Design is marketing’s original media. Sure, it doesn’t have the allure of shiny new disciplines like influencer marketing, ad-tech or even experiential. Yet today it is more relevant than ever before.
Over the last decade, the evolution of ‘design’ has been profound. When Coca-Cola launched its Share a Coke campaign in Australia in 2007, it challenged traditional media classification. Suddenly, here was limited edition packaging at the centre of a multi-million dollar advertising campaign. Was it advertising? Design? Somewhere in-between?
Since then, design and communication have continued to converge, propelled along a trajectory fuelled by accelerated media fragmentation and diminishing attention spans. Today, brands are glimpsed for mere moments on the screens in our palms, without story, dialogue or even sound. There has never been a better time for design to shine.
Design’s growing influence is partly a result of the changing media landscape. Fractured, superficial and complex, we often have just a handful of silent seconds in which to communicate with our audience. Nothing does that job as well as an image. An image is not dependent on dialogue or music, and it has no punch line. Design is immediate, instantaneous and instinctive.
After all, we are hardwired to be design literate. A study by MIT found that the human eye is able to interpret an image in just 13 milliseconds. Our instinctive preference for images has direct implications for marketing. Facebook posts with photos or images get 53% more likes, 104%more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. The age of the internet is apparently the age of the image.
So how can you use design to resonate in today’s fragmented, volatile media landscape?
In How to use design in today’s fragmented media mix, I cover a best-practice guide for marketers enhancing brand design.