Does your content move?
I could not be more excited that Jerry Seinfeld is back with a new season of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. Some people like sausage. Some people like knowing how the sausage gets made. If “sausage” can be replaced with “comedy,” I like to know exactly how it gets made. This puts me straight down the rabbit hole of shows like Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, YouTube clips of comedians discussing their craft, and the myriad of podcasts out there where comedians sit down with other comedians to discuss their trade. It’s both fascinating and a nice peek behind the curtain on how creativity comes to life. For my dollar, comedy is is one of the roughest and toughest forms of creativity. An audience either laughs or they don’t. An audience either likes a comedian’s presence or they don’t. Plus, getting people to laugh is tough business. Plus, plus… that individual is up there, naked, on a stage with nothing more than a microphone. Not easy.
What does comedy have to do with content?
At an elementary level, it’s obvious. A great joke tells a story that moves an individual to an extreme emotion (in this case, laughing). This is usually done in short order. If brands could simply master that formula, it’s clear that advertising, content and brand storytelling would be in a much better place. Dissect the comedian’s job and think about it in terms of a brand’s true north: tell a quick story that moves a customer closer to your story by hitting an extreme emotion (laughter, sadness, a memorable thought, etc…). Sounds simple. It’s hard to execute.
There’s something more pronounced here.
This will get meta. Along with watching videos and listening to podcasts about comedians spilling on their craft, I’ve watched countless hours of Jerry Seinfeld being interviewed about Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and its mass success. In one of those interviews, Seinfeld was asked why the component of the car was important (beyond the fact that Seinfeld is an avid collector and lover or automobiles). His answer was shockingly simple, and a true indictment on most of the content that brands put out. Allow me to paraphrase here on how he responded to this question: the show would be boring if it were just two people talking. That’s always boring. The car brings in movement. All great content and stories need movement and motion. The simple act of two people speaking in a moving car or talking while they are walking gives the show movement. Movement is a very human thing. Movement makes everything more exciting.
It’s true, isn’t it? Even audio podcasts (or audio books) are much more engaging (to me, personally) when listened to while I am either walking or driving in a car. I’m sure that I am not alone here. There’s two big ideas here for brands:
Idea one: does your content have movement and motion in it?
Idea two: when your content is being taken in, is the audience physically moving?
We wants our brands to have emotion. Emotions are critical. We need our brands to also have motion. Motion is critical.
Does your brand have movement in it?