This is a follow-up to my earlier post about Volkswagen’s don’t-text-and-drive ad.
Advertising is full of amazing coincidences. The duplication of an idea isn’t necessarily a ripoff, because all of us are trolling in the same stream of pop culture ideas and images. It is inevitable that people will sometimes hook onto the same thought.
But, having said that, I just got the above student ad from Tom Monahan, who is a legendary creative director and, these days, sought-after creative coach. Here’s what Tom has to say: “Evan Dunn wrote and art directed these. He’s now a writer at Arnold, Boston, doing quite wonderful work. These outdoor boards were part of a pitch he participated in when he interned at agency Duffy & Shanley in Providence in 2009. They took the top student prize at the 2010 Hatch Awards in Boston. I’ve seen other somewhat similar text and drive campaigns since Evan did these. But nothing as close as the VW ad.”
The prize for originality definitely goes to Evan, because texting three years ago wasn’t the epidemic that it is today. However, in the interests of the teaching moment, I’d like to point out the ways in which Team Volkswagen improved on Evan’s brilliant idea.
First of all, advertising is often a game of inches in a literal sense. VW’s larger layout and added white space give the scary idea more room to breathe, thus making it more powerful. (Please keep this in mind when you’re doing spec ads for your book.)
Next, VW’s line more closely replicates what the autocorrect function would do to your text message. That makes the VW version more believable than Evan’s.
And finally, the dry understatement of the VW line makes it more frightening than Evan’s lines, which spell out the calamity. VW allows us to bring our own imaginings to the scene, and our own imagination is the most terrifying place in the universe. As I never tire of saying, the Alien movies stopped being scary once they started showing the whole creature.
The latest study on Global Mobile Statistics from various Independent agencies reveal some startling numbers. Here are some highlights »
- 30% Of The World’s Mobile Users Live In India And China
- 87% of the world’s population today is mobile equipped
- China Mobile is the largest mobile operator in the world
The stats also revealed that SMS (text messaging or texting) is the king of mobile messaging and “by 2013 worldwide SMS revenue is forecast to break the USD 150 billion mark for the first time, and will continue to grow for the next two years.”
"The 18-25 year old bracket sends an average of 19 text messages per day, or 133 messages a week, more than double any other age group. Over 55 year olds mostly send text messages to reach family (55%), while only 19% of under 25s text their family with 45% of young people preferring to send messages to friends."
"If you just walk down the street, it seems hard to imagine that the generations before us survived without cell phones, let alone smartphones. Everywhere you go, on sidewalks, in crosswalks and in cars, at dinner parties and in restaurants and cafes, in work meetings, at the gym and at playgrounds, people are engrossed in their phones, talking, emailing, texting, “checking in,” and tweeting and Facebooking the moment. But these people are missing the real moment. They are so engaged with their phones that they are missing out on important time with their families, friends, and the community. When one of my Facebook friends posted that she was in line for ice cream and the kids were driving her crazy, my first thought was that if she were paying attention to them instead of Facebooking, they probably wouldn’t be acting out. My kids go bonkers when I start saying, “Uh huh, uh huh” because I have my nose buried in my phone. They know it is a free pass. But they also hate it because they know I’m not paying attention when they are talking."