There are certain words that quickly become advertising trends. Content advertising, native advertising, disruptive advertising. Soon, no agency PowerPoint deck is complete without them, for fear of looking hideously stuck in the noughties.
In time, the word advertising is quietly dropped. Often because it’s considered a filthy expression. Let’s just talk about content, being native, owning disruption. That way we can sidestep Jacques Seguela’s 1979 joke – don’t tell my mother I work in advertising, she thinks I play piano in a brothel.
All too often, words like disruption are just a smokescreen for sneaking up on the consumer and barking sales messages at them. So I was delighted to see an idea this week that doesn’t bark at people, just sticks its tongue out and pants with anticipation.
Blue Cross, the charity for sick, injured and homeless pets, has launched the world’s first canine fundraisers – the ‘tap dogs’. Gone are the days of a plastic dog with a slot in the top of its head for coins; today’s canine fundraisers live, breathe and love it when you give them a bit of fuss. And, when you’ve had your fill of furry de-stressing, each canine is carrying a contactless payment system so that you can simply donate with a tap of your card or phone. Who’s a clever idea then? You are. Yes, you are.
At GOOD, we’ve always believed in the power of the value exchange – you rub my belly, and I’ll rub yours, so to speak.
Disruption on its own is not enough, we must look to enhance the lives of our audience – whether the media is above-the-line, below-the-line or off-the-lead. Our WaterAid Watergraphs and BHF Love Installations are just two ways we’ve done it down the years.
We should probably call this approach something like add-vertising and stick a trademark on the end. But we’ll leave that to the other agencies. After all, what else will they put in next year’s presentations?
Andy Powell is Associate Creative Director at GOOD. And a cat lover.