Wake up your sausage

June 11, 2008

Neil’s produced a cracking presentation about all things around communities and marketing. There are loads of them around, but this is fine piece of storytelling that will make any smart client sign up for experimenting with the live interwebs.

I’m overly humbled to see Where are the Joneses? used as a case study. For good or worst example of doing a project like this.

And if you like, that’s what Neil is pointing at; “getting on and doing it” – and do it well by learning from each part of the project. And that means working with the client team in a different way. Without a strong sponsor / champion on the client’s team, you wont get it out the door. It’s because there is so much detail in the legal framework from licences to contract with a project like the Joneses? it can be a test of patience. There’s also a massive shortage of lawyers who understand the 2.0ness of all this stuff, never mind advice on best commercial practice within open source productions.

Opening up to audience participation has not yet begun to worry legal teams in a way it’s shaken marketing.

As a Disney Board Co Chair recently said:

“We understand now that piracy is a business model,” said Sweeney, twice voted Hollywood’s most powerful woman by the Hollywood Reporter. “It exists to serve a need in the market for consumers who want TV content on demand. Pirates compete the same way we do – through quality, price and availability. We we don’t like the model but we realise it’s competitive enough to make it a major competitor going forward.”

I wrote the Joneses model as a format; like Big Brother or WifeSwap, so that it could be reused by different brands and production companys; the overall mechanics of using a central ideal (the branded kernal of the narratives platform’s operating system ) and then expecting the site to grow outwards through social utilities, by always referring back to the kernal’s logic.

The legal framework had to be ‘elastic’ and for me, writing the rules to engagement for the lawyers to approve, was the one of the most fun parts of the project. Sitting in a room of media legals,listening with horror and fear as the project was explained to them and then smiling as they balk at the simplicity of the solutions. I have the Channel4 legals to thank for that – they made me understand every ‘no’ in the book when worked there.

Neil – a slide on legals, especially Creative Commons would have been useful, I think. It’s the device that enables the legalities of sharing within and out of communities.

The aesthetics of the narrative also meant that the operating system (the Joneses’ media cloud == all the objects/pages that connected to the project together) gave the real time production maximum freedom – a massive need if the daily output had to happen. A bit like the daily news, the ‘look and feel’ was synthesised into the tone of the project – Where are the Joneses as an identity had to work with every service that the team wanted to use.

This goes against much of the consenus of how a brand needs to apply itself to content, especially as the project is USER centric.

So where is the brand in all this?

First, does it matter?

If it does, the brand needs to take its place in the sidelines, encouraging, cheering on users – their prospects.

The brand’s ‘essence’ can be woven into the production, through functions, through tone. But a brand ‘essence’ is such a wanky term.

A brand has a story, with lots of tales interwined. A story is an abstract of the company’s values, That abstraction can be performed in many ways – you just need to know the material you’re working with to get the best out of ot; like a stone masion or an enthusiastic knitter would.

I remember speaking to John Griffith‘s about Brand Stories, (I believe he invented them), and how he got clients (agencies) to play out brands – you know, like actors would.

One person is CocaCola, another is Marlboro, another is Sainsburys – and then you watch how they interact in these new roles.

But anyway, most of this is in the production itself.

How to create a spectacle.

How to create meaning.

8 Responses to “Wake up your sausage”

  1. Rob Myers Says:

    I have the Channel4 legals to thank for that – they made me understand every ‘no’ in the book when worked there.

    You have the patience of a saint. I think they want it back. ;-)

  2. neilperkin Says:

    Hi David. Thanks for the kind words. I included the joneses as a great example of a distributed content model that had a marketing imperative to it – I think it’s exceptional work. As always you make some good points, and your perspective about the legals is an important one – there’s got to be as many reasons as possible for it to be easy for brands and content owners to say yes to this way of working (and thinking).

  3. John Says:

    Aplombing new depths as ever.


  4. […] Zero influence — Wake up your sausage On open media phormats: “So where is the brand in all this? First, does it matter?” — Hehe! — “If it does, the brand needs to take its place in the sidelines, encouraging, cheering on users – their prospects.” media authentic usergeneratedcontent socialmedia openmedia mediaclouds brandedcontent entertainment phormats wrtj […]

  5. eaon Says:

    i see from the comments that others have highlighted this nugget too.
    ‘If it does, the brand needs to take its place in the sidelines, encouraging, cheering on users – their prospects’
    nicely put. E


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