23. Simplicity on a big budget

Simplicity is difficult to achieve. I myself am still in the process of perfecting my ability to edit my writing down so it’s more concise. Some brands, however, are experts on the topic. What is surprising is that two of the best brands at achieving simplicity have gargantuan budgets for advertising.

The Google Search Stories campaign is one of the most heartwarming advertisements I’ve come across. One of them almost brought me to tears in class (let’s blame the PMS for getting me halfway there, but still). There are no people shown in the ads, just a Google search bar. But that search bar is something so much more—it represents our curiosity, our needs—it is something we all relate to and understand.

Google is a part of us now; it is a part of our lives, a part of our stories. For Google to realize this is ingenious—nothing more is needed. Google has the multi-million dollar budget to create the most over-the-top, mind-blowing advertising spot known to man. And yet they stick with the search bar. Apple employs a similar tactic, but usually will incorporate people in its advertising. Apple ads are extremely simple: here is what you can do with our products, and here’s how to do it. Simple. Beautiful.

And yet both of these seemingly simple advertising strategies employ another aspect that makes them so successful: emotion. Scott Bedbury mentioned it in his lecture—advertising must tap into the illogical side of the brain. Logic gets you halfway there, but emotion controls the gut decisions that rule many of our choices. Both Google and Apple examine the human condition—how we relate to each other and what is most important to us. They then tie this into their products, showing us how Google and apple help us relate and communicate with each other; how apple and Google help us live better lives.

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