I get this with reasonable frequency. A publication or commercial client or individual will contact me regarding doing some work for them.
We sit down, a back and forth ensues. They really like what I am doing, and want work which will enhance their online presence by engaging Social Media. Then the conversation inevitably takes a dark turn when they state: “We need this imagery to go viral.”
The next thing that generally occurs, is a discussion of the type of work they want: stills, motion, video etc. Then the conversation turns to cost-expense. I detail those for the different types of media and personalities involved, and the story which they want to tell.
The next question is something along these lines: “You mean we have to pay for that?” At this point I learn that the client has someone in their circle or office that has a camera. They are self producing imagery. There is no story. It is what it is, someone hoping to use a basic (and frequently good) image or video composition, and hope that they can get social traction with it.
In the Creative Community we call gaining permission to approach, social traction, going viral: “becoming sticky”. The reason concepts become like glue in culture is that the intrigue of the story creates a rainbow of emotional response.
You never will ever be anything but a Carnival barker without the light and intrigue of people and their stories. Why story matters: they are about people, places and experiences which spark imagination and inspiration in the heart of the viewer. This process invites them to transmutate and become something very powerful: a participant.
Anything less is just that, something less.
So if less is good enough…
Well there you are. This video tells a funny and accurate story about us all as a culture.
But that will never be something sticky. Being heard in a room full of clamoring voices is an Art.
Art is creative and inspiring. People know the difference between authentic and contrived.
We would not want anything less for our own lives. Why would anyone believe a client or customer would follow our company and mission if we were not communicating inspiration, authenticity and intrigue?
My friends at Stewart & Brown have a catchphrase I love: “Aspire to Inspire”