If you’ve been on the London Underground recently you’ll have seen Skype’s first advertising campaign, an ATL series that celebrates the virtue of good old-fashioned face-to-face communication. Provocative one-liners capture our dissatisfaction with modern technology and our yearning to meaningfully connect again.
Until now, Skype has been largely viewed as a benevolent means to an end. You don’t really think about the brand per say but rather the tool and how glad you are that it’s free. However, Microsoft’s recent acquisition undoubtedly puts pressure on them to eventually monestise their user base, a move that can easily prompt mass migration. A strong brand can successfully manage this transition and as a positioning exercise, #timetoskype, builds a great foundation. It’s zeitgeisty copy speaks to the disconnect we all feel as we make the jaded move between email, Twitter and Facebook chat.
It’s therefore surprising that for a campaign that’s all about human connection, there’s not a person in sight. The advertising is entirely type led with bold copy advancing quite rational propositions. As you pass the posters you certainly get what they mean, but it doesn’t go that extra step of bringing you into the moment it ultimately affords. There’s such a huge opportunity to bring Skype to life, from awkward grand parents moving too close to screen, to proud kids showing their latest drawing, to start ups bootstrapping a conference call. They could even have socialised the campaign, asking users to screen grab their conversations when it’s their #timetoskype.
Compare this to Google Chrome’s debut which brought to life its suite of applications through the story of a father secretly emailing his daughter all the memories of her childhood, an account she could only access on her eighteenth birthday. 'Dear Sophie' wonderfully demonstrates the power of their technology while allowing you to imagine all that you could do.
Nothing compares to the real experience but with advertising you have an opportunity to bring a second hand experience to life. Whether it be Kindle showing an intriguing book or the iPad bringing creativity to life, it’s about helping people experience the sense of possibility that your product affords. With Skype, we are left with intellectual propositions that clarify the brand but not the experience. They’ve found the territory, they now need to bring people there.Tweet
- Brand management
Corporate social responsibility
HR & Recruitment
Just for fun