By Pjotr Barakov
I believe that human should be the starting point of each campaign. After all humans don’t exist to consume products. Products are there to help people live more enjoyable lives. Successful brands are based on human values that make people happy and content. These are brands consumers have long-lasting and meaningful relationships with.
In order to succeed in advertising we need to put humans first too. We need to understand the human holistically. And that’s when human insight comes in. If a good ad consists of a product benefit and a human insight linked to it, then it’s the latter I find to be the most challenging part in the process of coming up with ideas for ads. Product benefit is relatively easy to find: just use the product or google it. Making this benefit relevant to somebody in a fresh way is the toughest part. Making people empathise with a product that isn’t much different from competitors and sometimes even from it’s previous generation, is a hell of a challenge.
My favourite example of understanding human nature is HTC One commercial featuring Gary Oldman. It’s called ‘Blah Blah Blah’. Check it out. It’s based on two insights:
- people don’t trust advertising
- people tend to trust other people who have no vested interest in promoting something
When I asked Steve Harrison’s opinion on it, he said it’s a lazy way of advertising. I think it’s elegant and extremely brave. This commercial is purely based on human insights as no product benefit is mentioned in it. Just ask the internet. That’s what made this advert so memorable to me. Did I buy HTC One after seeing it? No. Did I consider to? Yes. But it’s just me. Mark Woodward, president of HTC’s North American division, considered the HTC One’s launch to have been the most successful in the company’s history. And I believe that ‘Blah Blah Blah’ had something to do with it.