Conventional wisdom is that people love technology (at least most of them), hence promote the next big thing you’ve designed. Take this extract from a press release about a new computer:
“It sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio – the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use... The casing is created using a unique approach, a combination of material selection and process to mould metal and deposit particles....”
A common assumption is also that under 35s especially love technology. Yet when we look at people’s plans to purchase ‘must have’ technologies over the next twelve months, we see a surprising picture. Yes, under 35s are more likely than all adults to intend to buy these technologies, but the percentages are much lower than expected.
However, now look at some of the kinds of activities people do, which many people are able to do better through the above devices. For example, two thirds of under 35s surf the internet on a laptop whilst watching TV. Yet we know from Ofcom data that around four in ten (37%) tablet owners say they browse the internet more since owning a tablet, while around one quarter (23%) say they are doing more social networking. Sure, you can't watch a DVD on a tablet, but you can sideload or download a movie to it to watch wherever you are.
The point here for technology brand owners and advertisers is that it is what people can do through technology that they find most appealing. Thus, promote what people can do through your device, not the device itself - it is the medium for activity, not the end in itself. This is one reason why Apple products sell so well. An extract from the January 2010 iPad press release sums this up:
“Apple today introduced iPad, a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more... iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”