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Drone On

That centre-mid is a machine. Literally.

Thought I would compare a couple of adverts that both make use of drones this week.

Drones are everywhere. Just today I read a story about burglars buying drones to do reconnaissance flights on potential targets. Vandalism via drones with a spray can has already happened. Amazon has got its patent for its Drone Delivery System in the last 24 hours, and 2015 will be the year the agricultural drone takes off, apparently.

It is against this background that we firstly have this advert from Audi.

I really enjoyed this ad. It is clearly inspired by Hitchcock’s The Birds, but you don’t have to be aware of that reference for it to work. It explores a haunting dystopian future in a fun way, playing on a common feeling of apprehension that a lot of people have about future technology.

‘Advanced technology doesn’t have to be intimidating’.

Advanced technology doesn’t have to be intimidating

As an aside, I’m not sure we will ever see Amazon delivering nigh on everything via drones. Call me negative, but I can see people throwing rocks/using Nerf guns to intercept and steal the goods. They will get wedged into trees, they will not be able to find anywhere suitable to land etc. But it is still all good PR for Amazon, the perception that they are looking into the future, and being innovative. Amazon is a commercial behemoth now. In a way, whether they provide drone deliveries en mass is not hugely relevant.

The second ad is from Pepsi Max, ‘Drone Football’.

 

Drone football is somewhat of a misnomer, in truth. I was disappointed. I was expecting great skills, a Brazilian samba drone, something out the ordinary. But all the drone does is drop the ball in from over the centre circle at the start of the game. I assume he has questionable mobility and technique, and is hardly a box-box midfielder, hence why he was not asked to play.

Opta provided me with the drone’s heat map. Shocking.

The drone makes one more appearance, where they have wedged a yellow card into its workings, but it just feels like a vaguely humorous after thought.

And the drone gets applauded off at the end, and he’s barely had a touch!

I wonder if the initial concept was for all the amazing interactive lighting effects (which do look amazing and must have taken a lot of talent and time to produce), and someone has suggested: ‘Everyone is talking about drones, can we stick one in?’

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Take the drone out of the Pepsi ad, and I think it is arguably still as good. Clearly, take the drones out the Audi ad, and you are left with a piece that does not work at all.

Fleshing out a concept that is strong and rich and has authenticity is important if it is to truly speak to the audience. In terms of getting down to the essential parts of a piece of work, a key question, as alluded to above, is: Does this actually add anything to the piece? Naturally the temptation to run with something that is current is always strong, but you just shouldn’t look to crow bar it in and undermine the genuine quality creativity that is already there.

 


 

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21/05/2015

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