Anthea Stratigos – February 25, 2016
It’s only befitting to capture the ultimate irony this week as Mobile World Congress went full tilt in Barcelona and this week’s Financial Times was chock full of stories including one containing a headline ‘1m new malicious codes were found on devices by 2015‘, right next to a story about old fashioned ‘dumb phones’ coming back into vogue with actor Eddie Redmayne the poster child for ‘unplugging’ from his smart phone and going retro. All at the same time another article writes of the media sector concerned about ad blocking in a backlash that has the industry, rightfully, in a worry storm. And alas, another article in FT points to Trinity Mirror’s relaunch of a print newspaper while last week news reports in the US pointed to the rebirth of the instant camera and a Starbucks-meets-Kinkos type store with high cool factor that is the rage among millennials. They can take their digital photos, upload them and immediately get a print photo ‘on demand’, experiencing something they’ve not in their lifetimes – a real photograph!!! And all this while Apple and the US government duke it out over the tensions between privacy and security. Is it any wonder print and dumb phones feel refreshing?
Articles abound about the rebirth of cash and we all know that vinyl is making a comeback. Even London Fashion Week this week gives a healthy nod to the 70s. Whether in print or in clothing, or in cash, we see people doing what we at Outsell call ‘slowing down to speed up’ and getting back in touch with things other than their screens. We’re not meant to be glued to devices 24/7/365, and in Outsell’s opinion, some of this backlash our industry has created with the robo-ads and spam that puts the user experience behind the advertiser experience, which is a fast path to no where. So lets get back to the values that makes our industry great, put down those phones and pick up that print. It’s a both/and world and print is the new retro. We predicted that moons ago and it’s playing out. Print invitations, hand-written greeting cards? They work too and we don’t expect them to disappear anytime soon.