The development of really compelling content that is real, emotionally-charged, and developed for the rich personal experience of only a few is becoming a very powerful part of marketing. We have seen many examples of the last few years which I have repeatedly spoken about in this blog so I will not do so again (ie. Carlsberg, Coke, Red Bull, etc.). Meanwhile, some brand are focusing solely on this approach to drive their marketing communications – DC Shoes is the one with the greatest success (see article here).
A big challenge of this approach is having traditionally-minded marketers understand that you don’t need scale and incredibly polished TV commercials to access the people that you need to grow your business. It is far more important to engage a core group who will evangelize than to talk to a mass who doesn’t really pay attention (see perspective here). Granted, a digital strategy to help disseminate your content to those that care is important, but you’d be surprised that many of these iconic pieces of content that we’ve all shared have grown in reach organically.
The importance is to ensure that your content has a few ingredients to capture the hearts of those that matter. Making the piece real is very important. People can smell a fake or staged piece of work in a heartbeat. If it is staged, then ensure that you don’t pretend otherwise. However, if you are staging some work make sure that what IS real is unbelievable. People want to be impressed (either by your bravery, ingenuity, etc.), so give it to them. The other important ingredient is deep emotion that feeds a human need – such as laughter, surprise, sadness, etc. The emotions don’t have to be positive, they just have to be authentic. Lastly, the quality needs to match that story. It is important to feed the experiential makeup of the environment because it allows you to be immersed in the story. This does not mean that you can let quality slide when the environment is raw. Quite the opposite, you need to pay more attention because you need to capture the details without it looking overly polished which is a tough task.
I have two examples that I’ve found this week that illustrate the points made above and show how you need to capture realness, authenticity, and contextual quality to really make content that will be shared.
The first is a powerful story for the International Children’s Fund (get your tissues out). To leverage International Children’s Day, they hired the Wuppertaler Kurrende boy’s choir to do a heart-wrenching version of Tears For Fears “Mad World” (see original here). It makes the point that every three seconds the world loses a child.
The second is a brilliant staged installation in East London for Red Stripe. As people entered an unassuming deli and reached for a Red Stripe, the store lit up in song, where bottles, food boxes, etc. began singing “A Message to You Rudy” (see original here). Absolutely genius.