(I'm speaking at an UNDER THE INFLUENCE an event run by Iris/Contagious magazine this afternoon). I've bashed out a very rough speech. What I am actually going to do is sit in a pub and just chat, but it helps me to write a speech then throw it away. Please comment & help me improve it - the comments will reach me by email. I'm on at 4pm! Got to run now I am off to meet Karen, who rather wierdly is probably reading, so no excuses for being late! If anyone wants to come who hasnt registered by the way its in various pubs Borough market area all afternoon & you can text me on 07799367573)
VERY ROUGH DRAFT SPEECH
People (blogs, communities, networks, virals…) don’t influence people, IDEAS do.
Not ad ideas, very often these days, buit the sorts of ideas that are contagious. But still very recognisably ideas.
I think sometimes we forget this when talking about marketing 27.0
We get into the technology & science & channels & tergeting & etc. of it all and forget its all about ideas still
I think in many ways we have gone from a broadcast culture (official ideas) back to a folk culture (good ideas spread)
In web 2.0 and web 1.0 for that matter what worked really was brilliant ideas; from friendsreunited and lastminute to meetup and twitter. These are just genius.
As are the random hits on YouTube. Like the ‘white chicks and gang signs’ thing. It’s a good general model for creativity btw. Ideas happen when stuff that doesn’t go together clashes and makes something new. If you are too linear and literal about the way you think about brands or whatever you are working on, you miss this clash. It’s about stuff that sort of doesn’t go together, working, and the thrill of that discovery.
I’ve been working on a book on green marketing. Here’s an area where fresh ideas have had a lot of influence in a short space of time. We weren’t talking about carbon, footprints or refusing carrier bags a year ago. Plus my head is so full of this stuff its hard to think about anything else. So I will use it as a source of examples. But all the points I make could apply just as much to other sorts of marketing which seek to influence.
How I’ve structured this ramble is to look at some different types of ideas; ie types of ideas which are influential in various different ways.
But the ideas are bigger in theories in many ways. Every conference presentation you go too talks about iPod (there, now I’ve done it too) and everyone has their own pet explanations. It was a superb bit of software, it was the white headphones imitation thing, it was the business model, it was the piracy witchhunt scaring students into paying… But maybe it was all of those things and something else – QUALITY. It’s just such a great idea. That’s the thing about ideas they seem to have a life of their own.
So onto some ideas:
An Inconvenient Truth
Seth Godin & manifestos
Apple keynote broadcasts
Alan Carr give up smoking video; point by point, fact by fact
Brilliant clash of: presidential address, cinema, pathe news reels, documentary, behind the scenes, science lessons at school… with green
It’s like going back to the political rallies & radio speeches of the 1930s
2. PASS IT ON
‘I’m not a plastic bag’ – Anna Hindmarch (& be-a-bag)
A clash of Keirah Knightly and a £5 shopping bag
“Stop at 70” car stickers
My “I quit” badge idea for the COI anti-smoking campaign
People putting “please don’t print” messages on emails
My ‘climate change church of Jerusalem’
(These aren’t just ‘virals’ these are ideas that spread for smart reasons)
Challenge is to resdesign life
How we live is so inefficient messy, wasteful, crap – there is actually hope
Freecycle – give away instead of throwaway
BagStealorBorrow: handbag rental sharing scheme – tool libraries
Car Clubs – a car only when you need it
Brands doing lots of great stuff with habits, eg Ariel wash at 30
4. REFRAMING; it’s not _ it’s __
Philips lightbulbs are long lasting
Green & Blacks chocolate is luxurious
Organic food is healthier
My prius is congestion charge free
Green is just common sense
There still nothing like a great word
It’s like coming up with brand names, but is universal
Jogging was invented by Bill Bowerman a year before they launched Nike
(see also organic, fairtrade etc.)
More assoc doing a language project to come up with a better carbon/energy vocabulary; what should be the equaivalent of counting calories…?
Language is about framing things; what if the school run was called something less flattering. Like when Thatcher called everyone against her “the wets”
6. ARCHETYPAL STORIES
studies of urban myths show that the ones which spread are the ones with archetypal forms; eg the underdog/ugly duckling/rags to riches or poetic justice
when companies approach green communications
they are trying to be too perfect to make good stories
“we were good before and we still are, so there”
would be much better to be the penitent sinner
Russell/Andrews stuff on 2.0 companies being brilliant at apologies
When the user of something is an –er
A Guardian Reader, a Howies wearer, an innocent drinker
Brands themselves can be very influential ideas
They often have a lot of stuff behind this; Guardian is the last bastion of independent journalism, innocent & howies just want to do something they can feel quite proud of
A note of this sort of brand; warm is the new cool
Tribal brands used to be exclusive, about envy
Now they are nice. Even the Guardian does wallcharts.