Advertising and Moore’s Law
We recently posted a project summary to our online portfolio, highlighting an ad campaign promoting the HP Elite Slice. When I began writing this blog, I thought I would address the P (Positioning) of the P (Product) with regard to classic “Four Ps” marketing theory. But it’s Friday, and like so many people in advertising and marketing, this author’s focus can be fleeting.
An article caught my attention, suggesting a different approach: Computerworld posted “10 fun tech ads through the years,” by Sharon Machlis. In the world of advertising — in AdWeek, for example — the title might easily have been, “10 terrifying tech ads through the years.” As you click through the gallery of ads, each one evokes the sort of mixed feelings you get as you turn the pages of an old photo album. You ask yourself, “Did I really wear that?” “Did I pay money for that haircut?” “Was that car ever cool?” You get the drift.
Adcetera produces a fair amount of tech-industry work in so many different forms — branding, print, experience, interactive, motion, and related services. Looking at these ads and thinking about how far technology has progressed is one thing — Moore’s Law continues to astonish. Advertising, on the other hand, doesn’t share a relatively objective measuring stick like Moore’s Law. But we’re getting closer with help of analytics made possible by the tech industry.
Subjectively, advertising has evolved by light years. When you look through the examples in this article, you see only phone numbers and addresses. There are no websites to be seen, no email addresses, no QR codes or social media icons or emoji. Except for NEC, all of these companies have gone out of business or been acquired. Say what you will about Cassandra Peterson’s Elvira, featured in the “LBMS” ad, she established a brand with staying power. Maybe it’s a vampire thing.
And here’s an author admission: I worked for one of these companies. What comes around goes around. Digital Equipment Corporation was acquired by then-Houston-based Compaq (where one of Adcetera’s principals worked). Then HP bought Compaq, and we know the rest of that story.
It occurs to me that this post qualifies as a true “flashback Friday.” It makes a person reflect and realize how circular business lifecycles can be. And be thankful for Adcetera’s ability to adapt, evolve, grow, and succeed over the past 35 years. Not unlike Elvira. Hmm, everyone knows how important Halloween is to Adcetera. There may just be something there … who knows? Happy FBF.