Will marketing ruin "Live"?
We have entered a dangerous world. Moore's law allows us to do amazing, unbelievable things, and the world of Marketing has taken full advantage. The progression is easy: 2D print, radio recreation, TV personalities, web content youtube, streaming live. People "seeing themselves" in marketing campaigns has crossed into a realm unimaginable - seeing yourself (or as close as you can get) in an unfolding situation. Live. No edits. The big question to ask is: will marketing leave "you" authentic?
The invasion of people into the mobile realm, a realm with seemingly infinite options, has changed the way marketing occurs. We all recall the transition from Web 1.0 to 2.0, when companies no longer ruled content, but it came from the bottom up - from individuals. We saw the social wave come crashing in - where you relied on your network to give you your insight, and thus trust came from bonds already made. As we get more "instant-ified", as we attach more and more cameras to people and stream more and more for the web to find, we now are at a new marketing place: "Well, what do I think about [it]?"
Marketers are attempting to give first hand experience to people digitally by having proxies experience something and posting that experience.Seems weird to have come full circle, but we are now asking ourselves, "Can I find my voice somewhere online and gauge an opinion from what "I" think about this?"
A great example of this were the "Man on the Street" reports coming in from the political conventions in America during 2016's summer. We had a conversation with media strategist Nick Borelli who marveled at how Cleveland.com hired social media channel influencers to deliver live content to their "people." Yes, we have seen reporters asking the "man on the street" questions for decades, but never to the extent we have been seeing - where you are walking moment by moment through this person's experience and hearing it as close to live as possible. The goals? See yourself in that person and attach more fully to it.
Is this new? Seeing yourself? No. Advertisers have been doing two dimensional versions of this for decades as well. Sometimes it's yourself. Many times it's the vision of what you want yourself to be. But we are in an age of limitless options if you just seek it out, so why NOT have every type of person discussing everything?
It's almost as if we are leasing our live experience to someone else and asking them to report back.
Having been through several marketing campaigns where we are trying to align live marketing strategies with digital marketing, we have become very familiar with web strategy. Getting to "clients seeing themselves" as quickly as possible on a page is standard m.o. in site design. It's powerful. It works.
The question naturally comes to the surface: Is this a good thing? When marketing dollars hit something, we immediately question its authenticity. When millions struggle for views and attention, those attempts become more and more produced. The democracy of something like Youtube went out the window the moment pay per clicks became the profit center. What can be trusted anymore?
Have we entered an age where live streams aren't true? As technology allows us to bend authenticity, hopefully technology can help us find it too.