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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Minds Always Matter

January 11, 2010 by David McJivvers · 1 Comment 

Perspective. Marketers have lacked it since the beginning of time. That’s why we use surveys, polls, panels, neurological studies, and focus groups to try to find out what “real people” will think of our products.

Before going further I should add that this problem is not unique to the advertising world. Have you ever tried asking  a mattress salesman if the mattress you were looking at was soft, only to be bombarded with a flurry of information about coil counts and steel-tempered border rods? People get too close to the products they work with. For example, after about a year in online marketing I began to stop noticing that there were things other than ads that came up with Google searches. I don’t imagine this is normal.

And it’s not just product-pushers who have difficulty understanding each other. We all come from different backgrounds, different upbringings, different parts of the world. We have all cultivated views, ideas, and interests over our entire lifetimes that predispose us to interpreting events in one way or another.

HSBC’s long running ad campaign cleverly acknowledges – and embraces – this fundamental fact of life:

These posters are often placed in airports, where people are literally transporting themselves between disparate regions, often to places with subtly or radically different cultures from their place of origin. In each ad we see a series of the same image with different captions, challenging us to view the same thing from different perspectives. We also see different images with the same caption, reminding us that people value, desire, and aspire to different things.

Our accumulated experience helps us make thousands of snap decisions every day. It saves us from the Herculean task of rationally evaluating every possible choice we face, from what route to take to work, to what brand of dish soap to buy, to how much milk or sugar to put in our coffee.

But it can also leave us cloistered, shut in, and ill-disposed towards trying new things. HSBC’s campaign doesn’t fix these problems,  and it doesn’t try to, but it does remind us of the differences that we take for granted every day. Differences without which life would be pretty boring.

Perhaps their best one is of two images from space, one of the moon and one of Earth. Across the moon “Madness” is printed in white type. Across the Earth is written “Romance.” On the next panel they’re reversed, with the moon now reading “Romance,” and the earth “Madness.” How true that is, from any perspective.

Madness and Romance

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One Response to “Minds Always Matter”
  1. Johnb202 says:

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