Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Imagination (And Sound Effects) Make A Basic Search Story Sparkle

We've been writing of late about stories. As marketers are challenged to connect more presently and meaningfully with people, we think story telling is taking on ever greater importance. It's not just a familiar device from which we learn, it's one of potent and enduring human value.

Here's a delightful example from Google. The search behemoth is promoting what it's best known for - its utility as a search destination and tool. What might otherwise be dry has been given deft emotional delivery through a charming story. While the concept that plays out is a highly engaging one, there is something refreshing about the simplicity with which it is done (a deliberate expression of brand character we surmise). Creatively speaking, heavy visual emphasis on the search box might be considered a sizeable constraint. But using the search box as an engine to evolve the drama is shrewd indeed. Sound effects, too, are judiciously employed to give a real warmth and emotional valence.


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A Time For Levi-Strauss

The famous anthropologist and a jeans brand share the same name. While we were saddened at the news of the french intellectual's passing, we're commenting today upon the latter. The jeans brand has itself not been in the best of health in recent years. Grant McKracken points to this in his recent book Chief Culture Officer, by lamenting the billions of dollar in market opportunity the company missed out on by failing to understand the changes fashion in happening around it.

On the streets of San Francisco are examples of spirited Levi's advertising that fits the times. Jeans are a well-worn medium for self expression so it's no surprise that the brand is promoting a belief which it hopes will be shared by the followers it seeks. An added strength in the work (below) is that the themes echo the sentiment of the zeitgeist. Being a time of austerity and uncertainty has forced many people to question old priorities and focus on qualities that are basic yet enduring. We think it's a good move.