Intern-For-A-Day Series: What Does It Mean To “Rule the Air”?

November 2, 2010

Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in the Fast Horse Experience Intern-For-A-Day series. We’ve been enjoying the posts that our first group of interns submitted last month. We look forward to meeting them in person when they start doing their intern stints this Friday.

Rob Dorsey

The following post is from Robert Dorsey of the University of Minnesota. Rob’s interests include film, creative writing, event planning, “art in all forms” and blogs such as National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel. Come back next week to see what he took away from his Intern-For-A-Day experience.

Here is Rob’s post about Verizon’s “Rule the Air” campaign:

What does it mean to “Rule the Air”?

By Robert Dorsey

Blogs, tweets, status updates and texts — all of which can be done from a cell phone — consume a lot of energy in our culture. They have taken over so much power that the blogosphere is now a news medium. But at the end of the day, does viral communication make more of a lasting impact on us than genuine human interaction does? Do text messages make the meeting of two people more significant?

Verizon’s new marketing campaign, “Rule The Air,” uses an interesting technique of making viewers feel something more than just a normal cell phone commercial would. One “Rule the Air” ad, which features young women, is particularly thought-provoking because of the way it uses subjective discourse to push the idea of power within, free thought and the ability to make free choices (while talking on one’s cell phone).

Throughout the whole commercial I presume many men are wondering what women’s product the ad is selling. It keeps using the word ‘air’ and includes powerful chopped-up narratives of conversations. At the end of the spot, a girl finishes with the line “I can lead the army that they will follow.”

What does leading an army of people talking on their cell phones actually mean? This rhetoric used by Verizon suggests that our youth generation and all that will follow will be glued to cell phones for their whole life. That is why Verizon has so much power with these ads.

The fact is that Verizon can make commercials about anything it damn well pleases because of its power in the marketplace. This is similar to a Target or Amazon advertisment — most everyone needs these brands and uses the products that they sell.

What is more challenging for a creative director: an ad that is from a brand that is so powerful that the ad starts as an empty canvas with infinite possibilities? Or an ad for a start-up company with many things in mind?

Come back next Tuesday for the fifth and final post from this program’s first open call.

To learn more about the “digital informational interview” Facebook page that this program was launched for, check out this recent Mashable article about how to get a job through Facebook that the page was featured in. And as always, let us know with questions on Facebook.