An interesting article from Marketing Magazine, here's my take on it.
Ah the irresistible charm of a normal person being normal—that's a vlogger. On a normal day they'll post from a normal environment—their kitchen, their bedroom, their shed… And thousands of people will watch it. Why? Well that's the Vlogger's secret: normality.
Of course they do have to have something interesting to say, and 'interesting' is subjective, hence the proliferation of vloggers with all kinds of niche audiences (MASSIVE niche audiences, I might add). Which is perhaps why our industry is so intent on emulating the vlogger.
But it's not as easy as that, as we all know. So why not?
We as an industry churn out content for the web constantly nowadays, with the aim of being interesting and normal (or 'authentic'). 10/10 for the first goal: work out what the people want and give it to them, they'll like you for it. But perhaps we've misconstrued the second one: being normal.
Authentic from a teenager in their bedroom, is filming in their bedroom. Authentic from a global brand is not filming in a teenager's bedroom. The world out there knows we have products to sell and bottom lines to look after, and they know those bottom lines are a lot healthier than the average teenager's.
So it makes sense that while an up-and-coming young Youtube sensation can be forgiven for lo-fi production, even revered for it, brands won't be.
If we want to tap into the vloggers' followers, we can't just copy them.
We are trained professionals, who know what it takes to make someone laugh, cry or jump up and down with excitement. Yes, vloggers do this effortlessly, but they have the audience on their side before they've even said a word, because they're normal. Brands don't have that, and that's why we need to work harder. Let's use our skills and the tools we have at our disposal to do what we do best: make advertising that gets people's emotions.
We can do it, we have been for decades. To do so we have to stop emulating their style. By all means, let’s do influencer campaigns where merited. These guys have huge audiences that we want to reach. But our creativity plus their style should add up to more than the sum of it’s parts, not the same content as usual with a brand name slipped in. Let’s help them make content they could never make without us.
We can't beat them at their own game, we're not even allowed to play. So let's get back to our game—the one we played on Madison Avenue.