The whole point of this hour-long Google-led video is to show how modern technology can be combined with traditional techniques to create amazing digital advertising by ‘re-imagining’ work from the past. This was achieved using the simple but inspired approach of persuading lionised advertising copywriters and art directors from the Mad Men era to come out of retirement.
The idea was that, through some kind of osmosis, they would transmit the genius of their award-winning work for mega brands like Coca Cola, Volvo and Avis to a bevy of young creatives assembled from ad agencies and production companies across the US and the UK. Over-laying it all was the ultimate aim of modifying the old advertising concepts used for Coke, Volvo and Avis to illustrate what is possible in today’s digital world. What isn’t apparent until the latter part of the film is that technological wizardry will be used to create a totally new and interactive dimension to complement the big traditional ideas at its heart.
It’s clear throughout that there’s still huge respect for the ‘big idea’ so loudly espoused by the legendary David Ogilvy – and put into action so cleverly by the main guests in the film. In parts, some of the young Turks even seem faintly apologetic for allowing our obsession with technology to eclipse the ‘big ideas’ of creativity. We hear lines from young and old such as: ‘Technology should be used to unlock creative minds’; the idea is ‘primary’; and a quote from the great Bill Bernbach – ‘Always adapt your technique to the idea… and never the other way round.’
Google’s master-plan was clearly to pick the brains of the ageing copywriters and art directors for ideas as to how their timeless insights could be adapted to today’s digital advertising output – presumably with a view to improving current levels of creativity. Implicit in the whole ‘Project Re: Brief’ initiative was the admission that today’s ‘creativity’ has somehow been over-shadowed by technology.
Having said that, what you will see towards the end of the film is a convincing demonstration of the exciting possibilities that imaginatively-applied technology can deliver. It’s the interactive dimension that really stands out – the ‘sharing’ experience we hear so much about these days. To see creativity adapted in these revolutionary ways is truly mind-boggling. Find out for yourself by giving the video a try. Frankly, my dears, you WILL be amazed.