What is this fuckery called retargeting?… Is it effective?

Remember when you were in the market for a fresh pair of kicks or a new top to impress that not so special someone on your recently memorable for all the wrong reasons tinder date? You jumped onto ASOS and when overwhelmed with the choices thought “Fuck it I’ll look later.”. No? Well, facebook sure seems to think you did. Next thing you know your sitting in class, at work, on the train and you stumble your way online only to see banner ads from ASOS for the exact category you were perusing. Creepy. But hey no harm no foul you shrug it off right? And that weekend you’re out shopping with friends and low and behold find that perfect pair of shoes, tie, whatever, no need to keep looking but that’s not what Facebook thinks…next thing you know all you see for the next few weeks are ads for shoes over and over again to the point of irrational anger. Or is it rational?

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This is just one example of how technology is influencing advertisement and is more commonly known as ‘Adtech’. The example above highlights one of the most notorious forms of Adtech called retargeting where it roughly works like this; a website uses cookie-based technology that uses javascript code to follow those who visit the page around the rest of the web. This is done so anonymously and is done so in a way that the ad will only target those who have visited the said website. The purpose of this, of course, is so that even though Bob didn’t make it all the way to the ‘check out’, maybe he got distracted or something came up, brands and websites can subtly remind Bob about the new ultra shiny garden hose reel and other similar categorical items and hey, maybe Bob will complete the purchase at a later time and think fondly about that website.

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But is this ethical? Is Bob only buying that hose reel because he kept seeing images of it everywhere he went and now only bought it based on one initial passing thought, turned action off of subliminal advertising? More and more consumers are becoming irritated and fed up with the constant feed of adverts in their lives opting for web browser extensions that block all ads and it even caused big companies like Apple to start building these types of ad blockers into their own web browsers which have then been used as part of a selling point of their products. Innovations in technology have brought about a lot of new and amazing streams in which the advertising industry can play with but is the industry just being lazy?

The term ‘brand engagement’ is thrown around a lot these days where big brands want consumers to ‘engage’ with them but tactics like retargeting has had the exact opposite effect where consumers are actively trying to disengage with brands and ads so they can have a moment of peace from the bombardment of products and services shoved down their eyeballs. If you rely heavily on retargeting your potential consumers for your products and or services are you even offering anything of worth? Perhaps its time to think more creatively and do something that has consumers wanting to engage with your website and or brand.

Take a video… it will last longer!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words… well then what’s a video worth?

Last year I snapped a picture of a little girl I met in India called Angel. On paper, her story is all kinds of tough. After sleeping with someone outside her cast, Angel’s mum tried to drown her as a newborn. Although only three days old, Angel put up a fight and her little heart refused to stop beating. After her failed attempt to murder her newborn child, Angel’s mum gave Angel to a local rescue home and has never seen her since.

Whilst reading about my sweet Angel you feel for her, but its just text on a page, you will probably never think about her again. However, after seeing a picture of her sweet smile, you feel a deeper level of connection and more emotions are evoked as the story grows on you… a picture is worth a thousand words.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth? Videos are powerful and enable the viewer to transcend space and time. Whilst it brings me so much joy to gaze at Angel’s sweet face in her picture, I feel like I am back with her when I see a simple video of her. I have a video of Angel in her school uniform jumping up and down on her bed laughing and calling out to me, ‘Ukka Ukka,” which means big sister. The picture of Angel tells me a thousand words, of who she is, what she is like and who she will become; however, the video transports me back in time. Back to my Angel.

I can hear her voice and her laughter, I can see the excitement on her face and I can feel the love I felt for her right in that moment. The video is what I treasure. After months of not seeing Angel, her contagious laugh, which was once so loud in my ears slowly, softens, the memories of hours of jumping on the bed fade and hearing my name called over and over becomes a distant memory. Despite the time apart, it only takes one play of the video to make me feel like I am back with her. Maybe a video has the ability to make us feel those thousands of words in a picture.

Text can tell a powerful story, a picture is worth a thousand words but a video has the ability to transport us through time. Videos engage our minds like nothing else, they have the ability to unpack complex concepts quickly and evoke stronger emotions than any other medium. Videos have the ability to transport us through time and space and quench our mind’s thirst for information and interaction. Since video appeals to both sight and sound, it has the ability bring back our memories, beautiful memories of our journeys, memories like my Angel.

The Power of Art Direction

A picture is worth 1,000 words

As an art director, you’re in charge of the imagery and layout of an ad all together. You need to make sure that the message you want the audience to receive is portrayed correctly. A well-known fact related to advertising is the “6 second impact”, where you only have 6 seconds of attention from the audience while they’re going through their day. This relates especially to outdoor advertising. If a person is walking down a street and walks by a bus shelter with an ad on it, you only have 6 seconds of their attention. Therefore, you shouldn’t have lots of copy on it that the audience won’t have time to read in such a short amount of time. That’s where the saying “6 words, 6 seconds” comes from, or even better: no words at all.

The phrase “a picture is worth 1,000 words” is developed from an even older saying which is “one look is worth a thousand words.” It appeared in a 1913 newspaper advertisement for the Piqua Auto Supply House of Piqua, Ohio, but ironically uses only words, not images, to invite prospective customers to see its products in their store. The point of it being how instead of explaining all its features and printing photos of every angle, one look at it with your own eyes will say it all. I think both phrases are nice references to how we only have the audience’s attention for a short amount of time, and how that time can be well spent with viewing instead of reading.

Take these great Lego ads for example. All it needs is an image with a strong impact and the product’s logo. Never underestimate your audience’s ability to figuring things out on their own. They don’t need a few sentences explaining the joke. They could have had a clever tagline under the imagery saying something about how great children’s imagination is, but they chose not to, and it made the ad so much better. Without any words to read, you reach out to so many more people as we all have got the time to simply look at the image. It also helps that the logo is well recognizable. The ad also possesses bright, playful colors to catch their attention even more. The art director or creative person behind these posters is a genius in my eyes, I wish I had come up with this idea myself.

This ad for Scotch tape is another image dominant ad that I find very clever. It is so self-explanatory and it also consists of only an image and the logo for the product. There is also Scotch’s slogan underneath their logo which they don’t even needed to ad for us to understand their message.

A picture really is worth more than a thousand words in the advertising industry, and image dominant advertising creates the cleverest ideas and are easily remembered. Here are some more examples to prove my point:

By Charlotte Leite Hansen (Bachelor of Digital Media student)

It’s Award-Winning Month at Macleay

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Video Production lecturer Cisco Corea speaking to students about his award winning MTV Adidas campaign.

I’m pleased to announce that our Video Production lecturer Cisco Corea has just won a best advertising campaign of the year / Branded Content at the ASTRA awards for the MTV Adidas campaign he produced and directed.

Our Sydney copywriting lecturer Cameron Horn is nominated for the 6th year in a row at the ACRA Radio Awards, and up against his ex-student Katrina Fowler for the second year running. Account Management graduate Kyra Brown is also nominated this year. Congratulations to all three.

Ian Thomson’s latest short film THE INVISIBLE EDGE was also an official selection in the London Independent Film Awards, pre-selected for the New Zealand Film Awards, and was a finalist in the Mindscape Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film will also be screened as part of The Big Anxiety Festival in Sydney.

The Advertising & Media faculty are pleased to be launching a new unit in GAMIFICATION in T3, developed and delivered by the award-winning advertising creative director and author, Simon Veksner.

It will also be the first roll-out of the AUDIO STORYTELLING unit with multi-ACRA-award winning radio copywriter Cameron Horn. This unit teaches student radio advertising script-writing, audio production using ProTools and the increasing popular art of podcasting.

In Melbourne we will be running a new elective in COPYWRITINGwith the local Melbourne Social Media personality Candy Hertz.

We are looking forward to welcoming Lizzie Mack on-board to deliver the new STORY & NARRATIVE unit as part of the Digital Media Diploma and Degree in T3. Lizzie is not only a seasoned social media marketing and film teacher, but also a talented jazz vocalist (https://twitter.com/macklizzie). The unit explores a vast array of storytelling techniques for digital media projects, from online video, to interactive games and digital marketing campaigns.

Digital Design lecturer Jason Gemenis has just launched his new digital agency PEPPERMINT. This not only offers students great industry focused learning at the coal-face of digital marketing, design and media, but Jason also offers internships for budding digital design specialists.

In addition, in November this year our CREATIVE PROCESS lecturer Julieann Brooker will be travelling to Bhutan with Dr Lindsay Oades, Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, to study the measurement and embodiment of Gross National Happiness (GNH) in a combined program between GNH Bhutan and GNH Australia. 

Ian Thomson, Head of the Advertising & Digital Media Faculty

CONGRATULATIONS TO MACLEAY COLLEGE’S LATEST ADVERTISING & MEDIA BACHELOR GRADS

Congrats to this trimester’s graduating Bachelor of Advertising & Media students Daniel Koublachvili (L), Robyn Lear (3R) and Caitlin Thomas (2R) who presented their final major projects to the industry panel of Experience Designer Sam Court (M), Samantha Benney, Regional Customer Marketing Manager (3L), Accolade Wines and Kristy Chilman, Marketing Lead at The Brand Architect (R).

Daniel developed an application to allow people to donate rounded up change to charities called LINK. Robyn developed a strategic marketing and communications plan for SKYY VODKA in Australia, and Caitlin Thomas developed a social media platform for Tweens called HEYU.

They have certainly set the bar high for next trimester’s graduating bachelors!

Ian Thomson (2L), Head of the Advertising & Digital Media Faculty at Macleay College.

David Droga’s Emotional Rallying Cry to the Ad Industry at Cannes Lions Centres on Caring

“There goes my facade of being a rock.”

David Droga choked up several times during a heartfelt and surprisingly emotional speech at Cannes Lions last month—in the end, it was one of the highlights of the festival—as he accepted the Lion of St. Mark award for creative excellence across his storied career.

The Droga5 founder used the moment to look back at his brilliant career so far and to thank the people who’ve helped make it happen—a long list of work colleagues, of course, but also, most prominently, his mother and his wife.

He also had words for the advertising industry, which he initially cast as advice for his four children in attendance—about the single most important thing, in his view, that helps make a person, and a career, successful.

“Wanting something—wanting a career, or wanting to make something—doesn’t really mean much. It’s about finding something you care about. Because caring is the only thing that really matters,” he said.

Caring leads to everything else, Droga suggested.

“I would put down everything in my career to the fact that I cared—about what I do, who I work with, what I make,” he said. “Caring makes you want to work harder. People can’t pay you to care. People can’t teach you to care. But when you find something that you care about, you give it everything you’ve got. You never settle. And you are always pushing to learn and be better and support those around you. All I’ve tried to do in my career is care.”

He added: “That’s all we need to do. More agencies need to give a shit, work hard and try to make beautiful and impactful things.”

See the full speech video on YouTube.

A BLOG BY MACLEAY ADVERTISING STUDENTS

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