What if brand ads were accountable to human centred design?

Dave Yeates

There’s a swathe of new brand ads in the market. Heaps of them… and it’s making me think. While the ad world is busy patting itself on the back, maybe they don’t all stack up or maybe they do…

But what if they were reviewed on a whole new set of qualitative measures. Sure, there’s market quant if these companies want to find it, but generally, brand advertising – especially once it’s in the creatives hands – is two or three degrees of separation away from direct ROI.

We can postulate for hours over the commercial outcome of ‘recognition’ or ‘cut-through’ but at the end of the day, a brand ad is about connecting a business with people. About telling a new story, or an old story over again. Whatever it is, I’ve seen a lot of brand ads recently and it got me thinking… for all their wit, are they really human centred? I mean, that’s the goal, right? To create positive awareness with people… to be people’s preference… perhaps even to convert a few people into customers… people are at the centre.

I was accepted into advertising at university but turned it down to study design. So I’m no ad man, and I’m not trying to be. But, with a history in design and design thinking and on the receiving end of some of these ads I find myself placed in a unique position to provide commentary. And so, for the sake of commentary and in the face of an evolving advertising climate, I want to try something…

I’ll take IDEO’s Human Centred Design manual (so I’m not just blowing smoke) and used it foundational principles to comment and review on brand ads as they arrive. I’m thinking it would probably make for some interesting reading…

So that’s what I’m going to do…

Stay tuned.

 

(PS. If you’re unfamiliar with Human Centered Design, here’s a video. Courtesy: IDEO.org)

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