The show Mad Men is set in the 1960s. The smoking in the office, the hairstyles, the clothes – they are dead giveaways the show is set a few decades back. But if you walk around a digital agency of today, it really reminds you how dated the show is.
The “Mad Men” of today are helping their clients with all kinds of technology in their marketing messages. Here are five interactive media examples.
1. Wieden + Kennedy New York helped Delta Airlines with the prototype of a “Photon Shower.” It is a multi-media marvel with LED displays and sound effects aimed to help long-distance passengers combat jet lag.
2. JWT helped Levoreact create an allergy remedy commercial which used high-end motion capture technology and visual effects commonly associated with gaming technology.
3. Mayo DraftFCB helped the U of Engineering and Technology of Peru with a “watercooler billboard.” It converts moisture in the high-humidity local air to drinkable water bringing positive attention to the institution’s scientific prowess.
4. McCann-Erickson helped Ikea with a mobile augmented reality app as a companion to its 2013 catalog. With your iPad, you can virtually touch products on a given page.
5. Edelman Digital is the interactive arm of the world’s largest independently-owned public relations firm. They’ve set up their own Social Intelligence Command Center (SICC) using Salesforce Radian6, and perhaps no one has reflected as deeply about the possibilities of social media command centers in a real-time and connected world as has Edelman. Here's an example of how they used the SICC with client, Cars.com.
The “geekiness” of advertising firms should not come as too much of a surprise. Agencies have helped clients for 50+ years understand the technology and data behind Nielsen TV ratings, for 30+ years that of UPC codes and point of sales data, and 10+ years of web optimization around Google and other search engine optimization.
In the last decade, given the growing technology in marketing, many IT centric services firms have become partners, and often competitors of these agencies. Accenture has been on a global shopping spree acquiring digital marketing companies like Hong Kong based Acquity and UK based Fjord. IBM, Cognizant and several others have Interactive units. Oracle and Salesforce.com both acquired (smallish) agencies last year. Firms like Sapient and Razorfish have long been comfortable in creative and technology worlds. These are also the new Mad Men.
Indeed, the way Madison Avenue is going, in an upcoming season of the show, it would not be surprising to see Sheldon Cooper, the nerd from The Big Bang Theory, become the new Don Draper!
Vinnie Mirchandani writes books and blogs on how technology is helping us innovate work, life and play. He has a keen eye for “ahas” across industries and countries and his blog New Florence. New Renaissance. catalogs over 500 entries a year on innovative projects, products, places and people.