Oliver Payne

Behavioural insight & comms consultant

Non-digital creatives: have no fear, your handy guide is here.

By admin • Nov 7th, 2008 • Category: Twitter updates

You’ve been working in advertising since the dawn of time. You know everything there is to know. You should be feted - you are feted, but this new thing’s come along and bent the rules. Now they’re getting the plaudits. And the money. There’s one question that’s stuck in your craw:

How do you deal with this digital thing?

It’s new, it’s messy, it’s hard to grasp, and - as I’m sure you’ve realised - it won’t go away. It’s changing the way we work for our clients. It’s even changing the way we live our lives. Digital is here to stay. So what’s the next trend we should follow? What’s the next big thing?

It’s the same as the old ‘next big thing’: Ideas.

But how do you know your good idea’s going to work in this ever changing medium? Here’s a handy wayfinder to help make sure you’re on the right track. And it doesn’t need an upgrade, or a password. Which seems like a good idea.

1. Be true to the brief

Crafted briefs are the advertising world’s strength, and it should stay that way. Don’t discard everything you know when you look for an interactive solution. Quite the opposite. Every discipline tries to sell with words and pictures. Even radio.

So, no digital experience is required to tell if an idea has solved the brief. In fact, if you’re not seduced by the latest fad, widget, or thingamyjig, you might just be able to see the wood for the trees.

It’s the rest of it you want to worry about…

2. Do: the right thing

Make your audience the protagonist.

pro·tag·o·nist
1. The main character in a drama or other literary work.
2. a. A leading or principal figure.
b. The leader of a cause; a champion.
3. A proponent; an advocate.

You have the power to create something where passive consumers can become active participants. They can re-organise it, re-order it, push it, pull it, customize it, receive it, send it, or save it. Which is more memorable: to read something? to hear something? or to do something? Exactly. Do: the right thing.

3. Stand on the shoulders

Make life easy with research. Find out if someone’s done what you’re trying to do. If they have, do it better. If they haven’t, imagine they have. Then do it better.

4. Make sure it’s possible

Make sure it’s possible to make.
Is it like putting-man-on-the-moon possible? or like tying-a-shoelace possible? NASA can do both, but a little kid can do neither. It makes a difference.

Equally, make sure it’s possible to use.
Be consistent, be clear and be thoughtful. Or find someone who makes or tests digital things and ask them how to make it the experience consistent, clear and thoughtful. Even if you don’t think you’re going to like what they say. In fact, especially if you don’t think you’re going to like what they say. It’s a bit like having an architect translate your dream home into something functional - they’ll make sure you don’t specify a door with the handle 2 inches from the floor. Unless you’re short, or you like crawling on your belly. Then they will specify a door handle 2 inches from the floor. And that’ll be good.

admin is a digital native who's been taking brands and businesses digital since 1995 (only 5 years after Tim Burners-Lee created the first ever web page). Honing his skills in a variety of companies for the last 14 years, including Ogilvy and Saatchi & Saatchi as a Creative Director, Partner and/or Board Member. He also won some awards.
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2 Responses »

  1. Thanks! Nice post.

  2. Thank you ErvinTW.

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