Tag Archives: youtube

Brandings are forever

I don’t watch TV, don’t listen to the radio, hardly ever go to the cinema, read less and less print media, and surf with an ad blocker. Practically the only advertising that gets through to me are billboards, posters, in-store displays and the increasingly more frequent flat-screen panels around. My contact with these is mostly minimal, and I try to reduce it as much as possible. Contacts beyond that with advertising are beginning to be slightly alienating. The only ad slogans I know anymore come from the billboards – and these, thankfully, tend to be for products and services that I don’t want or need. I sometimes come across new products in the supermarket that by the looks of them must have had launches with major advertising campaigns.

That is how I judge these new products: by the looks of them. There’s power in the branding here, in the design and packaging. It’s apparent what is well-thought out and what’s hastily or cheaply put together. I’m still victim to that in that I’m definitely willing to pay more for something that looks nicer, even though I’m often aware that there is no real difference in quality. For bigger purchases, or ones that mean an investment of time, like movies or books, ratings on the internet are a main factor in my decision-making, as is advice from my friends. There branding has often been relegated to an afterthought.

Overall this means I have a much nicer shopping experience nowadays. I’m less driven to things that wanting to buy has been hammered into me, and more by my needs. It would be even nicer if the old brands disappeared. There are decades of marketing still at work inside of me regarding these. I may not have seen an ad for them for years, but the old ones still resonate somewhere inside of me. Take ‘Maoam’, a German brand of chewy, chemical-ersatz-fruit-flavoured sweets. The current packaging is terrible, but every time I see them I remember a commercial that’s so old that the original isn’t even on YouTube – and sometimes this, mixed with childhood memories, still leads to a purchase of a product I don’t really like much.

This power is unlikely to ever disappear. Branding is something that gets into us very deeply. I have to live with the brands that decades of media consumption carved into me. All I can do is try not to let their number increase much more.

PS: Nothing in my media abstinence has been an ideological decision. I just find that in almost all cases there are much better ways to get at the content I want, and I have no time to waste on content I don’t want.

PPS: For those willing to risk brand-exposure: I found a remake of the classic Maoam commercial . I guess the damage from watching it once won’t be too severe – so it’s OK to go ahead and view it!

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Filed under signal to noise

Lockin’ & Poppin’ on the Long Tail

“The long tail” – like so many of these abstract concepts, it helps to have examples to ground it when you think about it. For the long tail in content a great one can be found at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXO-jKksQkM&feature=youtu.be .

Utterly fascinating dancing, extremely well executed, and completely non-mainstream. The dance moves  are poppin’ & lockin’ from “classical” breakdance, which has been out of the mainstream conscience ever since the early eighties, the music is some post-dupstep hybrid – catchy in parts, but not radio fare. It’s not a promotional video, and there seems to be no direct commercial interest.

In pre-internet times, something like this might have been shown to friends and family, maybe run once in a late-night music show on some local TV channel, been ignored by a large part of the audience during this pinnacle of its media life, and then forgotten. It’s 100% long-tail content.

Now access no longer depends on distribution means and power. The infrastructure for that is there, accessible to all with an internet connection. It’s up on YouTube, so those interested can broadcast and send the link to others that they know are interested. It can have time to spread, be accessed again and again. There’s no guarantee it’ll get more views than its old world counterpart would have gotten – but the possibility is there. The 1.6  2.3 million views the clip has? I picked this up from a post on BoingBoing, and a lot of others did as well. I posted it to one interested friend, and he knows a lot more people into breakdancing. With propagation from there, me finding it may have opened it up to dozens of people by now, and I’m really not much of a multiplicator. Content has the chance to propagate from a few seeds, through the networks, and find its audience. I’ll probably show it at the office, and during whatever quick YouTube sessions there are with people in the near term. I want to see that completely sick part when the guy starts rewinding for the second time – at least a couple more times. That I and others can do so – that’s the long tail to me.

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Filed under digital media