No one claps but this film is brilliant

Written by: Helen McKay

November 13, 2014 - 7:21 am
Categories: Communication , Engagement , Film

I came across this quite by accident. If you haven’t already, please watch it (there’s a link below). I bet you won’t want to applaud, but this is the best short film I have ever seen.

Here’s why I love it:

1. Underdogs.
The people behind the film were banned from advertising on British TV. This set-back didn’t stop them. (I curious why this would be banned?)

2. Determined and ingenious.
They came up with a creative solution: their own film, which they could distribute via social media.

3. Community.
They asked their supporters to help fund this short film. Getting supporters involved with small participation acts like this help build a sense of community. Fundraisers and community builders take note!

4. Intrigue.
The film is about revealing marketing secret weapons. We all want to know secrets. Those of us working in marketing want to know how we can best communicate with our target audience, and as we’re all consumers we want to know if and how we are being hoodwinked. We’re captivated – ‘tell us your secrets’, we will the presenter eagerly!

5. The delivery.
The speaker’s timing is spot on. She is in the driving seat of this. Like an advert, she gives the live audience (and the online viewers) time to understand what she is saying but not to question or challenge. Boom-boom-boom!

6. Speaker-audience relationships.
The relationship with the speaker is interesting. She is leading us on a journey of discovery. She is the expert and we trust her. She explains things simply and with examples we can recognise, we listen, we ‘get’ it quickly. She makes us laugh early on (diamond malt cereals), and this breaks down any resistance we have to engaging with her. We are on side.

7. Audience-audience relationship.
As an online viewer you have the advantage of being able to see live audience’s reactions. You may be watching remotely but as an online viewer you have the advantage of being able to see them. Not only can you confirm from their reactions that you understand what they do, but you watch with a kind of dramatic irony (the live audience are almost like actors and you think you know more than them).

When the secret is revealed, that sense of greater knowledge gets shattered! Humbled, you share their awkwardness.

If you are poetic you may say that looking at them is looking at a reflection of yourself, the awkwardness you see in them is yours.

8. The weapon.
It’s a good one. Did you see it coming? No? Don’t think many would. The speaker smiles. She knew that was coming. Beautifully delivered presentation, real insight, and we don’t applaud the woman?

Now if you haven’t watched the film, please do now!

9. The message.
It’s a hard message. And an unexpected one. Ouch! We’re not passive passengers. It’s a risky move to tell people harsh truths.

10. Branding.
It is only after the presentation that we learn who is behind the film. This means that we were taken on a journey without bringing any thoughts or prejudices about the brand with us.

Sometimes the brand has to step away from the message. Sometimes when we are focussed on being recognised for all the great things we do and the things we stand for, we forget that sometimes brand has to step aside to let the message get through as we have had to do in some of our campaigns.

This alternative way of reaching people worked brilliantly for them: between May and June 2014 the film was shared over 4 million times. It went viral and was shared via YouTube, Upworthy and by familiar TV stars. Ingenious!

It’s possible that reach per £ spent exceeds what TV advertising would have brought them.

I’m not sure how many people seeing this will be able to continue to behave as they did. This was after all about getting people to think twice and make different choices.

Well done Compassion in World Farming, great film!

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