February 15, 2013 by Colin Kelly
Would the staff at Apple make a video like this?
Why not? Obviously they don’t need to, but mainly because it doesn’t fit with their brand values. It’s not who they are. And certainly not how they want to be known.
So why are other brands jumping on this bandwagon? Is it really what they want to be known for?
Of course they want to have fun, to be seen as down to earth and doing the same things ordinary folk are doing. But from a big brand with several hundred thousand listeners, I’d expect higher production values. Is that where we’ve arrived at, that 5 guys in a bedroom in Queensland, Australia can now influence the output of a major market broadcaster? Are you serious?
At least they’re trying though. At least they made the effort to put something out there and to be relevant. But where they go wrong is they take the easiest route. The first thing that pops into their head. Looking for a shortcut.
There is another way.
One of the best radio consultants in the world has been spelling it out for years. ‘Be primal’ is his mantra. Talk about the things that elicit a deep, gut reaction from our very core. Children’s safety. Care of the elderly. Gay marriage. Scottish independence. Should a 14 year old girl go out looking like Rihanna? The tough choices we make when we’ve got no money.
I agree with him to an extent, but where’s the fun? Listeners want a bit of light entertainment, to escape all that heavy stuff. Which takes us back to Harlem Shake.
Maybe they weren’t wrong to do it. Well the paltry numbers of views its had suggests it hasn’t exactly caused a stir. And why would it? The viral video already exists. Why do I want to see some half baked rush job? It comes across as very desperate. Like the web guy’s just been yelled at to get the hits up. Or worse, that the staff have little else to do all day than dress up and piss around for as long as it took to film this.
I’d rather they didn’t resort to stuff like this. But if they’re determined to, a bit of thought would have improved it.
Like don’t film it in your boardroom. Listeners think you’re showbiz and sexy. That you’ve got special access and priviledges. So do it in the middle of George Square. Or Falkirk. Or at a football ground. Give it some sort of local reference that makes it relevant. Get the listeners involved so there’s thousands of participants instead of a handful. Explain what it is. Not everyone’s aware of ‘viral video sensations’. Link to other people around the world who’ve done it. Ask me to vote for which one is the best. Find the 5 guys that started it all and put them on your programme. Rope in a celebrity, stick a mask on them and play ‘Where’s Wally’.
But you know what, it would still be a bit shit. Because it’s a cheap knock off of someone else’s original content. And a major market radio station should be creating its own, high quality original content.
Lead, don’t follow.
And before I get accused of sheer hypocrisy, let me come clean. I know all about cheating yourself and lowering your standards to get some cheap publicity.
I’m the guy that did this.