In 1984 an ad changed the game. Now in 2010, an ad has once again changed the game, or rather ended it. This week, Saatchi released a viral ad proclaiming the fall of advertising. We all knew advertising’s days were numbered, well everyone except advertising agencies. This viral video told it like it is: Agencies denying the rise of interactive, excessive assing around, creative clinging to the TV ad as the end-all-and-be-all and ignoring clients when they pleaded for interactive ideas. A pretty gutsy move for an advertising agency, who I assume has embraced the digital revolution (we shall see). Aside from being a virtual slap in the face, this spot affirmed my belief in the power of viral messaging.
In California right now, viral is running the Senate election. Smear campaigns have taken on a whole new meaning, as candidates battle it out with bizarre attack ads on YouTube. A woman with a giant head, a man dressed as a demon sheep – these things are weird, and cost a fraction of a fancy spot. And they’ve got people talking.
As traditional advertising morphs into its next phase, viral spots like these wacky political ads, continue to rein supreme. It’s nothing new, but it sure is exciting for us on the digital side. To those who made the leap long before digital was cool, it’s exciting to see the shift in power and respect.