Weird Observations. – By @shein_dean
By Dean Shein
I’ve been watching people watch adverts. It’s really interesting, how when they notice something,
a thought just pops into their head. Then, they may choose to start a conversation with the person next to them, about that particular product or service.
I’ve learnt a few things from these unusual sightings.
What matters most, is the mood the person is in when they connect with an advert. Are they Hungry? Are they feeling lonely? What time of day is it? Have they been wanting that particular product or service for awhile?
When looking through English tabloids, people simply notice what they are currently looking to buy. That’s it. They don’t care about the ad itself. They care about the product and whether it’s cheap. Very rarely, would a punter stop at their own leisure to admire how brilliant an ad is. Unless, maybe it’s the annual bunch of supermarket Christmas ads, which contain heart warming and emotional storytelling.
Anyway, take the inside space of the tube for example, it’s crazy to literally see that moment when an ad changes from ‘noise‘ and takes ‘centre stage‘ in a persons mind. Even if a person doesn’t say anything when they engage with an ad, sometimes you can see them move their mouth muscles to the side. Or maybe they wince a bit. What are they contemplating? Are they agreeing or disagreeing with the work that is being displayed directly opposite them? Are they even reading anything at all? Maybe they are just staring effortlessly into the abyss.
Then I had another thought. Why arn’t the billboards inside trains digital yet. It seems primitive that they aren’t.
I live in London. It’s a very diverse place. What if people’s first language isn’t English. At the moment, when we put an ad out, we’re basically just assuming everyone can read English. But what if they can’t. The things about images is that no matter where you are in the world a picture of a cucumber, is a cucumber. This reminds me of an exceptionally brilliant concept that Ruby, from last years intake was telling me about. It’s a book called ‘point it’. Here’s the idea. If you can’t speak a language, you are effectively mute. ‘point it’ is a visual dictionary that has pictures of everything you would possibly want while you are travelling. From fruits to fridges to footballs, you simply point out your desired image to the person helping you. We were thinking of positioning it as an essential tool for refugees who arrive in new countries.
Going back to my point before, imagine if an advert could detect your first language. But I don’t think we are there yet. You can’t just assume a black man’s first language is Swahili.
If the Mona Lisa’s eye follows you as you move, why can’t the ads jut out in a subtle way, so whether you are sitting in a corner or standing on the packed central line, every single person get’s an optimum view. We should to invade not evade. I use the word ‘invade’ in a physical sense. I don’t mean our tone should be scaremongering or belittling.
I just feel that advertising ‘space’ hasn’t really been updated for 2020. We do have electronic billboards and we are been experimenting with virtual print posters but I think there is so much more that needs to be done. I think in order to connect with a generation that constantly have their heads glued to their phones, we need to radically update our mediums. How do we get them to look up? Maybe it’s not even about that. Maybe we need to update targeted mobile phone ads. They too, are mostly ignored as the masses hopelessly continue scrolling down their lifeless newsfeeds, forever chasing yet another vital dopamine hit.
Marshall McLuhan said that the medium is the message. Thus, it’s time for radical change. We are trying to be heard after all, aren’t we?