McKinney ideas amplified with Google
Two creative directors from Google, Sean Daily and Ben Jones, were at the agency last week. “The projects that you guys get most excited about are the ones that we can help amplify,” they explained. “We help agencies come up with ideas. It’s an open-source thing and we focus less on answers than we do on possibilities.”
While here, Sean and Ben also spoke about four areas of human experience, what advertising is doing in those areas now and the technology behind it. Between the amplification and the presentation, we got a double idea boost last week. Here’s what Google had to say.
Not long ago our imaginations dreamed up new technologies; now, technology can do things we can’t yet imagine. Our challenge, then, is to match our dreams to the possibilities of our existing technologies. Sean assured us, “Google doesn’t know what’s coming up either. We’re just putting stuff out there and seeing how people react.” He encourages agencies to take the same risk: “Agencies are excited about newness but they, and clients, are often afraid of risk. Consumers, we’ve learned, are actually very forgiving.”
And they expect digital integration. Digital is a now a layer of our reality, not an enhancement of it. This means ideas don’t need separate plans for digital activation. “Consumers hunger for experiences that join real and digital. The idea and the ‘digital activation’ of it are the same thing.”
But aren’t consumers overwhelmed by all the digital clutter? “No,” said Sean. People are more in control of their attention than they have ever been. “There’s no time when we’re not paying attention to something. We’re willfully filtering some things out — cognitively and technologically — in order to pay attention to other things.” Agencies must therefore create experiences, what Sean called “story engines,” that people want to accept through their filters. “Work out from what your target is paying attention to and ask what you will replace in their day.” How? By using the data. And that’s the hardest part. “Data is still waiting for its Scorsese,” he said.
“Makers and the new making” was the fourth area Sean talked about, and he concluded by suggesting four questions agencies should ask in response to every brief.
What will we make together?
Who is the “we”?
What does “make” mean?
What does “together” mean?
Sean also showed examples of current advertising and pointed out what’s working, what’s not and why. “Amazing is always on the other side of yes,” he said. “To help clients take more risks, get them to start with ‘maybe’ and work toward ‘yes.’”