The Impact of Education
Marketing Market Research Research

The Future is Orange

[Full Disclosure - the is cpb work] 

Regular, or indeed very occasional, readers and commenters, will have noticed I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. 

This is because I'm an ardent techno-meliorist and a geek. 

I geniunely believe things are getting more awesome all around us every day, thanks mostly to the ingenious applications of the mind-bending rate of Moore's Law. 

I read The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley [and you should too] and was nodding like one of those toys in cars.

He points out that, throughout history, people have tended to declaim the terror of the future.

A vision of exhausted resources, polluted skies and seas, overpopulated, teeming cities of anti-social sociopaths and slums and mean people, when in fact things have only ever got better, throughout history.

Don't get me [or my two line synopsis of his excellent book] wrong, there are lots of problems in the world, no doubt.

But, overall, on every possible metric, like efficiency of food production, and life expectancy, and infant mortality, and the amount of man hours required to create light and heat in a home, in every part of the world, everything has got better in the last 100 years. 

In fact, I'd go so far as to say, as a race, we are just on the verge of becoming civilized.

As in, at least now, we have mostly just begun to accept that it's uncool to discriminate and abuse anyone based on who or what they are.

Doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but, until super recently, we kind of thought, and enshrined in our laws, that it was OK. 

So we're making progress.

And, because, like, robots are awesome.


Advertising also often paints on the canvas that writers would call speculative fiction.

[And mixed metaphor, apparently].

[Question: where on the fact/fiction spectrum of literature does advertising lie?

{no pun intended}

I mean, you know they aren't lying, per se, by self regulatory mandate, but there is a lot of metaphor [in good, interesting advertising], which by its very nature, when dramatized especially, isn't representational of any fact. 

And using fictional narrative to express truths is still, well, fiction, in literary terms.

Just a thought.

Haven't had a good parenthetical tangent for a while.



In the UK, I was privileged to work on a brand that launched itself with promises of a brighter future, thanks to technology.

Things were changing faster than ever before, phone were now MOBILE, and people get frightened when the rate of change in the world exceeds the rate inside their experience of their own lives.

[The same is true of corporations - ask Jack Welch.]

Orange re-assured people that "The Future's Bright, The Future's...Orange".

In fact, while I was working on it, that classic line was refreshed, in charming work like this, and a host of associated behaviors we helped Orange develop, to demonstrate that it was actively working on creating the brighter future it promised.

And the future is bright and orange once again.

This time, with carrots. 

[BTW: I love this, not just because it's in the future and that, but also because it is utterly self consciously advertising, satirizing the tropes other brands use seriously. 

Which is what cpb has always been great at.

Post Modern Irony, is characterized by allusion and self-referentiality, but also a nod and a wink to the reader, an appeal for complicity.  

If you and I both know that this is an ad,

and the grammar and tropes are pre-determined:

you think what you sell is good,

and I know that before you say it,

so why not have fun with it?]