Do you ever notice how much more meaningful advertising can be when they celebrate the human experience vs. sell you products? Celebrating the human experience removes the psychological barrier of “you just want to sell me something. You have nothing to lose by letting down your guard, stepping back and appreciating how lucky we all are, (some violin strings in the background don’t hurt either). If businesses can find a higher level of alignment than ‘buy my stuff, that’s a massive change. The catch is you have to mean it – it has to go beyond the commercial…that sort of higher purpose takes lost of vision and guts.
It’s potential over features.
It’s experience over function.
The Discovery Channel just extended it’s “the World is Awesome” campaign. The original spot was so popular, it’s even got a wikipedia entry. They could have made feature level claims around their content – we’re all in HD, most adventurous programming ever, 20% more shark week, etc. They used to have a whole campaign around ‘explore your world,’ putting the viewer more in the aggressor or adventurer postion. I love how they’ve taken a step back and decided to celebrate the world they cover with their viewer instead selling their viewer on the ‘value’ of their content.