I mentioned ages ago the (then) new AOL ads. The ones enouraging debate on the good and bad of the internet.
I saw one again today, and I was thinking about why so many people were leaving AOL over the past few years, and that made me realize one reason why these ads were so good..:
AOL has always been the "Ill hold your hand while you learn to connect" type of provider. It was unflexible, flawed and expensive; but in the infancy of the net it was just what people needed.
Now the net is much more accessible and less technogeek in nature, people no longer need the mummy provider, they want price, speed and flexibility; which completely went against AOL's image.
Now what these adverts did, as well as just provoke debate and comment; is to actively start changing AOLs image from being a push (Providing safety, child protection, easy to use for beginners), to being an up to date pulling image (what do YOU think, what do you want to do, etc). Its quite subtle if you have the old AOL Connie image of the brand, but to new PC owners and the like its a BIG difference. In one single ad, AOL went from looking old fashioned and conservative, to looking progessive and enlightened... thats quite a change, and worthy of credit.