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Google's 'Project Re: Brief' is Rethinking Web Adverts

Just what’s possible when the legendary ad men of the past are given access to the cutting-edge tools of today? One of Google’s new projects is determined to find out. With both creative types and techies, participants have more than enough resources to bring classic ads into the 21st century.

If you ask anyone to name their favorite television commercial of all time, you’ll definitely get an answer, and probably a strong opinion, as well. With services like, there’s no shortage of quality access to television. However, ask someone to name their favorite web advert, and you won’t get a quick response. So far, the formula for an iconic Internet advert or commercial remains a mystery — one that Google is determined to solve. Persuading a team of professionals to come out of retirement and work with today’s technology and tech geeks is how Google hopes to achieve this.

An Attempt to Improve Digital Ad Space

The goal is to re-create several legendary ad campaigns into new, state-of-the-art online versions. Google brought in people who created some of the most iconic commercials a generation ago — the Alka-Seltzer “I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing” campaign, the Volvo “Drive It Like You Hate It” campaign, the Avis’ “We Try Harder” campaign and the Coca-Cola “Hilltop” campaign.

The ultimate goal of “Project Re: Brief” is to take a medium that’s at this time more ignored than loved, and inspire creative people to make amazing work out of it. Ultimately, great advertising starts with simply great advertising. The techies at Google could ensure new ads would shine with cutting-edge technology, but the legendary advertisers of yesteryear would help keep things on point with the fundamentals of a really great ad. Google believes the result will be the “third dimension of advertising” — both emotive and immersive.

The Challenges of New Media

The current challenges of Internet advertisers are actually quite reminiscent of the ’60s. Even then, 85 percent of all advertising just wasn’t noticed — people were simply bored. However, this hurdle was overcome through a collaborative effort. Google is attempting the 21st-century version of this think tank — they’re even documenting the project on film.

Central to Google’s project is determining how banner ads can connect and interact with the real world; however, this technology will be balanced with timeless wisdom from advertising veterans. Most concur that technology must be well used, but not overused. Technology seems to work best in advertising when it’s all but “invisible,” blended seamlessly within the ad or campaign.

Blending Old and New

For the new Volvo ad, an interactive timeline was pitched telling a story through Volvo’s journey; GPS and Google+ would allow viewers to watch and follow the car as it passes the three million-mile mark! The Alka-Seltzer ad brings the subject to the earlier part of a user’s day, using location, time, music, weather and other details to flesh out the story. The Avis ad allows clients to share stories and experiences and then uses language-processing algorithms to create a personalized animated video that they can share.

The Coca-Cola concept allows Coke lovers from all over the world to connect. A sender can record a message that is then beamed onto the screen of a vending machine to another user on the other side of the globe. The Coca-Cola company loves the idea and is already discussing how it can make this concept global.

Google will be presenting all of the campaigns plus a documentary to the advertising industry to try and spark a discussion about the future of advertising. It has been said that digital advertising of today is long on technology but sometimes short on heart. Google’s project is hoping to change that.

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