Accomplishments of this campaign: Raising awareness of the cool factor of RISD and Threadless brands. Speaking directly to the most relevant audience. Weaving in cause marketing, and making it relevant to the audience/consumers/producers. Incentivizing the community to participate: not just by buying the shirts, but engaging them as young artists and giving them something to aspire to: namely, have the President of RISD pick your shirt to be sold in his collection.
It’s also my responsibility to make sure we all understand the space well enough to avoid the mistake of thinking that digital channels are like traditional channels. Goes completely against the core tenets of social media: Develop the conversation. Don’t disrupt it. Create meaningful value. Interactions are transactions in the currency of your brand. Earn attention. Don’t limit feedback. ENCOURAGE IT.
Video, audio, applications that enable interaction on levels heretofore unseen and unknown. And all of it open for criticism, which brings us to the next slide.
For this, we turn to Henry Jenkins, who until recently was the Founder and Director of Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT. He’s on his way to LA now to work as Provost's Professor of Communications, Journalism, and Cinematic Art. This is his Second Life avatar. And his take on what’s going on all around us right now is very eloquent, and as incomplete as anyone else’s, including me. Because we’re not just consumers, or audiences, and because we’re using these technological advances to exercise our critical thinking muscles, it brings us to this: (next slide)
Because of the fact that we’re all producer/consumer/audience hybrids, new kinds of communities have been established. This guy, Pierre Lévy, wrote this back in 1997, when I got my first official job as a “digital producer” in New York. That title didn’t exist prior to it. That last bit here about unanswered questions is really where we need to focus as marketers, because it’s a game changer. We’re used to just pushing messages out. Even as promoters, it’s all about attracting attention with pretty graphics, sexy models, and clever copy. But now, people ask questions of the brands. They ask questions of each other about the brands.
I don’t mean that because I want to wrest control of the agency from Woody and Karen. But I am serious when I say that it’s everyone’s responsibility to be “digital.” Harry Jenkins calls it New Media Literacies. And folks like George Lucas have foundations set up to study and disseminate how digital media technologies change the way we interact with each other and the world.
Video available at http://newmedialiteracies.org/, a research initiative @ MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program.
In this country, advertising invented the Christmas holiday as we know it. There’s a book by Jock Elliot, a long time Ogilvy ad man that chronicles it through stories only an original Mad Man could tell. Advertising also hung its hat on its close relationship to entertainment. Television and the movies were produced with the support of ad sales, and there was little that we as audience members could do about the interruptive experiences. Now we can. And so entertainment is playing with new models that don’t allow them to sell as much advertising. Which means there’s less demand for our current product. But nobody wants to stop consuming entertainment. We just need to renegotiate the terms with our target audiences. Except this time, they have a little more leverage. But we’re all creative people, and we’re all producers, as well as consumers and audience members. So we’ll figure it out.
Digital wasn’t always warmly embraced by traditional shops. Mostly because we were seen like this guy: as a dirty punk. But even though he’s flipping us off, notice that his knuckles read “HOPE,” reflecting a desire to lead us forward. And all great artists’ who embrace new media generally move society forward. Also note: Since when does a punk play an acoustic guitar? Yet without it (i.e., heritage) , there wouldn’t have been electric guitars, effects pedals, amps, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Joey Ramone. I’m sure “Institutionalized” would sound great in a coffee house if Ani DiFranco sings it (or maybe not), but the point here really is that the talent in digital agencies comes from those of us who have an understanding of the “old skool” methods, techniques and core tenets of advertising. Mainly, to creatively represent the benefits of our clients’ products/services in a way that persuades people to buy them over the products of their competitors’ products.
It’s not about pristine placement of brands. There are no pedestals, unless one of your fans sets one up for you. But it can be undermined and attacked just as easily as it’s built.
It’s also not about the specific technology services or delivery methods of the media. When there were monopolies in distribution, this model worked. But by the time the Blu Ray vs. HD-DVD fight took place, it was irrelevant, mostly because people don’t need the discs anymore to get the content. You can download HD movies. Sometimes even free. But we won’t get into that conversation right now.
It’s not a bully pulpit. You can be taken down just as quickly as you put yourself up there. And it does take a lot to do that for companies. So when we build brands online, we have to make sure to understand we’re another face in the crowd.
Stuart by Patric Shaw: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patric_shaw/2934212405 It’s people like this. Educated. Technologically savvy. Decisive. Discerning. And resourceful.
… in a scenario like this one. A mosh pit. There are still rules, but it’s a lot less formal, and unspoken. Energized by being together. If you get in there like the skinheads used to: throwing elbows, etc., you will be ganged up on and removed.
JJ Abrams is a genius to me. Not just because I’m a SciFi dork and he’s created some of the best scifi in recent history (save for Battlestar Galactica); but because he sees digital media for what it is: an opportunity to engage his audience in new and unexpected ways. Ways which television and film could never do. He built his career by exploiting digital media for its ability to directly connect with consumers that wanted to be spoken to. He realizes that the people that really love his movies also love the thrill of being included in them. He’s not open sourcing his screenwriting, but he is developing his products into much more than launching pads for action figures and merchandise. He extends the story outside of its original medium, and thereby adds a lot of value to the franchises he develops. He did it with LOST. He did it with Cloverfield. And he got probably the most coveted job in recent Hollywood history…
The chance to re-tell the Star Trek story. And like a true sci-fi geek, he kept the original stories intact, and expanded on them in ways we’d never seen. But the real reason this excited me was that he did something pretty unique with the marketing of this film.
He guest-edited an issue of Wired magazine that—from front to back—has tons of hidden puzzles and games. There was an article about the Star Trek film in the issue (I think), but his masterful use of this “old” medium to exploit its original strengths just underscores how being “digital” is not just about understanding technology. Rather, it’s about your ability to take a lot of opportunity, and an infinite number of possibilities, and create a highly targeted, impactful campaign that goes where your audience is, and enables them to spread the word.
Digital Media Brown Bag
DIGITAL BROWN BAG (as originally presented to the interns of Arnold DC) by Eric Andrade
Geek at heart, but I didn’t discover this until I started working with technology. Before that, I was a copywriter who was originally majoring in film.
I’m no snake oil salesman. I don’t believe the latest trend is always the best option for our clients. And I’m not afraid of making those opinions known.
And I do get frustrated sometimes. So it’s good when I can commiserate with a colleague. (Even if we’ve never met and he’s in Minnesota.)
I am constantly using technology to connect me to the best ideas for inspiration. In a creative industry like advertising, social media is a must-have, IMHO.
At the same time, I use social media to talk about how I see what’s going on in the world, and the effects it might have on Arnold’s business. (I also am very excited that the line is being blurred between advertising and entertainment.)
Sometimes, the news that comes is a harbinger for what’s in store. So critical thinking skills are crucial to being able to stay one step ahead… Or to take the one step beyond.
BUT CAN WE GET SOME EXAMPLES? <ul><li>That’s nice, Eric </li></ul>
When I do see innovative use of digital media and technologies that could benefit our clients, I flag it for a case study for all of us (clients & agency folk). Although a lot of what we’re seeing now is trial and error: There are innovators out there who exploit the advantages of digital platforms to create rich, engaging campaigns.
WHAT DOES DIGITAL DO? <ul><li>Some of the big questions I was asked to answer here include </li></ul>
The Easy Answer: A Little Bit of Everything <ul><li>It incorporates a lot of the traditional media we’ve worked in for years. But it also adds layers of complexity and opportunity that never existed before. </li></ul>
WHY HAS DIGITAL CHANGED THINGS SO MUCH? <ul><li>… and also </li></ul>
We’re not just consumers. We’re not just an audience. <ul><li>“ Relations between consumers and producers are breaking down </li></ul><ul><li>as consumers seek to act upon the invitation to participate in </li></ul><ul><li>the life of the franchises.” </li></ul>Source: Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide , Henry Jenkins, 2006
Collective Intelligence Trumps Blind Loyalty. <ul><li>“ Knowledge Culture communities are defined through </li></ul><ul><li>voluntary, temporary, and tactical affiliations , reaffirmed </li></ul><ul><li>through common intellectual enterprises and emotional </li></ul><ul><li>investments… </li></ul><ul><li>Unanswered questions will create tension … indicating </li></ul><ul><li>regions where invention and innovation are required .” </li></ul>Source: Pierre Lévy, Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace , 1997.
WHO IS IN THE DIGITAL DEPARTMENT? <ul><li>… and </li></ul>
“ The groundswell is a social trend in which people use technologies to get things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations.” Source: Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff, groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies. 2008.
WHO DO I ADMIRE? <ul><li>Another Question: </li></ul>