“You shouldn’t eat that apple!” — my five-year old was providing commentary for Snow White as it was playing on TV. Later on, he may immerse himself into a similar movie, Stockholm syndrome related, called Beauty and the Beast. For the moment, I was happy that there was something holding his attention.
I, on the other hand, was consuming my dose of superhero fairy tales, as well as the stories about far, far away galaxies and strange lands on both sides of the wall made of ice. Lots of repetition, too. In every movie, when reviewing camera footage, there’s always somebody saying: “wait, go back.” Where do the Transformers get their ammo, anyway?
The narratives above captivated somebody’s attention at some point. It could have been the official movie teaser-trailer, number 15, or perhaps a post on Facebook. A book you heard about? Maybe your neighbor saw it and wanted to tell you all about it? All of those, except for your neighbor, were, most likely, created by clever people of advertising, waiting for you to see or hear about it, this article included. Wink.
These days, narratives are created much faster. You’re either a GIF or a hashtag. ESPN claimed “too logical, pick a side!“ Content is being created so fast that some story lines had to be simplified. Need to conquer the galaxy? Sure, go to planet Kamino and buy an army. Need to conquer the continent of Westeros? Yeah, the Unsullied, in Astapor, can’t go wrong with them.
And here’s my point, it’s advertising that keeps things going. For kids or grown-ups, time-haves and have-nots, it’s the people behind the idea, making sure your product is a success. I mean, ask Sasha how long it takes to make a movie poster. He’ll tell you all about it.
As a variety of content keeps moving through different media channels, consumers are becoming more adjust to technologies and are able to focus on the message, or, as Saul Goodman politely mentioned “let’s not fixate on the medium, let’s look at the message.” For example, on Amazon.com, any better self-publishing author will pay for a book cover design in order to get buyers’ attention and clicks. Publishers may pay for preferred listing as well, but they still need to have visually rich, useful or intriguing content in order to sell. In other words, they need to deliver.
That’s where advertising comes in. For any business, or cause, wanting to gain traction, expand, or sell a narrative, some form of advertising is a must. Even the classic movie Snow White was promoted through paid ads with catchy and ever timely headlines such as: “Different from anything you’ve ever seen before!”
But, what about that five-year old, from the beginning of this story, huh? If Netflix and DVDs were the kid’s only source of entertainment, then where are the ads and influence? Where’s the beef? Sounds like a plot hole. Yeah…no. I was the one who was influenced early on by different promotions for different products and I was passing it on to next generation.
Initially, for kids, McDonald’s is a playground with burgers and fries. Similarly, to McDonald’s, you have to start early, and do it often.
This story was originally published on Miller Ad Agency, on November 5, 2018.