuals and other eye catching aesthetics.
Lester Wunderman– Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline
Lester Wunderman was a consumer psychologist before the title ever existed. He realized how people’s minds worked, and more importantly, how their habits impacted their purchasing choices. He is credited with many advertising milestones, such as direct mail marketing, magazine subscription cards, the toll-free 1800 number, customer loyalty programs, and many other great feats that we now take for granted in modern day marketing.
With this gift for pulling out insight into how consumer think and operate, I believe that Lester and his group would be partnering with “Box of the Month” clubs, or subscription service businesses that target consumers based on a niche interest, such as Birchbox for fashion or Barkbox for pets.
His knack for using data and purchasing habits also indicates that he would be a top notch Facebook advertiser, using the mountains of consumer information to make intelligent advertising decisions.
Looking To The Future
I wish I could tell you what the next big platforms and mediums will be, but to be honest, the world is changing too fast to be predictive- we can only listen to the market and react as quickly as possible. Instagram and Snapchat didn’t exist just 5 years ago. Mediums that were science fiction not long ago, such as wearables and virtual reality, are aiming to take the consumer market by storm. Products like the Apple Watch and Oculus Rift are already making waves, and this is just the beginning. There are huge opportunities on the advertising horizon for those clever enough to read the writing on the wall.
What do you think is in store for the future of advertising? Who are the current leaders in advertising that you believe will be the legends written about in 50 years? I’d love to hear your thoughts.