A viable way to get rid of TV ads?

People don’t like ads interrupting their viewing, and adverts that aren’t relevant to particular viewers (or skipped) don’t work.

Step forward MirriAd – a neat way of allowing product placement to be inserted post production.  Its effectiveness will all be down to execution, but it’s a very neat idea. Imagine being able to place ads into programmes tactically at a minute’s notice, or show ads for products a particular viewer has been researching online.

Check out the video demo.

Will supermarket shelves look like Piccadilly Circus?

New wireless power technology will allow packaging to light up in an eye-catching way. Whilst this will no doubt get annoying quite quickly, you can imagine retailers being keen to try this on high-margin goods. Flash forward a few years and will we be yearning for the peaceful supermarket days of 2011?

The induction technology behind this has other applications too, including cooking ready-meals in their packaging and alerting when due dates are near.

Amazing Johnny Walker advert

This extraordinary ad/short film from Diageo makes for compelling viewing. Aside from the green screen magic (presumably?) and great choice of actor in Robert Carlyle, it is notable for two other reasons:

  • Use of story
    Appreciation of stories is hard-wired into our beings, and this is a good yarn with arcs, conflict, ambition and resolution. We’re being fed a brand story, but in such an engaging way that we accept it.
  • Breaking media format
    They’ve made an ad that is six and a half minutes long. Up until recently, such a length would have been laughably prohibitive, and indeed the days of 60 or even 90 second spectaculars seemed to be on the wane. But of course nowadays, good content spreads on digital channels where media cost is free and not constrained by programming breaks or convention.

thanks to the excellent Word magazine for the spot

where do the best ideas come from?

This is a great article on the origins of Pop Idol. It’s interesting enough given the TV format dynasty it’s spawned, but what really caught my eye was this line:

It was not the work of market research, he points out: “This was not the product of a strategy meeting, it was experience and instinct.”

While careful strategy and structured thinking is of course necessary, I believe that really good ideas spring forth unexpectedly – apparently from nowhere. The challenge in today’s left-brain, back-covering culture is getting support for ideas you know are absolutely right but can’t easily prove why.

This snippet of Apple’s Jonathan Ive talking on Stephen Fry’s recent series in the USA is short but revealing. Ive talks with touching sincerity about how fragile ideas are and how easy it is to snuff them out. Evidently Apple aren’t one of those companies.