Word of Eye Marketing
By Allen Adamson, Landor Associates
What is it about all this photo sharing? Come on, how many pictures are you going to take of you and your buddy at the bar with droll expressions, and why do you think we want to see all of them on Facebook?
Folks, it’s a rhetorical question. People these days just love to take pictures, and they love to post pictures, and my guess is that the trend is just going to continue. More than that, it’s a trend that marketers with strategic smarts have latched on to. Where just a couple of years ago brands went into overdrive to figure out how to take advantage of all the online chitchat about their products and services (you know, word of mouth on steroids), now they are going into overdrive to figure out how to use still images, candid snapshots, memes, video snippets, and infographics to help tell their brand stories.
The word-of-mouth market has now been superseded by the word-of-eye market.
We live in a culture whose technological advances have made images so simple to capture and disseminate that visually shared moments have become the currency of everything in our lives, from hard news to dancing cats and everything in between.
Apple is a master at using strong, beautifully crafted images to show how its products fit into people’s lives. Its recent launch of a new iPhone campaign is a meta-example of this phenomenon. Though the ad is only one minute long and conveys limited information about the iPhone’s myriad capabilities in a single-sentence voiceover, it’s a glorious piece of moviemaking.
On the face of it, the ad is typical of Apple’s earliest initiatives in that it is basically a product demonstration: Here’s what this device can do. But it’s the heart of the ad that conveys how images—and the desire to share them with friends and family—have become one of the most significant human dynamics to emerge from the technology revolution.
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