It's all about the little things, or when IT exhibitions die

You probably know what Apple earned a reputation for in the first place? Not the quality of the hardware, not the base of music in iTunes, or even the first truly popular iPod. It's all about attention to detail. This concerns not only the software or hardware components of their products, but also their advertising on TV, the design of brand stores Apple Store, the organization of presentations and slides, and in general everything that surrounds the company. Unfortunately, in the segment where it is present Apple, no one else can do this. This can be seen in the interfaces of smartphones, and in the inconvenient arrangement of their modules, and even in the localization of the great and mighty. And there is absolutely nothing complicated about it. You just need to learn to pay attention to this both for the companies themselves and their PR departments, which often work on the principle of 'it will do just fine'.

It's all about the little things, or when IT exhibitions die

MWC 2020 canceled due to coronavirus

This weekend I happened to fly from Barcelona (Spain) to Milan (Italy). After passing all the necessary checks and heading towards the landing gate, I saw advertisements for the company Motorola and OPPO. Advertising of the first was focused on the brand and, in general, did not stand out from the rest of similar advertisements that hang around any airports in the world. But looking at the OPPO slide, something immediately caught my eye. Take a look at the photo below, do you notice something unusual?

It's all about the little things, or when IT exhibitions die

Did you notice anything unusual? Photos were taken 02/15/2020

So I didn’t immediately understand what had caught my attention. But literally in a second everything fell into place. The fact is that the photo was taken on February 15, when it was announced a few days ago that there would be no MWC exhibition this year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. We wrote about this in detail. But what prevented the PR specialists of OPPO from replacing the creative with another one, or, in extreme cases, simply removing the mention of the exhibition from the advertising image? These are not print ads, but digital ads. Those. replacing one picture with another is done almost instantly.

Now I'm not talking about the fact that it might be worth removing the advertisement at all and not spending money, since the exhibition was canceled. Maybe the company wants to increase attention to the brand or the terms of advertising did not imply its cancellation and refund, I don't know. But looking at her, I have several questions at once:

  • Why did you not remove the mention of the exhibition, which will definitely not take place?
  • What is this mention for? Who is it for? For a casual passer-by who decided to buy a ticket to the MWC for his own money (from $ 600) and be sure to go to the OPPO stand? And without specifying the exact position of the stand, he will not find? At the entrance, cards are issued, if suddenly someone did not know about it
  • Maybe this information will be of interest to journalists and partners? Then they must either have a good memory to remember the 'address' of the stand, or at least take a picture of the advertisement so as not to forget where to go. Can you imagine it? Me not

The fastidious reader will say that I find fault, and there is nothing wrong with that. I totally agree. By and large, this is a trifle that 99.9% of people will not pay any attention to. Just as they will not pay attention to the advertising itself, which is spinning everywhere, and our brain has learned long ago to filter this 'white' visual noise. But having noted the absurdity of this advertisement, I also thought that it's all about the little things. I can't imagine that Apple would post a WWDC advertisement in the departure area in San Jose, and even if this conference has already been canceled for some reason.

Cancellation of MWC'20 was a blow in the stomach for many companies. If large brands are able to conduct presentations and gather journalists on their own, then smaller ones have to participate in similar exhibitions that take place around the world several times a year (if we take global exhibitions). But are such mass gatherings relevant in 2020? As a specialist, I don’t presume to judge, I’m still on the other side of the barricade, but as a regular visitor to such exhibitions I can say for sure that the efficiency of coverage of such events for the brand is extremely low. I'm not talking about the top ten manufacturers, their stands are always crowded and journalists are eager to shoot photo and video materials. As for the simpler brands, you can gather people there only with free notebooks, badges or sweets (I'm exaggerating). It seems that the exhibitions have outlived themselves, and in 2020 we need a fundamentally different approach to the presentation of their products and developments.

Reject – offer

No matter how large the exhibition is, the number of people who can visit it is strictly limited. Most of them are journalists and occasionally ordinary people (the ticket price is from $ 600, I remind you). Regardless of whether a stand is presented at the exhibition or not, the work of journalists in IT publications is to cover the activities of companies and the industry, if there is a news feed for this.

Of course, presenting a smartphone is only half the battle. The other half is to let influencers, IT publications, bloggers, etc. test it. Maybe this is what exhibitions are for? I don’t think so. Normal testing within 10-20 minutes, which is carried out by a person at the stand, is clearly not enough. To form at least some adequate opinion, they need to be used for several days, or preferably weeks. And even better – months. So maybe then just send out samples after presentation all over the world and let journalists form an opinion and prepare material if your product deserves it?

But what about the presentation? After all, you need to gather a hall, seat people with laptops and telephones, go on stage and read a presentation by prompter. Or is it not necessary? It's not the 90s or even the 2000s now. Any company will gather tens of times more people at the monitor screens by sending out press releases or buying advertisements on websites and blogs. Thus, it will be seen not only by journalists, but also by consumers for whom the products are made. A great example is a company Apple, which gathers hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people around the world on screens, presenting their products. Recently, Samsung has also begun to understand this, although their views are much more modest, but still. And by the way, for some reason, the last (Galaxy S20) broadcast in Russian was in terrible quality, while English in excellent.

Why drag with you into the future what has long been in the past? For me, the answer is simple and understandable: because everyone does this and so it is accepted. It will take some time, and we will definitely see a shift in the paradigm of presentations of new technologies and devices. But for now you have to wait. I hope not for long …

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