Friday, 22 March 2024 15:44

Creating Ads or Content? Ask This Question First

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Asking Who Cares

This is more than a story about a video.

This is about a question I’m encouraging you to ask each time you create ad copy or marketing content.

The Set-Up

It was January of 2020. A member of the local ADDY Awards committee asked me if I would produce a 90-second video about myself for the upcoming ADDY Awards ceremony. My video would be one of four showcasing local creatives. The common topic: “What inspires you?”

My immediate response to the request was, “Who cares? Why would the audience of 300 advertising professionals at the ADDY Awards care about MY creative process?”

The concept seemed self-serving, I thought. So, I declined the invitation.

A few days later, the committee member returned and said, “C’mon, just do it.”

Never one to resist a well-reasoned plea, I caved. “Okay,” I said. “Just so I can do it my way.” He agreed.

The Goal

As I considered my approach to the video, I assumed that the other three creatives would take the assignment literally. I thought that, just as a lot of small business owners talk only about their company in their radio and TV commercials, the other three creatives would talk only about themselves in their videos.

But, again, who in the crowd would care?

So, I went in a different direction.

Sticking with my default setting, I decided that my number one goal for the video would be to entertain the audience with humor. It was my best chance to create a memorable piece that delivered some type of value.

You can see what videographer Sam Baldwin and I put together here or below.

The Results

The ADDY Awards audience laughed throughout our video. And after the show, many people told us how much they enjoyed it.

The piece won a 2020 Platinum MarCom Award. At the 2021 ADDY Awards, it won a Gold and a Judge’s Choice award. At the 5th District ADDYs, it won another Gold and another Judge’s Choice.

Online comments about the video range from “hilarious” and “genius” and “amazing” to “inspiring” and “well executed” and “brilliant; freaking brilliant.”

And ADDY judge Jennifer Hohn wrote, “It’s one thing to land just one joke, but to be able to stretch this joke over the entire time of a minute and 42 seconds is a pretty huge feat. And this video does that brilliantly. Really well done. Really strong stream-of-consciousness copywriting and the cinematography…was really well paired with it all. Loved how it was something that you don’t see every day. It’s always fun to see work that stretches your mind and makes you laugh a little bit.”

The Point

I received more positive feedback about that video than just about anything I’ve ever written. In fact, we still receive nice comments about it, years after its debut.

All that positivity began because we thought differently about the assignment. We didn’t just accept “the rules” we were given. It started by thinking about the audience first, asking the crucial question “who cares?” and then creating content in response to that question.

It’s tempting to want to talk about yourself or your brand. That’s human nature. But when you prioritize your audience, they'll be more likely to embrace and share your content, rather than actively avoid it.

How could always asking “who cares?” change your marketing?

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Read 872 times Last modified on Friday, 22 March 2024 16:28