Is the New iPhone on its Way to Being New Coke?

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Introducing, the newest member of the iPhone family — it’s the only phone on the market that will literally force you to buy Bluetooth headphones. Heck, why stop there? While you’re at it why not buy a new car stereo with Bluetooth capabilities so you’ll be able to charge your phone and listen at the same time as you roll down Utah roads?

It’s no secret that the iPhone 7 is getting mixed feedback. We were all expecting innovation that would make Steve Jobs proud. Instead, we felt the sting of an insult as they made us all aware that our technology is outdated and we’re behind on the times.

The cherry on top is the fact that users are finding their headphones crashing since the newest iOS update. As technology continues to grow, advertising agency employees are anxious to see if Apple’s courage is warranted or if this change will fall into the same category as the epic embarrassment that was “New Coke.”

The “New Coke” Debacle

Take a step back in time when Coke decided to take a risk with a new formula. Their advertising agency had the task of creating a campaign that displayed their courage. Sitting in the number one seat for soft drinks, they felt comfortable with their decision.

After 77 days of protests from their loyal followers, and jabs from Pepsi — whose product took over the number one spot — they admitted it was a mistake brought the old formula back. As an ode to the memory of these dark times, any time a product is classified as an astronomical failure they’re given the title of “New Coke.”

Is iPhone Following in Their Footsteps?

Over the years there isn’t an advertising agency who has been able to beat the brand of exclusivity associated with Apple. Their followers are comparable to the devoted Coke fans that were behind bringing original Coke back. In a world where only the strong survive, the headphone jack that’s survived for decades is putting up a fight.

Only time will tell if the innovation sticks or if the insult “New Coke” is replaced by “iPhone 7.”

The First Advertisement Was Aired 75 Years Ago

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Advertising agency employees from Utah to the East Coast use the month of July as one of remembrance. No, we aren’t mourning a loss. Seventy-five years ago, on July 1, 1941, the first legal commercial ran during a baseball game and television would never again be the same – except for baseball, that’s always the same *yawn*. This date is a reminder of the continuous cycle of innovation.

The Illegal Ads

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) originally ruled that advertisements weren’t allowed on television. Advertisers across the country were about as bothered by that fact as Tyrion is bothered by being short (“Game of Thrones” spoiler: he’s not).

Ad men thought television lacked the prestige that came with traditional media. As the men who “drink and know things”, they weren’t questioned. Radio reached 90 percent of American homes. It was hard to picture anything that could top that.

In the 1930’s the rebels of advertising who proved to be “bad to the bone” created product placement. The announcer of the baseball game ran an ad for Proctor & Gamble, Socony Oil and General Mills. He held a bar of soap, wore a cap and sliced a banana into a bowl of Wheaties — though it’s hard to imagine how awkward this looked, the loophole was a doorway for advertisers.

The First Legal Ad

Television’s first legal commercial was reminiscent of the radio ads that would run. Bulova, a watch company, ran a grainy, shaky, 10-second ad during another baseball game. During the live ad the announcer read, “America runs on Bulova time.”

The first ad cost Bulova’s advertising agency a whopping *gasp* $4 to create and didn’t even reach those in Utah. Television has now become a $70 billion market place.

The Future of Television

What was once considered the bread and butter of the advertising agency industry is now questioned for its viability. In an age where viewers can skip the commercials to see if Khaleesi will finally rule the seven kingdoms, it leaves professionals from the state of Utah wondering where the innovation will shift next.

Why Can’t Spotify Win the Advertising Battle?

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It’s not news — or at least new news — that Spotify ads have a relatively solid anti-fan base online. With 20 million paying subscribers in 2015 alone, there are bound to be some rankled or slightly irritated users — but why? Why do Spotify ads in particular seem to have a dedicated hate-following online, versus similar (albeit slightly different) music platforms such as Pandora or Songza?

After briefly browsing through some of the user reviews online, it appears that there are at least a couple of things Spotify is getting wrong in its advertising department. And with more than enough advertising agencies willing to weigh in and fix the problem, there’s no reason why the music platform shouldn’t be stepping up its advertising game.

The Ads Clash with the Listening Experience

Although it’s nice that Spotify offers a free, ad-supported version of its music services, this doesn’t mean there aren’t strings attached to the listening experience. Most advertising agencies attempt to curate their ads to fit the general tastes of the product or services’ target audience; however, it appears (from a user’s perspective) that Spotify attempts none of this. The result? Misplaced, erratic ads that ruin the listener’s vibe. In addition to feeling irritated, most users express vehemence at having their workout routine mix interrupted by an ad for Trojan brand condoms.

There Are Too Many Consecutive Ads

If the ad content wasn’t annoying enough, another factor of the Spotify ad problem involves the amount of ads that are played between songs. While other music platforms such as Pandora may play one or two ads between songs, Spotify will play multiple ads that successively aggravate the listener. Most advertising agencies do not endorse this kind of approach.

Encouraging Listeners to Upgrade to Premium

If Spotify’s intention with its ads is to encourage listeners to upgrade to the ad-free Premium version, it would probably behoove them to start by building a more favorable fan base. The duality of Spotify is that while its services are awesome — and almost a necessity — their ads are isolating listeners and causing what might become an irreversible schism among music enthusiasts everywhere.

A Snapshot of Video Production’s Viral Impact On Digital Consumers

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Digital consumers are about as hip as they come, even here in Utah. Whether it be scouring the Internet for the most ill of homemade cat videos or trolling about on the World Wide Web for up-and-coming Vine compilations, the verdict is in: video production is here to stay.

Truthfully, Millennials have matured in a time of marketing chaos. Billboard advertisements and the Yellow Pages have been replaced by the quicker, more tangible means of social media and search engine optimization. Desire for information consumption is as high as it’s ever been and video production is the answer America’s young punks have been looking for. Take a gander at the following infographic to see what we’re talking about.

Fusion 360 - Snapshot of Video Production (Fusion 360 Video Production)

Ads: Why new technology is better for consumers

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Sony recently filed a patent to turn ads into video games. Essentially, in Sony’s new universe, consumers would be able to interact with commercial advertisements in order to gain some kind of reward (skip the commercials, get a coupon, etc…). Their example: saying the words “I’m lovin’ it!” would skip the commercial.

Now doesn’t that sound like so much fun, yelling at your TV during ads so you can get on with your show? It might not, but the fact is: technological advance has always and will continue to make advertising less intrusive for the consumer.

I know what you’re thinking: “My grandpa Joe never had to scream at his TV just to get on with his show.”

Of course he didn’t. But he did have to watch commercials. And he didn’t have a remote to change the channel, or a DVR to fast forward through the ads, or the option of premium channels without any of them, or a smart phone to play on during them, or… you get the point. So more than anybody ever in the history of entertainment, your grandpa Joe had to watch commercials.

Enter technology. Remotes, DVR, the Hopper, the tablet, and a million other advances have given consumers hundreds of ways to escape the ads, which is great for people who hate ads but horrible for advertisers who pay millions for TV time.

So here’s the miracle: when consumers started running away from ads, companies had to give them a reason to stay. The age of technology became the death of in-your-face advertising and the birth of a new age of advertising: advertising that connects brands with consumers.

Awakened by the startling truth that people no longer have to watch their boring ads, advertisers set out to make advertising that didn’t look, feel, or sound like advertising. Which brings us right back to Sony’s newest patent. Instead of sitting and watching, now you get to play a game with the remote. Or you can change the channel.

So yes, more ads are on TV now than any other time in history. But you’re welcome to change the channel. And, hoping you don’t, good agencies and advertisers are doing everything in their power to make advertising and experiences that will entertain, and captivate and most importantly, connect.

It’s a good day to be watching commercials.