The Greatest Ads Tell a Story: A Slogan for Every Sentence
Illustration by Mark Winter
Modern advertising was born in the 1920s, and it seems that the industry’s financial expansion just keeps going and going and going. It is now probably the most influential tool in the world, and it’s rare for five minutes to pass without our lives being interrupted by some form of advertising. Whether it be TV commercials or billboards, sporting sponsors or viral videos, these ideas for life are everywhere. As a species, advertising has allowed us to get more; it has been a catalyst for innovation, technological advancement, and the growth of the global economy. But it hasn’t exactly been pleasing people the world over. The power of persuasion and make believe has been harnessed to sculpt a pioneering but materialistic society. Love it or hate it, advertising is now the undeniable and irresistible elephant in every room. And the truth is: there is no substitute.
Around the turn of the century, when we started really connecting people, the age of “invasive advertising” dawned. With the evolution of the internet, satellite television and personal devices, we have proved that impossible is nothing. But the interconnectivity of the developed world has meant that its citizens are never beyond the reach of the advertising industry – an industry that has tried and, so far, failed to truly make the most of now. The inescapable nature of modern society and a vain attempt to think different has bred the targeted advertising, pop-ups and incessant ad-breaks that have turned a once-respected part of our culture into an often-unwelcome guest.
However, as humans, we are predisposed to challenge everything. As a result, the industry seems to have realised that quality never goes out of style, and there is now a shift towards more intelligent, thought-provoking and creative advertising – the sort that really does tell a story. Power, beauty and soul are words that were once exclusively the province of feature-length movies, but can now also be attributed to ad campaigns. Some choose to think big and make a huge splash. Others prefer to think small and use subtlety to promote their brands. Whatever weapon they wield to inflict a degree of imagination and originality, there’s no doubt that it’s a positive change at a time when every little helps. Agencies are now willing to throw the dice to try something new and unconventional because, in all honesty, what’s the worst that could happen?
With this new wave of advertising, it appears the future’s bright for the industry and its public perception. It might be a wave that won’t last forever, because change happens, but no doubt we’ll enjoy riding it right up until it breaks. I can’t speak for everyone, but personally,
I’m lovin’ it.