StrategicCommunication:VerbalVerbalVerbalJonathan Salem BaskinNovember 12, 2012
Today’s ThesisThe future of successful marketingcommunications will be written orspoken in words, not expressed invideo or...
Visual                VerbalFast                               SlowIntuitive                       LearnedHolistic        ...
The future of successful marketingcommunications will be written orspoken in words, not expressed invideo or static imagery.
StrategicCommunication:VerbalVerbalVerbalJonathan Salem BaskinNovember 12, 2012
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
A New Flow for A Thousand Words
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A New Flow for A Thousand Words

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11.12.12 presentation at Ithaca College on a working outline for "A Thousand Words," scheduled for publication in 2013.

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  • - Talk about role of verbal communication in not only communicating but conceiving brands - Content from book I’m currently researching and writing - First time discussed publicly, so please be forgiving
  • - Also thesis for book - Counter intuitive, or at least in contrast to Conventional Wisdom - We’re supposed to want and rely on imagery - To explore this thesis, we need to start at the beginning...
  • -...the REAL beginning - 17,000 years old in France - Images were the earliest form of communication - Don’t know their spoken language, but it wasn’t likely complex - Words, or sounds, were associated with images or emotional responses. Good, fear, etc. - This severely limited their ability to transmit information to one another, or across generations
  • - The earliest writing isn’t used to express poetry or religious belief, but to conduct commerce - We have more lists of transactions and possessions than we do ancient literature - Enabled specificity and externalized communications experience - Words are “read” and understood -- they’re a code - Images are “felt” and embraced -- they’re immersive - Two different ways of engaging with the world
  • - Important to understand how this offered an alternative to visual communication - It changed everything
  • - Visual communication has traditionally been the tool of control - Images transmit a moment, a visceral experience - Images can’t be avoided - They’re imprecise on detail but perfect for big emotions - Just like cave wall: Fear, awe, joy. - Saw it in churches and the pomp & circumstance of aristocratic life (large estates, ornate carriages) - That’s why kings and cardinals had such funny outfits
  • - Written communication restricted to the initiated - Still looked very visual - Secret code was reserved - Verbal communication was limited to spoken conversation - It’s how people learned of things, vetted ideas, shared info with one another
  • - Medieval, Renaissance, and even early Enlightenment commerce was verbal, not visual - What did this sign mean? Cutting geometry tools? More common signs of a shoe or loaf of bread. - More like cave paintings, only not so scary - Spoken words were the basis of social experience. - Their commerce and lives were social - Words are a social media
  • - Then Gutenberg upped the ante - Printing press, and more importantly movable type, unleash words as a communications medium - Literacy increases in keeping with availability of books - Words can be captured and modified, shared, saved
  • - Enabled info to be shared across distances - It drove knowledge and, more importantly, individual empowerment - Nobody could own words or control how they were used/interpreted - Interestingly, there were text ads in the earliest newspapers
  • - Words were the counterpoint to the imagery of power and authority - Martin Luther’s 95 theses were the model of social change - For something to matter -- to literally “make sense” -- it was written down
  • - Revolutions weren’t the images of people in the streets or violence - They were detailed arguments, printed for all to see - No surprise that those in power tried to curtail literacy once the genie was out of the bottle - That’s why slaves in early America weren’t allowed to read - It’s why the primary tool for teaching reading was the Bible - to try to control HOW and WHAT people would read
  • - The earliest ads were classifieds (all text) - Perfect medium for communicating the innovations in technology - Visuals used but in a supporting role - It’s the ideas that are compelling - The words are expository
  • - People remain visually oriented, too, of course - The technology for propagating visual communication advances also - These advances come about just as brands are casting about for ways to sell - The ‘needs’ based selling of outright improvements has run its course - Post-war American economy needs to figure out how to sell ‘wants’ in order to keep industrial capacity going
  • - Even though we know that verbal is the more effective and reliable medium - It’s also how people share and internalize socially - (AD FROM DAVID OGILVY) - makes the rational case for buying the differences that make for a Rolls Royce...
  • - ...It’s much easier to rely on a visual to sell laundry detergent that’s arguably identical to every other brand - How liberating it must have been to no longer have to EXPLAIN anything to anybody! - Or be accountable for promises made implicitly in images - No two people have the EXACT same response (or interpretation, or application) of the same image
  • - Visual communication is the worst thing that ever happened to our culture, not to mention commerce - By abandoning all the qualities of verbal communication and relying on the quick connection of visual communication, - Consumers get ever-harder to reach and convince - Messages have to get funnier, sexier, or otherwise something-else-er in order to stand out - Customers UNDERSTAND LESS -- even as they’re convinced they KNOW more -- and are therefore less loyal/more fickle What does this tell you about 7-UP?
  • - The ‘creative revolution’ in advertising in the 1960s changed the conversation back to the way it was conducted hundreds of years ago
  • - And we’ve continued it to this day, populating the mechanics of social conversation with visual content instead of verbal
  • - Relying on visual communications in marketing let brands slice and dice the truth
  • - Today’s new media let us do it still
  • - Visual communication could embellish moments, this in-flight meal no different than a tapestry hanging on the wall of a medieval church promising salvation
  • - And we’re still doing it today.
  • - Only there’s a pushback happening. - The emergence of resistance - Today’s consumers have rendered their verdict on the renewed reliance on visual communication
  • Corporate reputations are WORSE now than ever before
  • - So this begs a question, fundamental to my book: - Is the language of social communication verbal or visual? - I know it’s both, but what’s the driver, the primary tool? - I say it’s words -- verbal -- now, just like it was when Gutenberg gave us moveable type - We are social now in many ways like people were social 500 years ago
  • - Imagine the near-future of mobile - Outsourced awareness to just-in-time tools - No need to carry brand associations around with us - It’s a content overlay to real-life - We know when we need to know - We carry our community with us everywhere and every time
  • - We don’t rely on visual anything, but rather the specificity of correlated data - Who said what - How things were rated - Data on the past, present, and future - Marketers need to feed content into this medium - Visual entertainment is a momentary distraction - Because it can be interpreted in any number of ways...
  • - ...Whereas for words, we have this thing called a DICTIONARY - Common language - Enables digital networks to function somewhat like older social networks in real space and time
  • - A little bit of what got me to this conclusion - Did a research project over the past two years to understand what make marketing succeed or fail - Was it channel selection or engagement model or entertainment value (or whatever) - It was truth, in that the better brands communicated what they were selling to people... - ...the more likely those people would buy, buy more often, and pay more for it (and be loyal)
  • - Truth is hinted, suggested, and touched upon by visual communication - But it is only expressed clearly and eternally by verbal communication - This means I’d suggest you consider this concept as you pursue your studies and build your careers - Can and should you be an advocate for verbal as the go-to tool for understanding - And for truth as its substance?
  • - Talk about role of verbal communication in not only communicating but conceiving brands - Content from book I’m currently researching and writing - First time discussed publicly, so please be forgiving
  • A New Flow for A Thousand Words

    1. 1. StrategicCommunication:VerbalVerbalVerbalJonathan Salem BaskinNovember 12, 2012
    2. 2. Today’s ThesisThe future of successful marketingcommunications will be written orspoken in words, not expressed invideo or static imagery.
    3. 3. Visual VerbalFast SlowIntuitive LearnedHolistic LinearTelegraph meaning Compile meaningReal-time Pauses timeShared experience Solitary experienceEmotional RationalOne-way Two-way
    4. 4. The future of successful marketingcommunications will be written orspoken in words, not expressed invideo or static imagery.
    5. 5. StrategicCommunication:VerbalVerbalVerbalJonathan Salem BaskinNovember 12, 2012

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