There’s been a lot of noise about how the iPad is The Way Of The Future. In fact, just today there was a post on Twitter that read “Are you an art director, copywriter, creative director, strat planner? DON’T have an iPhone/iPad? Yr job’s on the line.” (courtesy of @royblumenthal)
A little melodramatic, I think. In fact, I think all the brouhaha about the iPad is a little more hype than substance. It’s not a game-changer to the exclusion of everything else. Instead, it’s an evolution. It’s the 2nd sign of a solid step towards the way things will be. The Kindle was the first sign.
Actually, that’s not even true.
The first sign was a scratching on a wall in a cave millennia ago (or someone nibbling on an apple if you’re a creationist). And since then our knowledge has evolved. The way we do anything – communicate, travel, consumer, trade – all of it has evolved. The iPad is just the next step in the evolutionary path of personal devices.
And in itself, the iPad’s ubiquity is not guaranteed. The iPhone hasn’t put Nokia or Samsung or Sony Ericsson out of business yet. The iPod hasn’t killed the millions of other MP3 players developed in little Chinese factories. Guaranteed, there will be more devices like the iPad. And as we adjusted from print to radio to TV to web, so we will adjust to the iPad…and its clones.
Will the iPad change the way we do advertising and marketing? No. As we’ve discovered with social media, the fundamentals of good marketing and advertising are always the same. Yes, we’ll evolve these to match the needs of the iPad and whatever devices follow it, but we won’t throw out the baby with the bathwater because as human beings we haven’t evolved past the fundamentals of our own wants and needs.
Bottom line: the secret doesn’t lie in knowing how the new toy works. It lies in knowing how to communicate with the people using that toy. It will always be relevance over technology.
A little something extra:
I can hear the Apple-Fanboys weeping from here…