Make no mistake, this is the age of heightened individualism. More and more things are competing for our attention as the battle for clicks, likes and eyeballs gets stronger. And yet the more we compete as marketers and communicators, the more there is a sense of ‘so what?’
This stat dropped on my desk earlier. A staggering 300 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute whilst 5 billion videos are watched each day on YouTube alone. I heard that one newspaper alone receives 40,000 press releases and pieces of information a day. We are killing not capturing attention, disappearing into a world of niches, each of us immersed in our customised, individualised, time-thieving worlds.
In the early days of my career the potent combination of imagination and curiosity turned publicity and the idea of stunts upside down. Now getting a message across is harder than ever. Planning, targeting, creativity and courage are vital to cut through the melee. And when I say planning and targeting I don’t mean being a prisoner to the data, though that helps of course. Last week Banksy shredded his work at auction and grabbed the headlines. But arguably it was his anonymity rather than the stunt itself that created the buzz, although this was a stunt staged and executed with control (and complicit partners!) That’s counter culture for you.
For many reasons stunts and campaigns risk an attitude of ‘so what?” unless they are totally innovative. They may make a noise initially but it’s generally fleeting and forgotten the next day. What’s the outcome then? A box ticked perhaps, but not much more. The technology options and dreaded “omni channel” campaigns do give us endless options to be creative, but if there’s a revolution in progress, how come I’m not feeling it?