Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's Been Done

Ever look at an advertisement and get the feeling you've seen it before? Chances are you probably have. The phrase "Been done" is one of the most used critiques in advertising and it says a lot about the state of the industry, most notably when it comes to ambient media. Ambient or outdoor ads were once seen as the great hope for the future of the industry, much like interactive is today. Unfortunately ambient media for most "creatives" has come to mean taking a stroll downtown and finding a piece of the landscape that simply resembles the product. This kind of thinking is called execution driven ideas and, as a result, a lot ideas look similar because when you put 10 people in a room and ask them what on the street reminds them of cigarettes, 8 of them are going to come up with the tail pipe of a car. Not convinced? Joe La Pompe is a French website featuring ads by different agencies executing the same idea...sometimes in the same year and occasionally, winning at the same awards show. A little advice to agencies, lead with the creative not the media.