The advertising column in today’s NYT covers the recent 4As conference and notes, among other things, that ad “agency executives rivaled their clients in the use of industry jargon.” If you can get past such terms as “zetabytes” (a measure of information storage capacity) or “customer decision journey,” what we (or they) are really talking about is “product attributes” or “buyer behavior.” After all, isn’t “ecosystem playing field” just another word for “competition?”
Lost in all this verbiage is the “consumer” and the “creative” and how the latter must reach the former in order to motivate some sort of action. Here are two great examples of visual storytelling that not only broke through all the clutter, noise and competing media but actually made me stop and think and learn something new.
– With the final game of the NCAA tournament scheduled to take place in Atlanta, an effervescent bottle of Coke is the perfect metaphor for capturing the up-and-down fortunes of the contenders and predicting who might “bubble up” to win the national title. Ordinarily, I’d never read a story like this, but once I saw the graphic, I was hooked. Kudos to the illustrator, Sam Manchester.
– LOLCats this is not. It is, instead, a beautiful portrait of a cat and the people who loved and lived with him, from his adoption when he was a few weeks old until his death at 16 of kidney disease. Hiroyuki Ito, one of his owners, has created a work of art in celebration of a dear friend. I knew how this story would end before the first frame but was compelled to view the entire slide show and in so doing appreciated anew all the animals I had loved and lost.
The moral of the story: when you want someone to do something (the essence of advertising, after all), it’s wit and emotion—not reliance on zetabytes—that get the job done.