24 Apr 2014

Whimsy with Teeth

Filming, Inside the Tomato No Comments

We heard something interesting today. It’s in a video about the creator of GapingVoid.com (you’ve seen it around the interwebs). The artist, Hugh MacLeod, says, “Where marketing gets interesting is when people use the message as a social object.”

He thinks traditional marketing is boring. New marketing is not the ingestion of a buy-this-product message but the enjoyment of “social objects.” He never exactly explains what a social object is, but you get the idea that it is something creative and fun that has a purpose as well. They’re fun but they move us. They entertain, but they also preach. Whimsy with teeth.

Besides his comics (of which, btw, I am a big fan and have been sharing for years), what else is a social object? A few come to mind.

  • TED talks – fun, short, and with a strong message
  • Good podcasts – a combination of creativity and purpose
  • Culture videos – e.g. our CFA philosophy video

Marketing has already moved beyond the behaviorist techniques of the last century – message creates psychological need, psychological need creates purchasing behavior, etc. New marketing doesn’t try first to subtract something from your wallet but to add something to your life.

We’re for that.


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