Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

The Most Important Part

Two significant trends in the computing industry are meeting head-on these days. First off, Computing is going mobile. Second, most of those mobile platforms are trying to integrate tactile media into their designs—look no further than the iPhone and its imitators. So why is there such a disparity in their attempts to advertise their products? Surely the most important thing about a product that embraces tactile media and mobile computing is the screen and interaction itself? And yet, in what would seem to be a kind of “cool” response to the iPhone, advertisers for the Blackberry Storm have decided that the ideal thing to do is to hide the interface.

I’ll update as soon as I can find a video on the web to link to, but on the snailvision networks there are all these advertisements running for the new Blackberry with a lot of sidewalk bystanders examining the machine and saying “Wow!” and “I’m thinking I shouldn’t have bought my iPhone,” without once showing the “real” audience the interface to the machine. When advertising claims that, “We refuse to show the interface on the grounds that it is too cool,” they have just completely ignored the aforementioned trends. New media these days is tactile and distributed. Apple is “advertising” that more than any other company.1 Exactly what is RIM afraid of? Also-ran shouldn’t be nearly so bad as duck-n-cover as an advertising strategy. But when advertising, these days, is the only thing differentiating realistically commoditized products, it’s pretty important to make sure that you are “cool” as opposed to better; better that you should influence your consumers than convince them. Inductive logic is a breeze when compared to deduction.

  1. I put advertising in scare-quotes because it is such a rare event when companies actually bother to illustrate their products. Advertising has basically become synonymous with bullshit. it’s a shame that the general populace hasn’t caught on… yet. 

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