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The Hunt For The New

Posted on October 17, 2011 and read 2,780 times

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snorre The Hunt For The NewSnorre Martinsen
Senior Creative
Saatchi & Saatchi Norway

One can argue that we’re moving from paid media to owned media through sustainable ideas more so than before. And that we’re leaping from traditional advertising to applications and services driving design and innovation, with the goal of ultimately transcending what the audience perceives to be advertising.

“It’s first come, first serve;” often the truth for a tech business start-up and surely no different in our industry. Except as an agency you (more often than not) get paid for the work, not the value of the idea. Which in turn is ironic, since it’s creativity and innovation connected to the idea that we, as an industry, value the most.

The product we’re selling is the agency’s collective capability to solve a task or resolve a problem. That fact aside, it often raises the question, “Are we so focused on driving digital media innovation that we’re missing out on our idea’s potential economic value?”

It’s a question of making stuff for one self versus making stuff for a client. For the time being it’s widely written up under, “Well, at least we’ll keep the business or win an award,” or indeed under “Great idea, but selling it doesn’t fit our business model,” depending on who you work for. It’s not like we all need to make and sell our own apps and services to survive, right? Right?  Truth be told, the solution for this is individual, and unique to every agency culture.

Regardless, the race for innovation drives creativity and inspires the collective. A hugely valuable thing in itself, which we tend to overlook. In short, evolution is good and necessary – and not contradictory to keeping the core business healthy.

The new storytelling

Advertising has always been about connecting dots to convey a story. Clients and markets vary, but the goals are very often the same. It’s generally about creating more traffic, awareness or action – through stories of winning attributes, unique personality or cultural significance. Doing this well is what our industry was built on.

We’re spending more and more time keeping up to date, exploring what new app, gadget or contraption we can bend to our minds will. And in order to stay in front, we can’t slow down.

As an example, the new iPhone launched this month and already the “old” one is utterly dated. New features and technological breakthroughs practically scream for creative integration. With SIRI perhaps being the most obvious one.

We’re moving into sensory-based interaction. Storytelling through sight, sound, touch and smell (on that note, I do believe there’s a demo vid of the fabled Smelloscope on YouTube). The ways in which we’re communicating our stories are expanding rapidly.

It moved from basic tech interaction ideas, holograms, projection mapping and Kinect hacks a couple of years ago (who even remembers anymore?), to a point now where the question, “How to make a cheap multi touch table?” is thoroughly answered by a simple search.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Effectively, the bar has been raised. And the race is on.

I’ve got my eyes on you…

Mind-blowing stuff is just around the corner. Not more than a couple of weeks ago, our minds were blown over what we’d up until then have considered to be science fiction. Let’s (for the sake of this post) call it  “IRRA,” or Interactive Real-time Relative Augmentation (yeah, laugh it up if you’re reading this six months from now, ’cause right now, this is so f***ing future). Like Real-time 3D face mapping.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

“The face tracking library returns a mesh that matches the contour of the eyes, nose, mouth and other facial features. That way the mesh obtained from a photo is matched to his own face in the video. Applying some color interpolation algorithms gives it the blending effect that can be seen in the final footage.”

So the army geeks yet again beat us to the punch. The thing is, we see concepts like this popping up all of the time. But unlike before, the timeline from concept introduction to mass production is a lot shorter, effectively stranding most ideas before they even hit the market. Beaten on the finish line as it were. It seems the goal, from a business point of view, is to get there first.  Rather than get there best.

I’d like to think (and please look beyond the horrendous form of this example’s presentation vid) we’ll all be making “IRRA” in-car ads for gas station ice cream deals a couple of years from now. Perhaps through something like Toyota’s “Window to the World” concept.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Science fiction drives science. Science drives technology. Technology drives advertising?

No, it’s not that simple is it?

Art. Music. Cats. Dogs. Kids. Rainbows. Things with engines. Whiskey with friends.

There’s obviously no point arguing that one thing is driving advertising creativity, or ever has. But take this one “new thing” seriously.  And although it’s a time drain like never before, we have to believe it’s not only totally worth it, but completely necessary.

Throwing new combinations up in the air, you always see things from a fresh perspective, and just may have found a new way to convey your story.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The “Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera” captures a full spherical panorama when thrown into the air. At the peak of its flight, which is determined using an accelerometer, a full panoramic image is captured by 36 mobile phone camera modules.

And the canvas isn’t what it used to be.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Benjamin Grosser’s “Interactive Robotic Painting Machine” 2011 paints its own body of work. And to make its own decisions, it listens to its environment and considers what it hears as input into the painting process. In the absence of someone or something else making sound in its presence, the machine, like many artists, listens to itself.

First come, first served.







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