Digital creativity dead?

Of course it’s not, but the digital creative industry can be as quiet as a corpse sometimes. This year I’ve seen absolutely blinding digital creativity in web design, interactive rich media, even in the copy used for search ads. Actual creative genius resides in digital – but sometimes, digital creatives can be so polite amidst the marketing rabble!

The IAB has Creative Showcase, which highlights the best of the best and there’s Creative Review, which is ace. Plus I’m sure creative agencies highlight their best creative to clients and internally, but if we’re to continue proving this medium I honestly believe digital creatives need to become collective uber show-offs of the highest order. And there doesn’t always need to be an award at the end of it.

Print, outdoor and TV ads sometimes end up in art galleries. Why not digital? Some digital creativity is beautiful! A stunning, interactive work of art. There are barely any digital creative blogs/sites either, yet campaigns are going live daily. Digital’s very nature makes it mass broadcast but on a personal level – so while it’s hitting the mark with its target consumers, it needs that extra push in the marketing industry to get it noticed. Here’s my push of a simple, but beautiful and clearly messaged pre-roll ad for the RAF edited specifically for online and run across WebTVEnterprise’s network. Click on the image to watch it:

Another ad I’ve seen recently that I think is brilliant is for the band Alphabeat’s new single, created by Silence Media. What I love about it is the way it grabs attention through a simple, yet inventive piece of video made specifically for online. Also, the usability is second-to-none with an expandable panel that waits 3 seconds to make sure the user really wants to see it. Please don’t try to click the links within the ad because it’s been taken from another site and they won’t work in this example.

The IAB always recommends that online creative should be planned right at the very beginning and not pushed to one side in favour of other mediums. This has clearly been the case for this campaign, as Paul Barnard of Silence Media explains:

“The idea for the ad was discussed and planned between ourselves and the client when the campaign was first commissioned. Once the creative strategy was agreed on, the band filmed the footage. The campaign went live two weeks before the single release with the main focus being the gay market. On the week of release we broadened the campaign out to focus on a 13-34 female audience. The ad featured across key music sites and blogs along with gay, celeb and gossip sites.”

You can view more of Silence Media’s ads in their gallery and if you’ve seen some other particularly good creative, please send it to me!

  • Errrrrr… that Alphabeat ad is terrible. And even it wasn’t better executed it’s a direct rip off of the Axion Band in a Banner ad that cleaned up at every awards shows last year.

    Maybe you should do a little more research?

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    Hi James, I am aware of the Axion ad but this is an example of a campaign that’s currently live that I like, I wasn’t looking for the first of its kind. Have you seen any consumer research that would suggest it is a terrible ad? Surely if something similar worked for Axion, it will also work for Alphabeat. The entire creative process in advertising is built on learning from what works and what doesn’t. I doubt Ford look on in horror everytime Honda run a TV ad of a car driving around with music playing over the top.

    There have been literally hundreds of video MPUs, skyscrapers and banners with people interacting with the screen – Axion wasn’t the first and Alphabeat definitely won’t be the last. Most film trailers in fact have had people tapping and interacting with the screen for years; it’s a good way of getting people’s attention in a channel with the sound turned off by default.

    We actually talked about this in our Movie Marketing Report released in Feb 2008. The ads for the 2007 film Walk Hard: the Dewey Cox story had the main character tapping the screen and mouthing “turn your sound on”.

  • FYI clicking on the links in the Alphabeat ad leads to nothing but 404’s

    In case you didn’t know….

    Just sayin !

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    your post was titled ‘Digital Creativity Dead’ not effectiveness. In my opinion the Alphabeat ad is creatively terrible – because it doesn’t look good and it’s not original (criteria most creative people would deem important)

    It may work with consumers, it may not, that’s a separate debate.

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    I agree with James – the creative on the Alphabet ad is awful!

    It shows nothing innovative or ground breaking! There are many other better examples of digital creative out there.

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    I obviously can’t make you like the ad because taste is subjective. Personally, I liked it because it was simple, silly and fun, which matched the band’s image video and album packaging, plus it caught my eye – something not all ads manage to do.

    I take your point James, but to me, creative and effectiveness in advertising are inextricably linked. You can have a beautiful piece of creative that wins awards but doesn’t boost brand or sell products – in which case I wouldn’t say it was a good piece of advertising creative because it didn’t achieve what it was supposed to do. You’re right that this is a separate debate and one that will likely be discussed at length. We should host a debate about it! :o)

    Nevertheless, my aim with this post was to encourage more people to show off great work, not criticise other people’s. I selected a couple that I liked recently, if you can point me in the direction of more ads that you think are great, I’d love to feature them in a future post.

  • I’m all for examples of showcasing brilliant creativity. But sorry Jack, that alphabeat example ain’t one of them. The idea might suit the bands fun/quirky/accessible persona but just dancing and tapping on the screen is so lazy, been done before and not even particularly well executed. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz