Advertising Week: Realising the human experience through digital and why it matters

Google today, chose to explore the topic of realising the human experience through digital and why it matters, which naturally struck a chord with Mindshare in its pursuit of being more human. 

The session was orientated around three winners of the Lovie Awards, sister to the Oscars of the Internet, the Webbie Awards. Each piece of work highlighted the value of using digital tools to amplify human stories - a wonderful and unique angle in the data-charged Advertising Week agenda.

The first told the story of a French woman living in Marseille, and her desire to show the world the city she loves in an attempt to dispel rumours of its seediness and dereliction. Partnering with Google, the first ever interactive night-time Street View was launched. Users were invited to explore the intriguing Marseillaise streets, enriched by multimedia elements which exposed pockets of local history and cultural importance.

The second showcased a Google Cardboard collaboration with Abbey Road Studios. Using VR, millions of people who otherwise would never have the opportunity experienced the inside of the most famous studio in the world. Secrets were shared by the narrator from 1930 to date, and over 3m data points were integrated to make it real for the user in a way that was previously unimaginable.

The final story was aptly told through a real human and not through a showreel. Poet Mark Grist shared the story of his rise to fame through YouTube. In the face of rebuttals and dismissals of not being "a real poet" from all corners of society (including his fiancé's mum!), Mark managed to connect in a very emotive way with fans across the globe through short video poems.

The key takeouts from this interactive session were, inspiringly, that we as advertisers should not be constrained by what the Internet represents and offers: it does not have four walls. While previously we may have "rented" culture and piggy-backed off of it in advertising, digital hands us the tools to create and, crucially, contribute to it.

However, with great power comes great responsibility of course, so this empowerment came with a warning: technology must be invisible to the user in order for it to work. Only if the tech is used as a means to an end rather than the substance itself will we, as advertisers, be able to craft truly memorable experiences for consumers and spark joy.

By Danielle Northcott, Mindshare UK, reporting live from Advertising Week