29 Jun Have we beat the fun out of #comms yet?
One of the most emotive pieces of content we’ve seen in recent years must be the Chewbacca Mom video. For those remaining few that have yet to see it, I dare you to click on the link, watch the video and not smile. For those that have seen it, watch it again and improve your day.
There’s nothing tactical or strategic about the video. It’s organic, humorous, personal. It doesn’t require you to fill out a form to watch it, re-tweet it or upload your version of it. It humbly requests nothing and generously gives you pleasure.
But emotion is not enough in our analytical and pseudo-scientific world of comms. So, In the words of Jennifer Aniston circa. L’Oreal adverts, ‘here comes the science bit….concentrate’.
Five days after the video was posted it gained about 135 million views. Kohls (the store from which the Chewbacca mask was purchased) sponsored the 88th Academy Awards (for an undisclosed, but, I imagine, eye watering amount) which resulted in 34.3 million views.
Another welcome benefit from this video was of course the mask selling out online, and in store (a significant event for Kohls having announced profit troubles the previous quarter). Finally, interest and awareness of the product went up a considerable amount, with searches on Amazon increasing 1.35m per cent.
These handful of statistics would be enough to make the most discerning member of AMEC swell with pride. Yet I fear that the daily pressure of data, measurement and objective would seriously decrease the chances of the industry coming up with such a perfectly simple idea such as this.
This pressure reached epic levels when the ‘corporate-of-all-corporates’, McKinsey, put out their ‘Economics of Creativity’ piece during Cannes. This slightly sinister attempt to really measure true creative output misses the point entirely. Much like the famous scene from Dead Poet’s Society, where Robin Williams’ character tears up a text book that dares to identify how fine a poem based on a set of scientific axis, I’m inclined to deface McKinsey’s dull PowerPoint with the words ‘it doesn’t matter’.
Meanwhile, the industry is soiling itself with excitement at the thought of such a powerhouse as McKinsey finally legitimising their work. I mean please, have some confidence.
My point is this, we are in real danger of over engineering our creative work. That will open the doors wide for lawyers, management consultants and others to encroach on our territory.
Sometimes, a good creative idea is good because it just feels good.
Go have some fun.