Why strive for authenticity?
Because authentic stories tell themselves, over and over, without needing to be propped up.
Any agency worth its salt can make a viral-style campaign that’s really convincing.
- Make it rough, by using actual amateur DOPs, not expensive ones who just shake the camera.
- Take off smooth edges. Get rid of your expensive DSLR EXIF data, and replace it with bogus consumer info.
- Don’t export your video from the web straight from Final Cut Pro. The comp name will be in the file!
- Build, slowly, a small network of interrelated blogposts. Don’t be evil, just push for Googlejuice and connect up your idea to tastemakers and taste arbiters.
- Go find some raw talent, pay them a daily rate, and shoot them. No, wait: then they’ll just blab on their Myspace or Facebook. Get someone “in” the industry you are campaigning for to find real talent who can go off on holidays for a few weeks while you launch.
- Don’t get caught. Or, if you are crafty, build up the picture to make it seem as if someone else did it. Sigh. No, you should just build a great concept, slowly, which bursts out rapidly and has a verifiable “trail” behind it.
- Use digital media extensively. Build a profile of images, text, blog posts, stories, real-world/online mashup games, found objects, image-hosting pools, “cool kids only!”, invitation only, Facebook groups. Why not get your intern(s) to spend a day or three doing this, rather than making them pick up drycleaning, making them stuff direct-mail envelopes, or making them go to the store for “multi-coloured paint”.
- Be faithful to the client, brand, or business. Do a deal: we get caught in the first two weeks, you don’t pay. We miss our conversion targets, you pay 25% less. We exceed our targets, we get 20% more. You’ll soon realise whether you’re actually any good at what you do.
- Join the real world to the virtual one. Want to sell shiny green Converse? Is red a good contrast colour? So, why notâ€¦have them seen and photographed on a red carpet? Too simple? Why not get the online marketing manager for a complementary green (“eco”) brand to be seen wearing them to work, every day for a week?Â Then be “crude” and buy up the adwords for “green converse” for searches from your target locale and demographic. Still too simple? Well, then engage me, and I’ll show you how to go one-louder, for each of these points.
- Why hide? Why lie? Because you need to, because you didn’t hide your agency and agenda well enough. Try hiding it a layer deeper, and getting some white-hat hackers to try to unravel “the viral” 4 days before launch. Then use their findings to hide it more, just before launch.
- There is no eleven.
Naked was caughtâ€¦wellâ€¦naked. Because everything seemed a little not-quite-real from day 1 of it appearing in public. Hey, I don’t slag people off: but even they must realise that the negative backlash is not the outcome they wanted.
Let’s all end on a high note.