Don’t let tech set the pace, move to your own beat

Posted on Monday 06 November 2023

If there is one thing that is constant when it comes to digital advertising, it’s change. No sooner have you got your head around the latest innovation or technology and another is coming around the corner - or at least that’s how it can feel. 

And, let’s face it, the FOMO is real. Whether it’s AI, the metaverse or retail media, the urge to jump on “the next big thing” has led many an advertiser astray just for the sake of the novelty factor. We’ve all heard the stories from pitch meetings that hinge on the sentence: “So, we want to be doing something with AI.” 

To a degree, that’s OK. As humans, we’re naturally curious and indulging which is part of the joy of digital advertising. But we’re also programmed to find constant change unsettling and curiosity quickly gives way to frustration when you feel like you can’t find your feet. 

If you let it, the pace of change in the digital ad industry can feel like a runaway train you can’t quite catch. Throw in a hefty dose of pressure to stand out from the crowd and finish the year with a clutch of awards in reception and you can see why digital delusion sets in. 

So what’s the answer? It’s infuriatingly simple - move to your own beat. Brilliant, effective, long-term brand campaigns come about when advertisers have the confidence to cherry pick the technology that works for them. The big problem with “we want to be doing something with AI” is that the technology is leading the strategy rather than the idea.

Making new tech and digital innovations work for you means leading with your ideas and brand purpose rather than the tools that can help you activate them. When that happens, the results can be magic. Take Mattel’s partnership with Xbox to create bespoke in-game content to engage players for the launch of the Barbie Movie. Or how VICE used AR to create a guerrilla tour of the British Museum.  

So while the industry won’t slow down anytime soon, you have the power to set the pace. Trust the tools, channels and processes that you know work for your objectives and ensure that your core strategy is rooted in them. From there you can experiment with new technology on your own terms and use it to stand out from the crowd, rather than following the herd.

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Rediscover the joy of digital advertising

Champion connections instead of clicks. Capture audiences' imaginations, not just their attention. Boldly move to your own beat instead of letting tech set the pace. It’s time to rediscover the joy of digital.