If you're in the US, I hope you had a great 4th of July weekend.
It was a special weekend for me - Friday was my birthday, and it was a lot of fun despite being in lockdown. I can't enter into too much detail since my mom also reads this newsletter. Let's just say I indulged.
This week we talk about idea sex, how to write a problem statement in your creative brief, why Facebook can't be reformed and how to promote your content.
🎵 This ethereal music video from Moses Boyd uses long exposure shots to achieve a very unique look.
📓 Seth Godin on why independence is about cooperation and interconnectedness.
🐈 A 6-second video you might watch for minutes!
⭐ Is this horoscope from 1979 accurate?
🦇 Not the Batman vs Spiderman I expected.
📺 A captivating Pepsi commercial showing what is love at first sight.
🌞A mind-blowing 10 years timelapse of the Sun by NASA.
💬 Some inspiring words from our good friend Coronavirus:
You made an awesome video for your brand, but how will anyone know about it?
In this 4th and last post of this series, I talk about a word I used to hate. Promotion sounds salesy and off-putting, so let's re-frame its meaning. It doesn't mean spamming everyone, it means finding the best way to reach your intended audience and drive traffic to your content. Distributing your video on the right channels is essential for your video’s success.
Want help to make or promote your video content? Just reply to this email and I'll give you some bespoke ideas.
4 minutes | Julian Cole
Using a scene from the movie Moneyball, strategy planners Julian Cole and Charlie Quirk explain what is an effective problem statement to use in a creative brief.
- One of the biggest mistakes junior planners make is skipping over the problem statement in a brief.
- A problem statement describes the unfavorable condition that prevents the goal or objective from being solved.
- In Moneyball, the scouts of the team are asked what is the problem. Answers range from "We have to replace 3 key players" to "We need to make 38 home runs". They focus on the surface-level details.
- Brad Pitt explains what is the real problem: "It's an unfair game".
- A good problem statement is externally focused, evocative, clear and meaningful.
- Examples from the brand world: Chrysler identified the problem "no one wants to buy anything from Detroit". Their resulting campaign, Imported from Detroit, was a big success.
- Planet Fitness realized that "gymtimidation repels many people from going to the gym", which resulted in their popular Lunk Alarm campaign.
4 minutes | Ness Labs
- The idea that creativity is something uncontrollable is still prevalent among creators. But inspiration can, in fact, be programmed so you can generate ideas on demand.
- Inspiration is passive: you wait for it to happen to you. It’s unpredictable: you can’t just experience it on demand. It can be stressful: if you need to write something and you don’t feel inspired, there is not much you can do about it except take a break and go for a walk.
- Idea sex is active: you can proactively decide to combine two or more ideas and to see what interesting new idea may come out. It’s programmable: after you create a sustainable system, you will be able to create new ideas on demand. And it’s mindful: instead of forcing yourself to stare at a blank page until your muse pays you a visit, you look through your network of ideas to find a trail to explore.
Tips for a sustainable system:
- Be selective when saving ideas. Before adding something to your note-taking app, ask yourself: does this idea connect to any other idea that’s already in the system?
- Proactively connect ideas together. Use mind maps and concept maps to think your way through these potential connections, and progressively build a mental atlas.
- Let your ideas evolve. Ideas are not set in stone. If connecting two ideas together makes you realize an idea you wrote about in the past feels outdated, create a new version. Make sure you don’t consider anything you have written down as too sacred to edit.
5 minutes | Gary Vee
- Adding a DTC model is more important for brands than ever – especially as we adapt to a world of COVID-19.
- Creating an authentic story is key. When he started Empathy Wines, Gary talked about how the brand that was best for the farmer and best for the consumer would always win.
- Sometime magnification is far greater than the sums of the parts. Empathy Wines partnered with Constellation, a global company that can massively accelerate their growth. Their mass infrastructure allows Empathy to win bigger than without them.
6 minutes | New York Times
- Facebook's reaction to the #StopHateForProfit advertising boycott campaign can be summarized in “We know we have more work to do.”
- The problem of this is that it glosses over the fundamental structural flaws in the platform. Its algorithm optimizes for engagement, advantaging divisive and emotionally manipulative content. This will always produce more objectionable content at a dizzying scale.
- There will always be more work to do because Facebook’s design will always produce more hate than anyone could monitor. The architecture is the problem.
- Some people are thinking less about policing Facebook’s platforms and trying to imagine ways to help us live in a world dominated by Facebook.
- Others suggest declaring “platform bankruptcy.” This would involve platforms resetting all of their user and group follower counts to zero and rebuilding communities from the ground up, with the platforms’ current rules in place.
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"Who the hell are you?"
I'm Gianluca, an Italian filmmaker based in Los Angeles. A while back you opted into my email list through my website Storyforma. I like to send out genuinely useful content about working and living as a creative in the digital age.
"I have a project in mind, are you available to chat?"
Of course. You can just reply to this email or schedule a call with me here.
"Is there a place to discuss this stuff and connect with other creators?"
I'm starting a Facebook group, feel free to join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThroughTheNoise/