In the new age of: “I wish I could be as cool as my teenage son” and: “Why does my grandma have a Facebook?” social media has become an influential, passive aggressive, self-comparison interaction tool. Social media not only represents self-identity, but an engagement of others in community, lifestyle, business, and entertainment. It is a desire to be something. A desire to know, and be known; to be better than your neighbor. And as such, the large scope of this consumer use of social media has, inevitably, and immensely affects the way we share our life socially and present ourselves to the world.
As social media continues to raise its standard for consumers reached, its power of influence grows exponentially. Consequentially, social media has become a heavy authority on the world’s social business synergy through advertising, marketing, and branding. In other words, the self-identity of brands is growing and changing and becoming an entity of interaction for media users.
Today, Snickers is not a candy bar, it is a hungry Betty White. Old Spice isn’t soap, it’s an oiled-up six-pack male fearlessly diving into shark infested waters. Pizza Hut isn’t pizza, it’s a 70 year old warm-hearted Italian baking homemade pizza dough. You get the idea? Social media allows anyone and anything to breathe and come to life. But there’s a catch. As one wise man once asked:
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? No. If someone posts on social media, and no one likes it, does it exist? Well, no. Not really. Now, here’s the catch- there is a secret ingredient to social media success. *Drum roll* please: Social media needs creativity. Dun! Dun! Dun!
In this day and age, the greatest difficulty in constructing a lifelike human representation for a brand is the tool of creating creative content. Without a sense of genuinity, an engaging believable story, and the charisma of Michael Scott, then you got-nothing. In the words of Mike DiLorenzo, director of social media marketing and strategy for the NHL (National Hockey League), “Social networks aren’t about Web sites. They’re about experiences.” This idea comes through in all modes: social media, print, and television.
So, how do brand and startup videos get the same audience attention that higher-up commercials have already paid for?
As opposed to television and online commercials, brand and startup videos start at a disadvantage. Why? Not because they are less creative than larger business, but because the corporate world has slapped them in the face with a corporate fiscal advantage. So, is there hope for these smaller, startup videos? Yes, hope prevails!
Creativity and connectedness to audiences is key. You have to convince your customers your product or service is better by offering them something unique, personal that they have never seen before. The competition is rough, but you can’t pay your brain to give you creative ideas.
That’s where videos find the loophole. With creative content, brands and startups can stand out and get the views to become popular on the web. The potential to reach as large of an audience as TV commercials is tough, but possible with the exponentially growing population of consumers online.
So what else? What else does this mean for brand and startup marketing videos?
Brand and startup video creative must excel. It must excel so much that engagement is high, and boredom is non-existent. It has to be Harry Potter in 3 minutes or Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 5. It has to be informational, entertaining, professional, and it, has to be– a story.
This video game trailer for the new game, The Guardians of Valor is an accurate example of blending humorous creativity to promote and increase audience size for a serious tower defense game through a bold, comedic story-lined video.
No more old men taking Viagra and riding horses on the beach! No more ch-ch-ch chia pets! No more Miracle Grow infomercials! We are people. We want personality, we want people who we can relate to, grab a beer with, gossip about last week’s greatest sport championship mess-up. People who are like us and who understand us.
Creative content is the mother of pseudo-community. It is what jump-starts videos to get shared and go viral. If you haven’t seen Youtube’s Charlie bit my finger or Corgi Jump, where have you been? These videos are virally successful because of their spontaneous, contagious, but most importantly, unique and creative perspective.
A 2013 social psychology study by Rosanna Guadagnohus, stated that “Only content that generates stronger affective responses are likely to spread as a viral video.” The viral light at the end of the tunnel for these brand and startup videos is a difficult light to reach, but once reached, is very prosperous. So how do you convince consumers? Be creative. For brand and startup videos: be more creative.
Be Michael Scott. Be Betty White. Don’t be cliché- instead, “be the change you wish to see in the world”. No excuses. Si Se Puede. Let me say it one more time: Creativity. Take some time and reflect on your ideas, because the truth is, the sharky corporate waters tend to get pretty bloody if you aren’t always creatively hungry.
Victoria Gonzalez is a Copywriting Intern for Supercool Creative Agency. She is a junior at Stanford University majoring in psychology and creative writing and in the future, she hopes to pursue a career as a copywriter at an advertising agency. Victoria enjoys playing soccer, surfing, pole vaulting, singing gospel, and embracing her Spanish heritage as a bullfighter and flamenco dancer. Victoria once pretended to climb Mt. Everest and she said it was almost as cool as pretending to build a rocket ship with Gandhi. Her other interests include: competitive paper folding, whale watching, tamale making, compulsive underwear knitting, singing to herself and walking.