Why Did the Marketer Climb the Mountain?

The new Wolverine movie is coming! The new Wolverine movie is coming! Any new multi-media treatment of Marvel’s X-Men franchise – from comic books to cartoons to movies gets my immediate attention. I excitedly watch movie trailers over and over in anticipation of the upcoming main event, I mark the dates in my calendar and pre-purchase tickets for opening night. Yes, I’m a sci-fi geek;I admit it. So you can imagine my joy when I was forwarded the trailer for the new Wolverine movie.

I clicked the link with great expectations, only to discover that the trailer was a micro-video on Vine, Twitter’s new video service that plays a 6-second (maximum) video on a constant loop.  It was like watching a car wreck. You know it’s horrific; your stomach turns looking at it but you just can’t turn away. The video flashed a spastic parade of Wolverine images at me that I was forced to turn off after about 30 seconds for fear it would cause an epileptic fit, like strobe lights used at dance clubs.

The ensuing headache was attributed in equal parts to the convulsive display of images and my anger at the marketing team that thought this was a good idea.  Is this the future of marketing? Are social media channels forcing brand marketers to compress campaigns into nothingness?

Why Did the Marketer Climb the Mountain?

Why did the man climb the mountain? Because it was there!  Um, marketers, this is a joke…not a new marketing strategy! Developing social technologies provide options for branding, communications, customer service and sales efforts. You don’t have to use them all just because they’re there. You don’t need to re-share or re-purpose content across every social media channel.

Why Did The Main Climb The Mountain

There are two trends among social media marketers that I find disturbing:

1. Multi-Network Broadcasting

Yes, pervasive communications is upon us. We’re connected across a myriad of devices and social networks, often with a single user log in. Online content must be presented in a responsive design allowing for a consistent, seamless user experience across any type of device. However, good branding requires marketing teams to be selective in which of those interconnected technologies we share our messages. Not every business HAS to have a Facebook page and if they do, not every Tweet, Instagram pic, Pinterest board, blog post and LinkedIn update needs to be posted there too…just as not every movie trailer and music video has to be shoehorned into a Vine snippet.

2. Short Form Content

We’re micro-blogging, producing micro-videos and adding emoticons, hashtags and text-based lingo to replace complex sentences or thoughts. Memes, Instagram-augmented pictures and Pinterest boards are become more and more popular for their quick, don’t-make-me-think format. Studies have shown that shorter blog posts are read – and responded to – more than longer blogs posts.  As a result, shorter and more frequent posts have become the norm, many of them lists so that the audience can simply skim the content and not have to read it all.   Yes, there is so much noise being created online that our audience have developed Social Attention Deficit Disorder. We must be brief, pithy and entertaining to have any hope of being read, clicked or listened to.

What’s the cost of these trends? Is social media compressing brand advertising and customer engagement into nothingness? At what point are we being so brief that we’re really not saying anything of value?

Vine, Twitter, Strategy?

Marketers, where is the strategy? Where is your thinking? Is that too much to ask today? Why is there such a rush to adopt every social media channel and technology with no thought as to why?

I have a suggestion for the creative team that squeezed the Wolverine movie trailer into a short form video tighter than my jeans after Thanksgiving dinner: Why not slow down the video to have, say, just one frame with the key message holding for 6 seconds. You know, so that the audience can actually absorb the message you’re trying to deliver.

Oh, wait, that’s a photo. Too bad we don’t have a photo sharing app for Twitter.  o_O

Sam Fiorella
Feed Your Community, Not Your  Ego

Imaged Credit: Pixabay, Licence via Creative Commons

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5 comments
geoffliving
geoffliving

Well, it just goes to show you that success is in the eye of the beholder. I actually thought it was innovative and cool. It's not easy to be first, and they had the guts to experiment. And yes, I did like it and for the first time was interested in the movie.

chieflemonhead
chieflemonhead

Hey Sam -


Thanks for this post - the title was awesome, the joke was fun and the punchline was... well, far too true! My two cents, for what their worth, is that despite the humanity in social networks, marketers have discovered the SEO value in connecting - literally - EVERYTHING. So cross-posting, multi-posting and double posting has value in the sense that it is not considered a black-hat SEO strategy.

Google and the other search engines (like how I did that) consider mentions in social networks incredibly valuable for a brand's rank result in search. As such, marketers have discovered that - like in old school PR - any exposure is good exposure because it provides rank result. It is a sure way of circumventing the fact that audiences tune out traditional marketing channels for organic search. When a consumer knows what they want, they search. They usually click on one of the first 5 links and rarely if ever go to the 2nd page of results when they're really shopping for something. The social outreach enabled from new social networks and multi-media sites - like Vine and Instagram - increase the power of SEO rank results. So, though the strategy may not be clear to the consumer, marketers are, in fact, using a strategy... one to increase their rank and ideally make that top 5 list.

Those brands who adopt these tools before the others also increase the hold they have on their rank position. It is very sad... because to me, it has once again removed the humanity in the brand/consumer relationship and whittled it down to a numbers game. Gaming the search engine...

Thanks,

Judi

henryblaufox
henryblaufox

Sam,

I used to hold to a wait and see approach, to determine if the new application or product would be adopted, or was just a fad. It's a holdover from my years in IT, I guess. My colleagues here at DragonSearch have shown me it isn't a useful method for online marketing, especially social. It is necessary to try out just about everything that gets released to make a judgment about whether it has value or not. A  bit distracting, perhaps, but we've decided it's necessary.

samfiorella
samfiorella moderator

@geoffliving That's cool. I'm not the authority on all things (well, I am, but I try to be humble). I disagree that it's a innovative use of short-form video. It's just a random flash of images. I get the sense that the marketers thought: we got six seconds, how many images can we cram in here? Is there a way to be innovative with Vine? I would say yes. Did they do it? Not in my opinion. 

samfiorella
samfiorella moderator

@henryblaufox I don't judge Vine as a useful tool or not - yet. I would agree that we must try new apps to determine what works; however, some filter must be added to the experimentation: Will the test positively impact the brand...or piss customers off. My 2 cents.