Advertising used to be so easy: You write a cool tagline, develop a cool commercial, make sure all communications surrounding the commercial is integrated and then hope for the best. You worked for a great agency when you were thinking about the client goals throughout the creation process. You worked for a mediocre agency when everybody just cared about the awards and recognition. And you worked for a real crapshop when everybody was just thinking about their paycheck.
Ob boy, things have really changed. Now, agencies have to deliver experiences that improve people’s lives and, at the same time, make sure to help their clients with the bottom line. Thinking about awards shouldn’t even make the Top 10 list anymore.
In the old days, we tried to build emotional connections through funny 30-second sketches and innovative imagery. Today, we build emotional connections by helping people solve their problems: The widget displaying real-time traffic on your desktop, easing your commute and saving nanoseconds because you don’t have to type the URL. The Pizza Builder that makes the ordering process less arduous and so much more enjoyable. The Facebook CarPool application that helps people to connect with each other to reduce the their carbon footprint and get from A to B quicker.
The flashy ad doesn’t work anymore. People have moved on a while ago. Today, businesses build emotional connections through utility. Make my life easier, more enjoyable, more experiential. Give me stories and memories to share, develop something special for me. Show that you understand me. Show that you don’t want to pollute my life with more noise. Show that you care about me. That’s how you develop connections and relationships.
And make people care about you.