From Ads to AI. @Jonothankh

By Jonothan.

I remember TV as a kid. For me, the programme was a sort of interruption from the intermittent comedy wonders that ads used to be. Of course I’m remembering them with a nostalgic glow, but still, I feel like today’s ads are just templates with yet another brand plastered to them.

I simply don’t enjoy watching most TV ads anymore. Probably, it’s also a number of times each ad is played. It’s gone up. You can no longer watch anything on TV without being whistled at by McDonald’s at least twenty times.

And don’t get me started on Insurance ads. Every time, a dad joke and… err… well, that’s it. I remember the good old Satsuma Loans “how do I get you alone” and Wonga. At a push. I was so reassured when we went to visit M&C Saatchi PR (@MCSaatchiPR). They started a shop selling Stolen goods (from the Police auction, don’t worry). When people went in, they were made aware of the importance of insurance (specifically, insurance from ‘Back Me Up’).

They did the unexpected. And for an insurer that’s probably on a par with ensuring the tube (too soon?).

Speaking to people in agencies and hearing about them, they all want to win awards with creativity, they all want to get out there and do new stuff. More than that, people want new stuff.

Steve Jobs. He had a brilliant way of communicating with anybody. When he took on Pixar, he put the loos in the middle of the new building, knowing it was the only place people all went. But looking beyond Water-closets, he sold a vision, a feeling. He started with “what do people want?”, not Windows’ “we’ve got a Processor and some RAM. What shall we do with it?”.

Somehow Steve nailed it. But phone prices now; if I fall over and hear a crack, I hope it’s my knee.

Products, services, advertising. They all need a kick. And not just the big companies that can afford it, but everybody.

I think what’s going to happen in advertising is:

2020: Massive media boom. Nearly everyone in advertising comes to realize that they should be part of the culture, not interrupting it.

2025: Home virtual assistance (such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home etc.) will be normal to have in the first world. They serve as useful ads.

2026: AR (Augmented Reality) is released as a normal thing to have on you. Ads and other media pop out at you off 2D boards in stations. You have pins, reminders and more all over the place.

2027: AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistants have become good enough to understand your conversation well enough to really assist you with your day, though a popular talking point is finding an AI that is the least intrusive while being the most helpful.

You can see all of these point to a future where ads are a major part of our lives. Not separated boards and interrupted programming.

Of course, some will not take to this ‘invasion’. But I think that people will begin to understand that PIC (Privacy Is a Currency). I hear people worry that they could be found if they put their details up. They could be found now if someone really wanted to find them. I believe that our lives are about to become far less private. And it’s not a bad thing.

I think there’s a pattern:

Humans used to live in tribes together. Leaders emerged who lead everyone. Human kind’s biggest achievement was defining ourselves with ‘I’. All of a sudden different leaders were chosen by each and every one of us. We began to take inspiration from each other. Instead of going to a church and following ‘god’ through the church, people found their own relationship with their god.

In a really crass way, this movement is what’s happening with the ad industry. People no longer educate themselves from whatever company is most prominent; they look towards who they respect. People who are real parts of their lives. People like them.

I’ve ended up sounding like an online preacher, but hopefully, you see what I’m getting at.

Some will be thinking I’m a maniac for supporting our movement towards AR and AI.

Others, like me, are properly excited to be part of the generation that founds and build on these technologies.

If you’re interested, I hopefully will find out more about AI and AR and go more in-depth with my thoughts. So watch this space.

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, All: @jonothankh


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