Navigating the digital stream propels our insights forward with more speed and certainty than ever.

Lemon2020

Issue 42: Swim Up The Stream

Finding the New Page in the New Infrastructure

Last month we saw a landmark decision in the New York Supreme Court allowing a Brooklyn woman to serve her elusive husband divorce papers through Facebook. Private message, of course. If there is anyone out there still talking about digital as a medium and not looking at it as an infrastructure, PM them, please.

As part of Facebook’s Creative Council, I was able to invite DDB New Zealand’s Haydn Kerr to represent our network at the latest Facebook Hackathon and asked him to share his learnings. What stood out to me most was Haydn’s comparison of Bernbach’s search for the ‘new page’, that was so perfected by the legendary Helmut Krone, to the attitude and revolutionary thinking we need to communicate in the digital world today.

Bernbach often remarked how people on the subway would flip through the pages of magazines, never glancing at the ad on the page. Now, some half century later, I see the same thing riding the subway in from Brooklyn. Just instead of magazines, everyone is thumbing through the feeds on their phones. A shocking photo or deceptive headline to trick people into looking at a post is not the way to reach people. Or treat people. As Bernbach said, “It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator’s skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen.”

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It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator’s skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen.

Bill Bernbach