A great insight allows you not to disappear deeper and deeper in the rabbit hole in the pursuit of the proverbial big idea. A great insight provides you a base to work from when creating work, and a pathway on which to keep going when fleshing out and crafting ideas.
With technology this can be interpreted in a plethora of ways depending on which fence you sit. Technology could come from media platforms such a Google and Facebook, which provide us the platforms on which to do things. Then there are the device creators such as Apple and Sony who allow us access to the platforms. We can’t do Facebook on the palm of our hand without devices in it, can we? Whichever way you interpret it whether it be on a basic consumer level or a google back end software developer level, this relationship between access and platform is what we call technology today.
As it stands, usage and adoption of technology nearly always outpaces our understanding of how that technology will ultimately affect us, and how it will propel us into the future. But in saying that any ad man or die hard creative will tell you no amount of new technology will substitute the power of a really good insight. Insights create strong brand positions! I’m an advocate for both. Technology and insight. Really, as a millennial working at a career in advertising, I’m finding it that much harder separating the two.
The compelling, emotive and provocative advertising work I've seen in the past couple of weeks- showcased at recent advertising festivals including the Loeries, almost seamlessly weave great insights with the effective use of technology. Its campaigns that leave me in awe, thinking the people behind this must've had a moment of serendipity. They don’t come from a 30 minute brainstorm in the “innovation” boardroom on a flustering Thursday afternoon!
As examples, here are two pieces of work from the Cannes Lion Festival and the Loeries 2015that epitomise beautifully crafted insights and, at the same time, harness the power of technology.
Cannes Lions 2015
This campaign combines video and some serious back-end development coding around social media commentary with a really amazing insight which I’m sure speaks to many.
Campaign: Under Armor Women | I will what I want - Gisele Bundchen
Award: Cannes Lion Cyber Grand Prix
Client: Under Armor
Agency: Drogba5 New York
This campaign brought the youth, their music and technology together in a completely different way. It's an amazing piece of work against a target market very sought after by many brands.
Campaign: KFC | SoundBite Interactive Table
Award: Loeries Grand Prix - Digital Interactive applications games and interactive tools
Client: KFC SA
Agency: Ogilvy and Mather Johannesburg
In closing? Technology is the perfect fit with advertising because it originates, it invents and it brings completely new process and services to our daily lives. Great insights are crucial to advertising because they allow creativity to familiarise, normalise and habitualise concepts. And simultaneously, they reinforce existing attitudes and beliefs. This is something that technology doesn’t do. But when combined, that resultant outcome becomes something very special for any brand trying to connect with their consumer.