Get Shouty

Video Blogs and Marketing Blather
November 21, 2006, 2:02 am
Filed under: Get Friendly, Zeitgeist

Paul Coleman in posting this YouTube video started a comment storm that I think adds quite a bit to the experience of the video.

 Over 1.5 million people have viewed it.

It’s overly long and the music is as Jared commented so heavy-handed that it could’ve been an ad for cancer research. But I really do think that what is says is more than everyday people have access to cameras and the internet.

How to define it? Perhaps using CK’s methodology: This is what it’s not:

    • It’s not fake
    • It’s not funny
    • It’s not filtered
    • It’s not polished
    • It’s not perfect
    • It isn’t about empowerment
    • It’s not about artistic merit

It is:

  • About wanting to be heard
  • About sharing
  • About trying to connect

A few blog commentators were scathing. I was amazed by the sentiment that sentiment itself is bad. That emotion is naff. That the real loneliness of most people is tacky, crap and should be swept under the carpet where urban hipsters don’t have to see.

Ben puts it well:

“It has nothing to do with taste or artistic merit. I suppose there’s an element of voyeurism, liking looking into people’s gardens as you whizz past on the train. It’s real, which I like. It’s not a version of real or some one’s perception of real, these are real videos of real people uploaded to YouTube with no intention of being put into a 1M plus video montage. Literally. Boys, girls, black, white, old, young, mums, dads, kids, grans, animations, cats, dogs and even some EMO’s.

One of my favourite quote is from Larry Page, “Knowing what’s really happening is more important than trying to control people”. To me, that’s what’s happens on YouTube.”

And William Deed nails it:

” I was genuinely interested in each person who appeared in that video and not in a fucking, ain’t that interesting kind of way, but I was able to empathise with a whole load of people who were not only trying to understand themselves, but understand how to live in an age where the personal has become public.”

I agree, all you too cool for school marketing types. This is your audience fellas- look and learn. Most of these people could do with a good friend.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love this post–and I love this era. Why? Becuz I’ve done the schooled methodologies and slicing and segmenting customers. And there’s a place for that, sure.

But this era requires a new methodology and it rests on sincerity, share, curiousity, opening ourselves up to all sorts of different ways, letting go of control and building relationships, not ROI. I do hope companies catch up.

I just feel so fortunate to be part of this era. It’s powerful because we’re all empowered. It’s as Vaspers so perfectly nails it, “The Share Economy”.

Comment by CK

We’re empowered and venerable. Connected and lonely. And you’re right- we do share all these things.
Lovin’ it too!

Comment by katiechatfield

Good observations, Katie. Though marketers may hate the lack of control, the people will not be silenced!

Comment by Cam Beck

Just a quickie, cos I know I was the most vociferous on Paul’s site, but it is important to be clear on this. I’m not against emotion or sentiment. Or that in this day and age people choose to display that publicly rather than deal with it privately. My comments were centred around the motivations of the film-maker and the lameness of the execution. Not so much the fact that people on the film showed a range of emotions or that people feel lonliness etc – I hate the idea that anyone might think that that should be swept under the carpet or is tacky – if blogging enables people to connect in a way that wasn’t possible to do before then it’s a phenomenal achievement.

The filmmaker presented what I felt to be a relatively one-sided version of youtube, video blogging and the world we live in now. And did so in a heavy-handed, OTT way. And that is why I didn’t like it as a piece of film. Not because sitting in my ivory tower I thought people showing emotion was naff.

My issues also have nothing to do with being a marketeer not in control or anything like that – in fact my irritations with a lot of youtube and blogging etc is the fact that brands and advertisers are muscling their way in to a world which was set up for, and run by everyone, from the kid next door to your gran. (Well, maybe not my gran, but you know what I mean.)

Anyway, hope that’s OK. I still think it was a crap film. But not for the reasons that you mention.

Comment by Lebowski

All argument aside, I love that this piece has created so much conversation.

Comment by Gavin Heaton

As an update I know of a corporate blogger that had to pull this video (it was only there for 5 hours) because staff who “viewed the “youtube” video blog, found that some content may be considered inappropriate for the workplace”.
Perception is really a culmination of your position isn’t it?.
I’m kinda fascinated by the different out-takes that people have had from a pretty amateur video mashup:.
– racist
– promoting deviant sexuality (that one really blew me away and I had to watch the video again to find out what the hell they were referring to!)
– promoting age inappropriate behavior (!?)
General Population (probably over 1 million of the views)
– well read the comments- people are moved
– crap execution
– some insight
– not fully realized
– the conversations that this piece prompts is more interesting than the work itself
Simon: I really appreciate you taking the time to clarify your position- one of the things I just love about blogging is that we can have extended conversations, share ideas and, in commenting, explore what we really think and be challenged by the opinions of others.
Cam: I agree that marketers hate the lack control-they wouldn’t be the only ones!

what are you on about- you love argument! And conversation too I grant you.

Comment by katiechatfield

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