Monday, 27 March 2017
The content generation
I've always felt slightly queasy about the word 'content' when used in connection with creativity and ideas. As I mentioned here, my immediate association when I hear the word is with stomach contents - some kind of homogeneous chewed-up pap.
Even worse is linking the word 'content' with the verb 'to generate.' The idea of 'generating content' suggests the churning out of some sort of stuff that is completely devoid of any kind of creativity.
'Generating content' is a major preoccupation of the modern age. Indeed, many people are not living in the moment any more, but rather continually generating content for their Facebook or Instagram feed. The pressure is not just to keep up with the Joneses next door, but to keep up with every one of your five hundred Facebook friends. No wonder status anxiety is on the up.
Increasingly, I feel that this means for brands that they must surprise in their communication. Not just generate more content of the sort that anyone with a Smartphone can load up to Facebook. For example, this beautifully batty campaign ('Did you mean?') from the email marketing platform MailChimp, by Droga5.
No deep psychological insights, no issues and attempts to save the world. In fact, the idea is no different really to that behind Compare the Market's famous meerkats.
But with the surreal films for Mail Shrimp, Jail Blimp and Kale Limp, along with all sorts of fake brands, products and even a band, the executions are thoroughly refreshing and original.
Not generated, but created.