Todays world of advertising is nothing like it was even a couple of years ago. If you happen to be in advertising, you undoubtedly know that if you blink, you have missed something. And it may be a very important something. Ten years ago, advertisers made the assumption that they had the upper hand. MySpace, YouTube, andFacebook were all the new “wow”. It made sense for branding designers to jump on the social media bandwagon, it was like large neon arrows pointing, “go this way”.
So the journey was on, branding was aimed toward the Internet. Design firms, assumed they knew what was coming next, just as all other great ad agencies did. Artists, and performers would be implanted into carefully developed ads, to be intertwined into YouTube videos that were deemed popular and worthy enough to display them. So what happened? Not exactly what was expected.
People have busy lives, and as quickly as the YouTube phenomenon came into play, it took a back burner to crowdsourcing, a fast paced way to spread the word. Branding being aimed atsocial media was out, about as quickly as it was in. Lien Design saw the inevitable, and realized it must change the way branding was done. Changes meant advertisers in large markets, such as in San Diego, California, no longer found it feasible to rely on the YouTube or Facebook advertising response. Now there was this unique and innovative resource called crowdsourcing. Where advertisers had to give it some time on social media, in order to collect data and gather statistics, they could now crowdsource it out, and know in an hour, just how the branding efforts were going.
It is imperative that branding follows current culture, what's hot, what's now, what's trending today is the real question. What was trending last week is out. Branding must be aimed toward what is in the now, what is the average consumer looking at TODAY.
These early pre-social-media efforts led package design firms to believe that if they delivered a sensational entertainment ad – produced at internet speed, they could gather huge engaged audiences around their brands. Alas! A star was born, and it was the great push toward branded content. But its inventors underestimated new competition. This time it came not from big media companies but from, you know, the crowd.
The rise of the crowd-culture has certainly had its impact on advertising and branding. A meeting conducted in 2012, would have conveyed the overtone that research would be conducted for the client, however, it would be conducted within mass media, social media, and the internet in general. Today's similar meetings reflect a different overtone, which is relying on crowdsourcing. As time passes, it will be interesting to determine just how successful crowdsourcing has been. There is no question or that provides almost immediate results, post a task or scenario on a crowdsourcing site, and you will get hits, lots of them and at a rapid speed. How accurate the hits are, well, time will tell. There is one certainty, the whole “crowd-anything” is the new subculture, and who can guide the branding trends better than the subculture.
Design firms now are required to look well beyond branded content. Turn to You Tube to search out popular filmmakers, and be assured, you will get great search response. However 30 minutes later, if you are still there conducting searches, you will see film maker names that, not only have you never heard of them, you never will again. So what is a design firm to do? All signs point to staying up to date. The lesson for any design firm is “in the now” while the lesson for the product manufacturers is, secure a great design firm. Visit Lien Design (in San Diego, CA) online to see this concept at work, it is a unique blend of expertise, art, branding intuition, and trends.
Written with ©2017 Lien Design