Even in a year featuring a global pandemic, a near-nationwide shutdown, and other reverberating events, the tech world seems not just intact – but perhaps even healthier.
Some analysts point to a stable – or even rising – stock market as a sign of financial stability. But in reality, some of the biggest gainers are in tech: Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Zoom, and many others. The tech sector has defied the economic headwinds, and has made their investors wealthier, dragging the entire market higher in the process.
Even without the “normal” CES in Las Vegas next January, tech products continue to be top-of-mind. Earlier in the month, Apple unveiled a wave of new products and services, and other brands that make both hardware and software will be vying for those holiday dollars.
Seth Resler shows you how to use webinars to generate leads for your radio station's sales team.
So, it's instructive to note how these brands, products, and services are being marketed. This year, consumers are angsty, irritated, bored, and worried – not necessarily in that order. Our COVID research – quantitative and qualitative – reveals most believe that when it comes to the pandemic, the worst is far from over.
That puts pressure on marketers to find just the right message that provides inspiration, escape, joy, and connectedness – all characteristics that were popular pre-coronavirus, but today have been amplified by the fear and nervousness that surround the pandemic.
In just the past couple weeks, three popular brands have unleashed impressive TV commercials, designed to showcase their eye-opening upgrades or new versions of popular products and platforms:
- Microsoft Surface Duo
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Sony Playstation 5
I don't have to tell you how much is riding on these product releases. In any other year, holiday season success would be critical.
But in 2020, the need for a breakthrough – to not just reach consumers and grab their attention – but to connect with their imaginations and aspirations is paramount. Companies will be made – or decimated – by the end-of-year results of their innovation…and their marketing.
I'm not privy to the inner-workings of these products, their agency strategies, their branding goals, or the ways they are vying to capture attention in this over-communicated world in which we live.
But I do know that as we continue to huddle up in front of screens of various sizes, shapes, and technologies, video is an important part of the marketing tool box.
And so, it struck me that in just a matter of a few days, I found myself staring at three exciting, beautiful new products…
…all with distinctive Classic Rock soundtracks.
Who are they trying to reach with these messages? Clearly, those under 40 would have to be a part of the tech target-rich environment. And while Xers and Boomers have used the pandemic to sharpen their skills and expand their horizons – many have watched TikTok videos and logged into Zoom get-togethers – they are likely secondary consumers in the marketing hierarchy.
So, what's the best way to connect on the most emotional level with members of Gen Z and their older Millennials siblings?
With music that is older than they are.
Here's a quick look at all three tech products – and their classic soundtracks:
Microsoft Surface Duo – Queen's “Keep Yourself Alive” (1973)
This is a brand new hybrid “foldable device,” that's part tablet, part phone. In our new working from home environment, this Android device by Microsoft tries to bridge the gap. It's designed to fit in a pocket.
There is a lot on the line here. This is what's known as a “first-generation product” designed to make the user more productive and agile.
And to showcase it, the soundtrack is the instrumental portion of “Keep Yourself Alive,” recorded 47 years ago.
Adobe Creative Cloud – Rolling Stones' “She's A Rainbow” (1967)
This is a fascinating product that bundles together many of Adobe's most popular software (like Photoshop) into one suite. The apps in Adobe's CC bundles are designed for the creative industry – pros who use photos, illustrations, animation, and sound.
There's a course in CC called Adobe Audition, designed for musicians, sound engineers, radio, and of course, podcasters.
To complement this kaleidoscope of color is the Stones' “She's A Rainbow,” a Billboard charting hit from the British Invasion, yes more than a half century ago.
Sony Play Station 5 – The Who's “Baba O'Riley” (1971)
Video game play has exploded during the pandemic, which makes sense. After all, when you're cooped up at home, and you've exhausted the Netflix library, it's time for gaming.
And so heading into the holiday season, it's an all-new PS5 product from Sony, ostensibly a new console and new games.
Or is it?
The TV spot provides no detail on what this new gaming platform will be about, its release date, or the price. It's leaving all that to your imagination, using breathtaking visuals, matched up to a Classic Rock anthem, the Who's “Baba O'Riley” (better known to millions as “Teenage Wasteland.”)
The song is cleverly remixed for the ad, and the alternative title of this Who classic shouldn't be lost on any of us, given who this product is geared for.
Next year, “Baba O'Riley” turns the Big 5-0.
According to blurb in VGR, Sony's global head of marketing, Eric Lempel, describes this mysterious new spot and platform this way:
“We want to excite and thrill you. We want to show (consumers) a path to the mysterious unknown…what you're seeing is them coming to the edge, and then going beyond.”
Creators and inventors, as well as marketing and branding pros, all are in search of product breakthroughs that resonate multi-generationally. You just saw three brand new examples of what that looks like.
It works that way on the radio, too.
By the way, the nickname for Sony's PS5 is “The Edge.” Just sayin'.
Latest posts by Fred Jacobs (see all)
- Are We Having A “Social Dilemma?” - October 23, 2020
- (Why I Won't) See You At The Movies - October 22, 2020
- “The Future Doesn't Fit In The Containers Of The Past” - October 21, 2020