I usually go to Waterloo on my way to Southbank, one of my favorites places in London; and every time the train arrives, I can’t help looking at all the adverts surrounding the place – normal people usually avoid them, but we, the freaks in advertising, never miss them. You will find billboards everywhere, all along the platforms, brands on the barriers, posters on the walls, by the escalators, people wearing branded costumes, free oyster-card covers, free little pieces of doughnuts and other gifts en route that human beings are too busy or too ashamed to take; last summer I got an ice cream – very nice!
Messages up, down, there…everything seems to talk, except people. We are busy looking at devices, communicating with family or friends in other places, talking to people in other countries, teleporting with music, books or migrating to a different galaxy to discuss with our alter ego. We are in a rush to get somewhere else, rather than where we are at the time.
Why is that? We are mastering online communications, prefer talking to far away people than saying a simple ‘hello’ to the person next to us. We do care about someone tweeting from Singapore, texting from Spain, giving news from NY or posting from London -that’s me- but caring about the neighbour, there is no time! Digital tools are giving us an incredible ability to connect to the world but are we losing our ability to talk? Humanity seems to be more interested in getting likes and shares, another way to talk though, will the next generations respond with a click instead of a nod?
That reminded me of a brand that never says a word: “The boy with tape on his face“. I went last summer to see him and it was hilarious, he didn’t need to speak to make an entire audience laugh and connect with each other. He left the talking to the public by giving them an experience – that is what brands should do, providing memorable moments so when you leave the train station, you are not just going to remember where you are going but what they are talking about.