Catering to an audience of relentlessly knowledgable critics with five second attention spans means that novelty is and always will be the lifeblood of digital advertising. It also means that if you do something first then it usually means that you did it best.
So careers are made, promotions are granted, awards are given, reputations are forged and business models are proven off the back of one great and truly innovative digital idea that simply got there first and did something really new.
This is fair enough. We’re in the business of creating new ideas to feed the content hungry hordes and it’s right that those who do the best work should reap the rewards.
But there is a problem.
As an industry, we have slight issues figuring out when a formerly innovative creative idea is starting to become a bit stale. When the industry is still producing near identical pieces of work months later that relies entirely on a “wow” factor that no longer exists, we want to ask: should we be concerned?
Because you start with an amazing, brand defining piece of projection mapping for Nike that acts as the core of a tightly woven narrative campaign that sets the digital world alight but then nine months later you have bored looking crowds vaguely taking photos on their iphones as they watch Daz tack projection mapped washing machines onto a creatively vacant campaign at the Westfield Shopping Centre.
And we think this is bad.
We feel that every time a campaign relies too much on novelty and not enough on creative, it makes it harder for us all to get the audience genuinely excited about the next thing as well as source clients who are willing to invest in something really new.
So, to help combat this we’re starting a regular column called “Best Before Date”. It’s designed to discuss whether ideas are approaching staleness and to call out work that we feel could have benefitted from more creative development before release.
Because while everybody knows when something is new, we want to make sure that we’re all aware of when something is starting to smell a little……..old.
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