It’s award show season. Cue the celebrity buzz, impassioned political statements delivered from the stage, show-stopping performances — and some bold new ads from familiar brands.
Creativity, emotion and creating a curiosity gap dominate when it comes to audience engagement. All were on full display during last night’s Grammys — both during the broadcast and the commercial breaks.
Rapper Logic offered a thought-provoking tribute performance infused with a suicide-prevention message. Chris Stapleton and other country stars lamented recent violence at music events. The #MeToo movement got more than one mention.
During broadcast breaks, innovative new ads from Old Spice and Apple created an almost irresistible curiosity gap — the former by using a foreign language to leave audiences guessing; the latter by showing the creepy-but-cool power of Apple’s technology to mimic human faces.
Watching the Grammys was a reminder that the entertainment and advertising industries have a symbiotic relationship with each other and with current events. When the right balance is struck, the results can be mesmerizing.
Here are other headlines in the industry this week.
Content Strategist Allison Nipert:
Last year’s Oscars brought the biggest mix-up in award show history when presenter Warren Beatty announced the wrong winner for Best Picture (oops). But ABC and host Jimmy Kimmel are back this year, hilariously making fun of their mistake, using the old political adage: “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
Project Manager Kathleen Ryan:
This song might be cool — but none of us will be around to listen to it. In late 2017, Pharrell Williams and cognac brand Louis XIII introduced a project titled “100 Years,” with the tagline: “A song we’ll hear in a century, but only #IfWeCare about the planet.”
The song will not be publicly released until the year 2117, and the creators are hoping to use it to draw attention to the “fragility” of the environment, and the urgent need to take care of it. The song is engraved on a water-soluble, clay record that will be destroyed if the earth’s water levels rise in the coming century.
But what is the impact of a campaign that no one currently alive will live to see? PR, of course. The creators hope their artistry will focus attention on “the delicate relationship between nature and time, and the long-lasting effects humans have on their environment.”
Editorial Strategist Katharine Brenton:
It used to be that LinkedIn wasn’t much more than a job-hunting app. There was no surer sign of a colleague’s intentions to jump ship than getting a notification that they updated their LinkedIn profile. But things change, and today LinkedIn offers a focused publishing platform for individuals, companies and nonprofits alike. LinkedIn has a feature for long-form publication, effectively providing a platform to self-publish professional content, even without a blog. LinkedIn makes it easy to promote your content on Twitter, as well. This article offers helpful tips about how to maximize your brand’s presence on this unsung social platform in 2018.
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