One of the many criticisms launched at today's sm"rgasbord of communications options -
messages of both the instant and text varieties, email, Twittering, social networking, etc. - is that while their efficiency is all well and good, the processes themselves are rather cold. Whatever
happened, critics wonder, to the human touch?
One such critic is Dentyne, a brand of gum that much prefers a friend's guffaw during a dinner party to an LOL via iPhone. Its recent FaceTime campaign, helmed by McCann, encouraged people to turn off the BlackBerry, close the laptop and get together with friends and family in person, instead. (When you get together, of course, it might not be such a bad idea to freshen your breath.)
In addition to TV spots, the FaceTime out-of-home ads, shot by photographer Ryan McGinley, ran earlier this year in select markets including Chicago, New York and San Francisco. The imagery certainly makes human contact look mighty inviting: a couple intertwined in a romantic embrace on a grassy knoll, friends hugging, a scantily clad group crowded together on a chaise.
Dentyne took the idea one step further with its Web site, which politely boots visitors off after three minutes in the hopes that they'll do something else. "We have nothing against technology or the Internet - we use them, too," clarifies Josette Barenholtz, Dentyne's marketing director. "Technology is a great enabler, but when people abuse technology and use it excessively, they're missing out on the best kind of life - being together." It's certainly a step up from a smile and a wave via Web cam.