COM015 – Post #4 – Out of the Box

We have focused primarily on best practices in a very new and evolving field, what unexpected applications have you found in the field of online marketing and social media?

This isn’t ground-breaking, what is anymore?  The idea of giving people, consumers, a behind-the-scenes look at something they normally wouldn’t see is trending on social media.  Think Chris Hadfield on the International Space Station tweeting about his day, numerous days, in space in 2013 was earth-shattering in terms of the accessibility that he enabled through his use of Twitter, a social media platform.   If you missed it, check out his Twitter feed and scroll back to his time aboard the space station, commanding it actually, this year.

Can anyone argue against this use of social media to show off something usually inaccessible to us mere mortals (i.e. non engineers)?  Perhaps not.  But is having a behind-the-scenes look really what we as consumers want, or need?

Lets take radio as an example.  I listen to the Hot 89.9 here in Ottawa.  With the exception of Justin’s new hit I’m pretty cool with most of what gets played.  The way I listen to radio is quite old fashioned for the cusp of 2014.  It’s kind of like reading a novel.  The author, or in this case DJ, paints countless scenes for their readers who discover a world of their own yet of the author’s imagination.  The DJ does something similar – particularly in ‘group’ style radio shows like the Morning Hot Tub.  As the author of this blog post I’d prefer that you listen to the show before clicking on the above link – but I know we all have different tastes.  I’m getting to my point here – I want it to be clear so I’ll take another paragraph to get there (bear with me!).

I was preparing dinner the other night with my husband and he recounted a segment he’d heard on the radio while driving to work one morning.  Jenni and Josie, the female Hot Tubbers, were trying to hit an apple out of the mouths of the male Hot Tubbers (Mauler and Rush) a la Hunger Games heroine Katniss with a modified Nerf gun.  I was already painting a picture in my mind of what this might have looked like.  I pictured four adults crammed into a small radio studio with a Nerf gun and someone about to lose an eye.  But there’s no need for that – there’s a YouTube video that will fill all of us who were already at work in on what happened that morning.

But why?  Why do we need to be filled in?  Okay, I admit that I enjoyed the video – a bit.  But what’s the need for it?  Are we so undersaturated already that a scene already built in our minds must be undone for the sake of one more YouTube video?  One more tweet?  One more Facebook post?

I think that it’s important to strike the right balance between giving consumers what they want – an inside look into the radio studio, into the space station – and keeping them interested in what’s going on behind those closed doors.  I know that’s not the culture these days – but when is enough, enough?  I would love for these behind-the-scenes looks to become unexpected, exciting and novel.  I would love to be hanging on every word and simple noise that allows me to build a picture of what’s going on in a radio studio rather than having that picture torn to shreds by a YouTube video.

And maybe everyone reading this post thinks that it’s best practice to give consumers a behind-the-scenes look at production, at what happens when the camera’s not rolling – you name it – but I think we need to ask ourselves why we rely on that and not on ourselves.

Ears are ready for the constructive criticism – fire away!

Ps. By the time I got around to writing this I couldn’t find the video 😦 My apologies!