This winter term I took an advertising class called J460: Digital and Social Branding. It was taught by Dave Allen, a digital guru who currently works at NORTH brand agency in Portland. (You can read his blogs here!) For our final project in the class we have been assigned to write an essay or complete some other sort of creative project that demonstrates the breadth of knowledge we gained from the class. I have decided to write a blog post – a digital essay, of sorts – because it is fitting for a class based entirely around digital strategy and adapting to the ever-changing world of technology. This blog post will revolve around the doodles I drew during the class lectures.
YouTube is an extremely interesting subject to discuss. Never before in the short history of recorded video has video sharing been so easy and so accessible to a huge audience. YouTube makes advertising timeless and easy to interact with, it makes music accessible, it makes DIY lessons attainable, and it makes everyday people stars.
Take for example, Lizzy Land. A wonderful person who attended my high school, Lakeridge, and is now trying to make it out there in the big, scary world as a vocal artist. Her voice is beautiful, timeless, and unique – the perfect combination to succeed, right? Not right. Being “discovered” is the hardest part about breaking into the music industry, something that YouTube has both helped and hindered. On one hand, your face and voice are now accessible to millions of people around the world, and if people like you, they’ll share you, and that’s how good people get discovered. On the other hand… there are thousands of people trying to do the same thing.
I believe that branding is present in almost every aspect of life. Whether it’s an advertisement, a person, or artwork, everything represents something larger than itself and these things create relationships with those who experience them. A prime example of this is the music industry – one that has roots in the arts and takes that to the extreme with the idea of band branding and album/poster artwork.
Let’s take Miike Snow for example. This is an awesome group with an awesome image. If you haven’t already, check out their music:
I’m not usually a fan of Katy Perry but I have to say that this music video for “Wide Awake” is innovative to say the least. Not only has Facebook’s new “timeline” profile approach received much debate (mostly negative), but many have not embraced it’s wonderful capabilities to tell a story. In J456 Creative Strategies, the main thing we learn is that all journalism is, is telling stories. PR tells stories about companies, newpapers and magazines tell stories about people, places and events, and advertising tells stories about brands and ideas.
It’s really amazing what technology can do these days. We have cars that connect to our phones, touch screens that take interaction to a whole new level, and now there is even an interactive music video that uses Google Maps information to put you in the middle of your own town while listening to some music by Arcade Fire. Check out this experiment called “The Wilderness Downtown” by Chris Milk: