Reflections on Ad Age Digital Conference Part II – Project Re Brief

I was fortunate enough to attend the first screening of Google’s new film Project Re Brief last week in New York after spending two days listening to leading industry experts talk about the changing face of display advertising.

I’ve never been a big fan of display advertising. It’s disruptive, uncreative and limited in many ways. That was my thinking. An hour later it had changed.

Take four of the most iconic advertising campaigns of all time:

Coca-Cola, 1971 – ‘Hilltop’ | “I’d like to buy the world a Coke”

Alka-Seltzer, 1972 – “I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing”

Volvo, 1962 – “Drive It Like You Hate It.”

Avis – “We try harder” (just one example of a whole campaign)

bring back the guys that dreamt them up, see if you can reimagine them in the context and 2012 display advertising.

and you get this

Display advertising reimagined. (Watch the four individual sections here

That caught my attention. The ability to totally transform the face of display advertising and create proper ads that people can communicate with, share, interact with and be more than a click to a website.

I spoke to Google’s Head of Display Marketing, Deepak Ramanathan after the screening and he imparted two nuggets of wisdom to me. Don’t try to keep up with technology as you will never win and don’t be constrained by technology but instead to be creative as possible as now anything is possible. I also asked some of the other guys involved in the project the cost of it as Google funded the whole project (deeper than deep pockets). The answer was “About the cost of making four big TV commercials including buying the media.”

All it takes is a great idea.


Jaime Steele

Jaime specialises in brand strategy, creative concepts, naming strategies, digital media marketing and technical project management. He has a strong background in delivering and managing social media and digital marketing campaigns for both small start-ups and blue chip companies.

He has also worked with many top professional athletes, advising on personal branding, sponsorship and social media.