The Game Episode 5: Rat up a Drainpipe | DMA

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The Game Episode 5: Rat up a Drainpipe

Have you ever described someone or heard someone being described as a Ninja or a Jedi in relation to something they do? It’s a massive compliment, right? We get that they are pretty awesome at their job. “She isn’t just good, she’s an SEO Samurai!”

And if you have kids, I’m sure you’ve referred to their room as looking like a bomb has gone off, or a disaster zone!

Metaphors creep into our everyday lives, and especially at work. It’s fascinating how we like to bring military tactics, team sports and even poker into our day to day interactions. He keeps his cards close to his chest, has an ace up his sleeve or is at his best when the chips are down. Oops, he scored an own goal there - or even worse, got a red card for his behaviour.

Language is a beautiful thing, and metaphors, similes and analogies are particularly useful, because they help to convey meaning instantly and fire our imaginations as the reader or listener. It’s experiential language and requires no explanation or back story.

An ad I saw recently on the tube for a package holiday company worked really well, it claimed, “Champagne holidays at Prosecco prices.” What a brilliant metaphor. It requires no further explanation and is so much more engaging than saying, “Really good value holidays.” It’s doubly clever, because Prosecco is still actually really good quality. It wouldn’t have worked quite as well if they had gone with, “Champagne holidays at Tesco Own Brand Sparkling Wine prices.”

Another cracker on the tube recently that stayed with me was an ad, I think, for Wales, which stated, “Live like a King, where real Kings used to live like Kings.” I love that!

Do Algorithms Dream of Electric People?

Pop culture is another fantastic mechanism for firing something in our memories, usually with fondness - and when at its most appropriate, is a very powerful way to resonate with a target audience.

We recently ran a series of Neuromarketing, Algorithm and AI lectures called, ‘Do Algorithms Dream of Electric People?’ a tribute to a sci-fi novel which went on to become one of the best Sci-Fi movies of all time – Blade Runner. The book was actually called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and the theme of both is empathy. Are androids capable of it, and if they are, is it real?

As marketers begin to explore the world of ad-tech, where powerful algorithms create fake intimacy, fake relevancy and fake empathy, are the humans at the other end of all this technology fooled and do they care even if they know it isn’t real?

Daryll Scott, Lab’s Head of Human Technology discusses metaphors, analogies and similes and the power of pop culture in the latest episode of The Game: Rat up a Drainpipe, watch it here!

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