On August 25th the AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) and Olson hosted a lunch event. Featured speakers were Chris Henderson and Paul Ratzky of Olson, who discussed advertising of yesterday and today.

Paul began the discussion by covering what advertising used to be, which was top down messaging with design at the core. Ads used to be measured by how many people were exposed to an ad. He expressed what ads have become today in the digital age. Ads have the same goal as before but now focus on interacting with communities, information, and delivery methods.

Once Paul explained advertising today compared to 20 years ago, Chris spoke about the dynamics that are redefining design. He stated that the user experience changes the focus of design. Marketers need to know what they are trying to get people to do and know their communities. Dynamic technology also drives change in content and context. Consumers are always on the go and ads can be designed to target consumers based on their location. Marketers also need to take into account social communities that constantly provide opinions and bring their stories to the table.

Chris wrapped up the lunch by discussing 6 trends for activating communities. They are:

  1. Listen and Iterate- listen to the community and their feedback.
  2. The community drives design- simplicity works best; users want to be able to easily navigate a website.
  3. Utility drives aesthetics- know what you want your ad to do.
  4. It’s an ongoing process- have your ad, website, or other marketing tool be easy to update.
  5. Give them something to share- Messages than can be shared via social media, such as facebook, twitter, or YouTube.
  6. Make it Personal- For example, have a welcome page show the name of the user.

Attendees at this lunch gained insight from two of the top agency masterminds regarding design, advertising, creating a user experience. Chris and Paul used multiple examples to illustrate the power of marketing and the different way to target different consumers whether at home, on their computer, or using their mobile device. This lunch provided the perfect opportunity to make connections and see where the direction of design is going today.

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