Thanks to Harold Jarche, I tuned into this site, named for the first person to create a mall. Harold points out how it’s led to some negative reaction, but my reaction was hilarity. The site is for an Aussie telly show: “Each week two of the advertising industry’s finest agencies are pitted against each other and challenged with selling the unsellable.” The sample ads I saw were funny and effective, but what really struck me was a particular section of the site.
They’ve created a really clever web app. They provide some stock ad footage as clips for a beer, a bank, and a beauty creme, and the ability to create your own ads, with text, voiceover, or whatever. Of course, you can download the stuff and edit it with your own tools, as well. There’s a gallery, too, where what’s been created can be seen, and that’s where I was LOL.
What’s been created (at least, what I viewed) is wickedly funny, albeit occasionally crude and not Politically Correct ™ by any means. While I can see that advertising agencies might be upset, as Harold notes, there is an advertising lingo glossary and a list of ad roles which does a nice job of explaining the business and creative functions of agencies. You may know I’m interested in helping individuals buy smarter, and understanding advertising is a key.
What’s interesting is the underlying design. By giving people differing views of the same situation, they allow people to choose how to put it together, and in doing so, they’ve given them the tools to understand. Not that it’s guaranteed folks will learn about advertising by playing with it (tho’ clearly some have, demonstrating they’ve internalized the concepts by using the concepts to have fun), which is why we learned that we need guided discovery environments unless you can guarantee motivated and effective self-learners, but scaffolded tools are a great start to a learning experience.
So, if you’re looking for some entertaining and educational fun, have a look at the Gruen site.