"Make sure we don't lose the humanity"
David Shing, digital prophet at Oath, the content and advertising division of US telecoms conglomerate Verizon, looked into the future and concluded it is about technology, but not in the way it is currently being overused. Speaking to Lions Daily News after his Advocacy Over Awareness session, Shing said there is no point overwhelming your brand’s message with technology if that blurs how consumers respond to it. During the session, he urged the industry to combine the human element to technology in advertising. Also, he said, the way a campaign is created is just as important as its effectiveness. “I am intrigued by the craft because it sums up a brand’s point of view of what is is; that means it can stand out above the noise.” A large segment of that noise, he said, is made up of consumers believing they are artists after taking a great photo with smart- phones and adding a filter.
“That is not a point of view; that is not craft,” Shing said. “Customers are still looking for distinctiveness, not homogeny. We’ve allowed a lot of technology to get in the way, so we need to make sure we don’t lose the humanity. It’s about engaging people to fall in love with your brand.” At a time when the digital-ad business is irrefutably dominated by the duopoly of Google and Facebook, Shing noted that Oath could easily be the third force in that space. “About 20 years ago, TV was crazy and chaotic and there was something comfortable about the emerging digital media. About five years ago, that comfort turned into anxiety,” he added. “We want to change that because the real competition for us is not the duopoly, but TV. If people fall out of love with us, where will brands end up spending their dollars? It will be on TV.