It was lunch time. My colleagues and I were having cold Vietnamese noodles when someone asked us if we were interesting in joining him to watch Hardcore Henry. Everyone asked what was “Hardcore Henry”.
If you try to explain it to people who don’t play video games and don’t film everything they do with a GoPro, it can be quite challenging.
Especially if you are trying to sell the concept to them.
So the best way to tell about this movie is to show the trailer.
This is what we decided to do after trying for 10 minutes –and failing- to explain with words why this movie could be great.
How do you show a trailer of a specific movie nowadays?
You take your iPhone, you open safari, you google Hardcore Henry trailer and you click on the first link.
But instead of the expected fast-pace POV-action trailer mixed with some –just some- dialogues, happened to be a pre-roll advertisement video for… well, I forgot about it already.
Here comes the problem.
My colleagues haven’t seen the trailer. We stopped it immediately because it doesn’t make any sense to spend a minute to watch an advertisement that was almost as long as the trailer we wanted to see in the first place.
One of my colleagues even said that he “almost forgot there is advertisement on Youtube”. Very ironic since the trailer is itself an advertisement.
Yes. He is an adblock user. Just like the other 181 million other people blocking ads every day online. And this trend is growing. Growing fast. 41% year over year fast. Because people hate ads. Especially when it comes to things we experienced during our lunch break.
I recently looked at my financials and I was amazed about all the subscriptions I have. Spotify, Amazon Prime, HBONow, Netflix, Comcast, Verizon, XBL, PSN… should I cancel one of them? For example, should I start using Spotify for free instead of paying for the premium account? I mean, I don’t even have quality headphones so the high-bitrate doesn’t matter and I never download any song offline neither. I considered it.
For a while.
And one day, listening to one of my favorite podcasts, the Tim Ferris show, I realized I just don’t want to do that. The pre-show, mid-show and the end-show ads are just brutal.
Yes, it’s great to hear that this start up A helps me to save money and this start up B delivers food everywhere in the bay area, but after hearing the same thing over and over again, I just don’t care anymore. I don’t want to hear it anymore. I hate it. And if there is an adblock for podcast, sorry Tim Ferris, I’d get it instantly.
So is advertisement doomed?
Yes, if we keep making ads people hate.
Instead, why don’t we make ads people love?
As many “millennials”, I grew up with brands I associate with strong value, great emotion and amazing experience. And ads heavily contributed to them.
For instance, I still search for Nike ads on Youtube. The one with Cantona against the devil team is awesome and I still remember, as a kid, recording on VHS “the mission” with Edgar Davids in order to replicate some of the moves the players were doing in the commercial.
About a 2 years ago, I read an article about Nike releasing the self-laced shoes. The very same one Marty had in Back to the Future, part II. I instantly felt nostalgic because this is how I felt in love with both science fiction and Nike.
Today, we live in a digital world where we can display almost anything in real time. Soon, virtual will come to our real world with the Hololens, and we will be able to explore the virtual world with Oculus Rift. And the more users interact with these new technology, the more data companies are able to collect.
To ask for permission, create consensus and be in the right place at the right time.
This is the frontier to the future of advertisement.
If you know that I’m in a rush, that the content I’m watching is already a form of ads and only last a minute or two and I have at least 10 other ways to watch this same content somewhere else, don’t push it.
Instead, once I finished watching this trailer, maybe show me how I can grab the tickets online and invite all my friends on Facebook.
Digital innovation offers amazing opportunities for advertisers to be creative and to do something great. So please do it: make ads people love.