"I believe the next stage of brand advertising is going to be in the realm of ’branded utility,"’ says Palmer. (He co-credits Anomaly partner Johnny Vulcan with coining the phrase.)
In a column in the current issue of Creativity, R/GA CEO-Chief Creative Officer Bob Greenberg speaks of his own personal epiphany at Cannes, when he became certain that brand culture would move away from the metaphorical (as embodied in the TV spot and its interactive extensions) and toward the useful. It’s no coincidence that it’s the interactive types and ad people with interactive chops who are touting this application-based marketing opportunity; it requires technical as well as creative prowess. "You have to understand applications and media; you have to have a tech capability in order to even think up some of these concepts," says Greenberg, who also notes that projects of this nature have sprung from the planning function in his shop.
The suggestion is that brands and their agencies will need to really understand people (i.e. the consumers) better, and discover meaningful ways in which they can contribute to their lives. This may or may not happen online, but given the degree to which much of what we do is online, it would certainly help to have a grasp of that world.
Benjamin Palmer of The Barbarian Group says:
"[Consumers] are watching us more than we are watching them. We are not
in control anymore, but that’s OK. If we do this right, we can actually
have a good relationship with ’the consumer’ for once. How nice would