Saturday, November 29, 2008

The future is here

With all the old models smashed to smithereens and everyone wondering what the future of creative marketing holds, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that you don't have to wait to find out; the future of advertising is already here.

In fact, the future has been around for a while, though perhaps not in this country.

Back in 1993, a young scallywag eager to break into the world of the advertising creative, I glimpsed what I knew to be the future in one of the world's most exciting megatropolises in the world. No, not New York or Tokyo, but Cairo, Egypt.

Not exactly where you'd expected to discover advertising's cutting edge. But the sheer genius, simplicity and selling power of what I saw has stayed with me ever since. Its implications for advertising creativity were too terrible for my young mind to contemplate at the time, and I've buried this memory for 15 years. But two ads on telly in the past week brought this epipheny flooding back. More of those ads in a bit.

They don't do 72 sheets in Cairo. They do posters much, much bigger. Imagine a white space the size of building filled not by a Nike sponsored athlete kicking or saving a giant football or a giant sized celebrity. No. What I saw was a photo of an ironing board the size of the Cairo museum, accompanied by a price tag.

That's it. No clever line. No fancy photography. A product. And a price (I'm assuming the information on where to find this ironing board at that price was the small Arabic print at the bottom of the ad.)

And what else do you really need to shift a product? How often do you buy anything without knowing the price? In fact, isn't the price one of the, if not the most important, detail?

I'd love to know the results of a study that measured how many UK ads back in 1993 featured prices, compared to how many UK ads feature prices now.

I'd say price tags were all the rage. And as ever, it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it. So come on, get creative with those price tags. And you don't have to just paste them on next to your product; so far they've been doinked and they've been pinged.



What will you do with your price tags?

1 comment:

Hayes Thompson said...

You can even miniaturise your prices: