Why Was Then, This Is How

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The latest issue of Google’s Think Quarterly begins as they all do, with an impassioned soliloquy about a specific facet of the digital age. This being the Creativity Issue, the discourse revolves around the ability of technology to increase creativity, the things it makes possible. “We are never more creative than when we are kids,” it begins, terming children ‘wide-eyed and inquisitive.” It goes on to say that technology has returned to adults that sense of wonderment, allowing us to be “endlessly curious and profoundly creative.” It claims that as children our favourite question is “Why” and that as digitally-integrated adults it can now be, impressively, “Why not”.
It seems there is a point passed over here. While both are certainly honourable inquiries, they’re often more rhetorical than anything else. The crucial question now, is “How”.
Being able to blend media means your story takes life beyond any of them individually. Now, creative toes the line of reality, or even crosses that threshold completely. Think Quarterly itself represents it. The entire publication serves as an advocate for a brand fiercely expanding its offering. At some point, a Google employee answered the question, “How do we present Google as perpetual thought leader while simultaneously charming people and reinforcing the perception of us as an innovative company?” with the response “with a magazine.” With swiftly increasing possibilities in almost every medium, and concertedly in digital and ambient, there are more answers to that “How” question than there ever have been before. What Smart Car’s Argentinean Twitter account did a couple days ago is a lovely example of that.





Over the course of 420-odd tweets, BBDO Argentina created a stop-motion film of a Smart Car driving through a city past adoring onlookers, and then parking between two cars in a way only a Smart Car could. It’s a simple, pleasant experience that takes a specifically textual medium and makes it completely visual. And, it’s just cool.
See it for yourself. @SmartArg

Branded Films

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Whiskeys, ryes, brandys, they all seem to stress the camaraderie of imbibing in their advertising. With campaigns like the above 'Wiserhood', they always present their spirit as telling of a nobleman who keeps premium company, and has earned his place at the table he drinks at. However, sometimes these brands will step outside the 30-second template and create a broader narrative. Often the premise is the same, the bond of brotherhood, but the larger storyscape allows for more focused attention on the characters. The audience has the chance to get to know these fictional individuals, endear to them, and has greater potential for identifying with the brand through them. However, this only works if people actually watch these branded films. That is, of course, the question. Is the production costs and time worth the amount of viewers you will receive, knowing full well that someone watching the short film, and even enjoying it, doesn't not guarantee their purchasing the product.

One example of branded films are the Chivas Regal productions below, both a toast to brotherhood. They are titled Here's to Twinkle and Here's to Big Bear. The trailer for the films is below.



Of the two, I enjoyed Here's to Big Bear considerably more. I think the length of that specific film allows the viewer to establish a rapport with the characters. It gives you enough time to get a sense of their relationship. The inside nature of the conversation their having while sitting about the table, Chivas in hand, underlines the amusing depiction of the story their recanting. The two play off one another well. I feel Here's to Twinkle lacks that engagement, that identification with the characters and their friendship. The toast is a nice wrap-up, and it does evoke a pleasant emotion. Telling stories with the boys over a bevy or two, a very enjoyable experience. Maybe it works exactly the way they wanted it to. It's hard to tell. It's peculiar that these competing products present such similar messages, but Chivas did this one pretty well.

Premiership

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Gang Starr was before my time, they stop putting out albums as a group by the time I was 13. They've attained a place in the hall of hip hop legends. The producer of the group, DJ Premier, commonly referred to as Primo, is one of the most revered producers in the history of the genre, of the elevated echelon of Pete Rock and J Dilla. The MC of the group, the now deceased Guru, didn't achieve the same status of Primo, but he's still well known in the genre.

I've only flirted with their catalogue, not at all well-versed in the six albums they produced from 1989 to 2003. I am very enamoured, though, with the song 'Rite Where U Stand' of their final album, The Ownerz.

 

It's the perfect blend of Old School and New School. D-Block co-founder Jadakiss brings what I feel is the best verse I've ever heard from him with a cadence and rhyme scheme indicative of the new generation. His rhythm is purely post-millennial, and he brings a violence in his grime that Guru's old school rhyme kicking doesn't have, doesn't need. Guru is exactly that, the guru, the professor, writing in the old style of straight-forward schemes with just a touch of flair. And that speaks nothing of the beat, pure Premier, never fleeing far from the record scratch while embracing a atmospheric sound that embeds you in the song.

Perhaps the greatest divider between Guru and Jadakiss, the Old School and the New School, are their depictions in the video. Jadakiss dons flagrant clothing, seats himself in an exotic automobile next to an attractive woman, and displays urban opulence in his every moment on screen. Guru is the exact opposite, he surrounds himself with darkly-clad cohorts in a rundown warehouse and kicks pure hip hop with no questions asked. It's beautiful in it's own right.

This song to me represents the bridging of the gap. This is the collision and collaboration of two generations hotly debated. Hip Hop heads constantly argue which institution prevails, the Old School or the New School. Perhaps they both did.

Magic Lamp PR

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As my education has advanced, I've begun to notice the traits of a skilled communicator. Someone who knows their audiences. Someone who skillfully crafts messages while adhering nigh religiously to the brand and purpose. It is of my now somewhat educated opinion that Genie from Aladdin is perhaps the best PR person ever seen.



He dons a human guise at first, presenting himself in a form his audience will react warmly too. Then the marching men chant in favour of Prince Ali, invoking a third-party endorsement. Genie strikes the hot iron here, commencing the dissemination of his message. He goes through the multitude of onlookers, engaging individuals specifically and fostering support for his claims. his message is simultaneously entertaining and on-strategy, the audience has no choice but to identify with it.

Genie then takes his tactics to an entirely new tier. He's planned activities for his audience that persuades them to interact with Prince Ali, convinces them of his claims, and even offers participatory glee to the members of the audience that aren't directly interacting with Ali. It's masterful, really.

From voluptuous maiden to rambunctious youth he dons whatever form fits his audience. And that says nothing of the song, a manner of extending copious information to his target public while making the message entertaining and impressively memorable. He evens wins over individuals directly opposed to his client, named Iago, Jafar's avian minion. This is an exhibition of PR excellence. Take notes, my friends.

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