This is Attention
The first time you see This is America by Childish Gambino it's simplicity draws you in, then it shocks you with something unexpected and you are hooked.
The first time you see This is America by Childish Gambino it's simplicity draws you in, then it shocks you with something unexpected and you are hooked. You have joined the ranks of those unable to tear themselves away from seeing and hearing his views on the state of the nation.
It's a truly compelling piece of art that has captured the attention of millions in a way that the advertising industry would love to emulate. Why? Because it's a masterful piece of moving image. The very medium that the Ad industry is geared to deliver and the social channels are set up to distribute. Client requests to raise awareness are turned into million dollar media buying deals that try to target millennials, push pre rolls or shove sponsored content into social feeds. But advertising is not art, forcing folk to watch a sales pitch no matter how cleverly constructed is an uphill battle.
So what's the alternative? Thinking differently, thinking about different ways to engage and realising that other types of content are available, what about events, product demo's, games and quizzes. Instead of just spending money on media, Vans build a venue. House of Vans hosts, gigs, exhibitions and is a place for folk to skate. Skaters and gig goers have posted hundreds of thousands of photos and videos to an audience of millions of friends and followers.
Doing a product demo might sound dull, but Google have just partnered with Selfridges and a selection of luxury brands to create The Flipside, a multi sensory exhibition where visitors get to try the low light capabilities of the Pixel 2 (& post flattering selfies on Instagram)
or maybe rethink the gameshow? The realtime quiz app HQ Trivia, like a lot of startups has an ad revenue business model but rather than showing ads, part of the media spend goes out to the players of the game. Warner brothers promoted Rampage, by getting The Rock to co-host and giving away $300,000 in prize money.
The massive success of the this is america video is likely to fuel another onslaught of agencies making more ads for clients. But there are opportunities using other types of content for those interested trying to do something other than just shout for attention. Opportunities to create moments, products or experiences that resonate and get the kind of attention clients dream of. (and for those of you that want a simple way to start this process let me draw your attention to Kernel Cards second printing coming soon :)