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Flying Seraph

Discontent About Content

Peter Bloomfield (Bloomers) is the consummate filmmaker.

What he has forgotten about ideas, stories, composition, framing, focus, depth of field, lighting etc. many have yet to learn.

He is such a modest, self-effacing man. You may well have grown up with a great film he shot and been none the wiser.

In a sign of the times, these days, he is often charged with producing content. (Here’s a fun exercise: Google ‘where to get good content’ and you get almost 1 billion hits in 0.34 seconds or less).

Such huge demand for content. So much vacant time and space to fill. It frightens the lights out of me.

The notion is not new. After all, Commodore J. Walter Thompson, was originally a print media space-broker. Somewhere along the way, he twigged that, in addition to selling space, he could offer to help clients fill it.

Content, if you will.

There is some argy-bargy about whether, or not, his was the first formal advertising agency. Be that as it may, we seem to have come full circle. We’re back in an age where media capacity well exceeds the available content.

Cool word – ‘content’. There are 2 ways to think about it:

One’s a definition I love, loaned to me by my CEO: ‘Content – Marketing that works so well you choose to spend time with it (and even save or share it)’.

That presupposes strategic thought, strong ideas and stories told well. Take for example, the wonderful work W&K did for Old Spice: camera operator, writer, client and talent responding in real-time. Listening, writing, approving, shooting and uploading in response to the likes of Ellen.

Or think about the word ‘content’ this way: ‘Satisfied’. ‘Filling’.

Goodness help us and our brands if we allow ourselves to lapse into this second kind of content. Ill thought-through stuffing. Filler of space. Bar set at satisfactory.

“But it’s not really ‘main media’”, I hear some thinking. Well, the truth is we never know how or when people first encounter a brand. Or what their most recent encounter might be/have been.

Imagine if it was through content. Content regarded as a mere filler. Content that only sought to satisfy.

Keep in mind Michael Eisner’s wonderful view of brands: ‘A brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures’.

Everything matters.

Simply put: Content that is merely satisfactory might just stuff your brand.

Follow Mark Sareff’s series in here.

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