RIP “advertising”?

I’ve stopped counting the times I’ve heard the term “storytelling” or now even “story whispering” at Cannes.

In contrast I have hardly even heard anyone use that good old fashion term “advertising”. At the biggest advertising festival in world, even ad men couldn’t bring themselves use the a-word.

Has “advertising” lost its relevancy? Or is it just more hip to swap it for a seemingly cooler of-the-moment term?

Or is it maybe the fact that the whole broadcast method of one-way comms has been pushed aside by two-way comms and the rise of an “audience of users” (a term the good folks at B-reel talked about earlier this week) means “advertising” has been replaced organically.

Over the week at Cannes, I saw a whole bag of wonderful pieces of work that are far from the classic work of the Madmen era. These new projects still embraced the craft and skills of the industry, but the outputs – from “text books” to long-form films, to community engagement pieces – picking up Gold Lions is as different as the words “advertising” vs “storytelling” in their approach.

Sit in on an event or award show and you see a sea of arms holding up their smartphones or tablets and interacting with the show as active participants nowdays.

So maybe the very nature of advertising is changing and the a-word could soon disappear?

Who knows – but agencies now just calling themselves “creative” instead of “advertising” is a hint that some kind sea change is well underway.

Wayne Deakin is Executive Creative Director at Jam.

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