by Jason Jefferson If Internet marketing were a person, it would now be old enough to vote in the United States. However, despite turning 18 and (supposedly) crossing the threshold into adulthood, Google believes that Internet marketing hasn't developed anywhere near its full potential. The company is looking to the past to create the future of Internet marketing with a project called Re: Brief.
Taking Online Ads to the Next Level
Project Re: Brief is both a project and a documentary about the need for a better blend of creative thinking with the enormous technological shifts advertising has undergone. The project taps some of the greatest advertising minds of the past half century to see what's possible in the new media.
Google calls Project Re: Brief "a grand experiment" as it partners with some of the geniuses of advertising from days gone by. Ads revisited include Volvo's "Drive it like you hate it" ad from 1963, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" Alka Seltzer ad from 1972, the Avis "We try harder" slogan and that iconic Coca-Cola commercial from 1971 called "Hilltop" with the memorable chorus, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke." The creators of these ads agreed to come on board and see what's possible for those ads in light of today's technology.
Ads People Want to Watch
Project Re: Brief aims to shake up the ad industry and inspire new ways of thinking. The documentary is directed by Doug Pray and an Emmy-Award-winning documentary film team. As media formats and platforms shift and evolve, Google believes we can still learn much from successful advertising from the past. Just as satellite television from www.GetDirectTV.org has had to evolve to adapt to the Internet, advertising must change to fit the times. However, despite all of the different ways we now receive information, the basic tenets of good storytelling are still the same.
Ultimately, the goal of Project Re: Brief is to take a medium that is merely tolerated (online advertising) and try to inspire a more heartfelt, welcoming response by viewers. Google hopes that online advertising will someday inspire the nostalgia and perhaps even love that some of those old television commercials evoke. Google is going for a "third dimension" in advertising" — ads that are both technologically immersive and emotive.
Cracking the Code of Online Advertising
Thus far, a sure-fire, winning formula for an iconic Internet ad remains elusive, but Google hopes to solve this mystery through Project Re: Brief. The challenges of Internet marketing are in some ways similar to the challenges of the 1960s — back then, 85% of all advertising wasn't noticed, notes Forbes, but this hurdle was overcome through a collective brainstorming effort. Google is attempting the 21st century version of this with Project Re: Brief.
Central to the project is determining how banner ads might better connect and interact with people in the real world. Ideally, technology will be balanced with the wisdom and experiences gleaned from advertising veterans. Experts already agree that technological wizardry works best when it is almost invisible, blended seamlessly with the ad. Technology should be well-used, not over-used.
Just what's possible in online advertising? Google hopes Re: Brief will help finally bring it into maturity. Along the way, they'll push the boundaries of how technology and creative ideas can be merged with extraordinary results. The advertising world can't wait to see what they come up with.
Jason Jefferson studied business on the East Coast. He currently runs a small social media company from his home in New Mexico.