Recently, I was searching on the web for design and development inspiration when I stumbled upon a video that changed the way I look at my current position as an SEO content strategist. Beyond that, it actually changed the way I look at the digital media industry altogether. That’s a big statement to make for a video that’s only 60 minutes long, about the same amount of time it takes me to drive to work, run seven miles or decide between two yogurt flavors at Publix. (Strawberry or Orange Mango? Boysenberry or Peach? Nevermind; I’ll just get all four.)
It was a documentary called “Project Re: Brief” by Google that brought back four of the advertising greats from yesteryear, including copywriter Paula Green, who came up with the Avis slogan “We Try Harder” in 1962, to see if they could revolutionize the industry today. Google partnered with these veterans to see if they could take some of their most successful life’s work, recreate it as digital media and still make an impact. That project initiative led to a video that inspires and provokes marketers–and their clients–to rethink how we look at digital media.
In an industry where the No. 1 goal is not just keeping up, but anticipating what’s ahead, what we know today may already be old news by tomorrow. This video reminds us that the success or failure of an advertisement doesn’t rest upon the shoulders of technology. It rests upon whether or not the initial idea has legs. This documentary challenges us to get back to the basics: Generate ideas that drive brilliant concepts, clever copy and captivating design. And then adapt technology to fit that idea, not vice versa.
With technology changing at an unrelenting pace, it can sometimes feel daunting–for both marketers and clients alike. Google reminds us that the best advertisements today share the same essential attribute as the best advertisements made 20, 30 or 40 years ago: Ingenuity.