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December 30, 2005


hugh macleod

I think the average power and influence of the average "media savvy" professional has done nothing but DROP as long as I've been in the business.... and in the last 3-5 years, especially.

A case of oversupply and decreasing barriers to entry, being the main culprits.

But I remember films like "How To Get Ahead In Advertising" depicting advertising people as all-powerful social impactors. Certainly when I was a kid a lot of people in the UK looked towards the Saatchi Brothers for social insight. I no longer see them or their peers NEARLY as powerful, not by a long shot.

Sure, a single line of poetry can stay with you for decades, far longer than the latest internet gizmo. But let's face it, most media folk don't ever come close to that.

How lovely it is to finally live in a time where the hegemony of TV is no longer a given...

Ernie Mosteller

Interestingly, I agree completely. Because I don't think the average media savvy professional embraces change - tech or otherwise. It's why agencies are stuck in a rut, and why Tangelo Ideas is getting lots of amazed and positive reactions when we talk to prospective clients about how their "advertising" can, and should be, different. But on the flip side, I don't think the average tech savvy individual always embraces the emotional impact of a truly well-crafted, media savvy presentation. The key word for both is: "average." When you put together two visionaries, or two groups of visionaries, from both sides of the equation, then you have a chance to produce something with real influence.

hugh macleod

I guess now would be a good time to insert the well-worn aphorisim:

"Technologists have to learn to be more culturally savvy. Culturalists have to learn to be more tech savvy. Group Hug!"

olivier blanchard

Ernie, that cross-pollination you just mentioned is absolutely the ticket when it comes to product development and marketing:

"When you put together two visionaries, or two groups of visionaries, from both sides of the equation, then you have a chance to produce something with real influence."

No doubt.

When it comes to CREATING a culturally relevant image for a product's application, however, tech-savvy "characters" usually work really well.

At one end of the spectrum, you have James Bond and his supertech gadgets that make technology look cool, fun, empowering, sexy, etc.) Brands like Mont Blanc (pens), Omega (watches) and BMW (cars) have capitalized on that transference to some extent.

At the other end, you have celebrities, actors and models using real technology (in ads and on reality TV shows like MTV's "Cribs" or HBO's "Entourage") in a way that's equally cool, fun, empowering and sexy.

Sidney Bristow's ringtone in season one of "ALIAS" is a good example. Jack Bauer's cell phone or watch or laptop in "24" will influence core viewers to seek out those brands. Candid footage of Lance Armstrong or Tom Cruise using Oakley's new MP3 sunglasses on a reality show or Oprah or '60 minutes' will also make these tech-products more relevant to an audience already looking for its next cool gadget.

For technology to be relevant to us, it has to be a) accessible, b) sexy, and c) empowering. Tech-savvy by itself definitely isn't enough anymore. (Otherwise, we'd all still be wearing calculator watches.)


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