With economic woes expected to continue to dog us in 1993, agency creatives still expect 'reality' to loom large in advertising. But instead of manufacturing an image they hope will be believable, creatives say they'll try and establish credibility with the real thing - letting clients and the products speak for themselves.
'It's almost irresponsible for us to manufacture company personalities,' said Elgin Syferd/Seattle cd Rocky Botts, a former cd at Hal Riney & Partners/S.F., which may have set the tone for advertising in 1993 by using the Saturn employees and customers to speak for the product. 'It's our job to reflect, not to manufacture. If there's one thing I learned from working on Saturn, it's to stop sugar-coating.'
Economic realities have made consumers less willing to swallow the sugar and spice. Advertising will become more straight-forward as a result, according to Jim Walker, co-cd at McCann-Erickson/Seattle. 'There will be advertising that says, 'This is what we do, we hope you want that and if you don't, don't buy the product.' '
Clients are pushing for more positive messages. 'They want to talk about what's good about their product or service, rather than knocking other people or talking about problems,' said Rick Colby, president of Larsen Colby/L.A. 'And it's harder to do creative, positive advertising than it is to do negative.'
It won't only be creative themes, but the execution of new technologies like virtual reality and interactivity that will lend more consumer participation and believability to advertising. With interactive advertising, for example, viewers might be able to call in and control what a product does or how it is used in an ad.
'There is a great deal more interest in advertising in using new technologies in creative ways,' said director David Dryer, Dryer/Taylor, L.A., who handled visual effects on Blade Runner and is known for his effects and auto ads, most recently for Ford and Mazda. 'Interactive TV isn't here yet for most people, but the prediction is that it will affect humans more in the next 100 years than the computer has so far.'
The challenge for creatives will be enormous.
Said Walker, 'You used to say, this television is a thing that sits in my living room. What it spits out, I take. But this won't be passive viewing.'
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)