Monday, 9 February 2009

Getting deep with Chris Jordan and application to Creative engagement

Recently I have a little more time on my hands than normal. So I've been a little more addicted to Twitter than normal.

I came across a tweet with a link to this presentation from Photographer Chris Jordan.

(I would give credit for the tweet but I have had so many since then that it has disappeared into the console abyss)

It's well worth watching. Basically, Chris uses striking imagery to demonstrate what he calls the problem of "unconscious, collective behaviour". Simply amazing pieces.

Charity Campaigns:
Aside from the obvious shocking statistics, I took a valuable creative lesson in terms of marketing from the presentation.

This is the scenario... I am not easily engaged when it comes to charity. Not because I'm tight with money or ignorant to current affairs but because I think about things too deeply, they bother/depress me. Selfish I know but I admit sometimes I am guilty of brushing things under the carpet so to speak. I suspect I'm not alone.

For instance, I avoid 'charity muggers' on the street like the plague. Part of me resents the whole "I don't want your money, just your time" line. Firstly because I know that's not true and secondly because I would much rather donate of my own accord at a time when I am ready. I think alot of people react this way to charities. So it's not easy for them and I can appreciate the struggle charities face when trying to inform me of the 'bigger picture' when I least expect it.

Although their cause is extremely noble, for me its like 'Real life Spam'. I didn't 'opt in' to that marketing message, therefore it goes into my 'life spam' folder faster you can say "Sorry mate I'm in a hurry".

So what if we don't want to confront the horrors of the world on my way to work? More so in the digital environment what if we are on our way to Hotmail for example, are we in the frame of mind to click through to a charity? Probably not. Does that make us bad people? I don't think so, I do think however that charities have to constantly think of new ways to engage.

In the presentation above, Chris Jordan could have shown a power point of basic photography and stats to emphasise his point. His goal would have been the same, however his impact negligible in comparison. As well as creating beautiful Art, his imagery demonstrates serious issues in a manor that not only cut through our 'not now' mechanism. But in a manor that simply, clearly, relates to his audience.

Dare I go as far as to say he makes serious real world issues entertaining as well as informative? I guess I just did. But isn't that art? He engaged my mind on a deeper level, that's why I'm blogging about this right now and spreading his message?

We need to harness this technique more in creative messaging for charities in particular. Indeed any campaign subject that is emotive. I have seen a few television campaigns use it but I fear in the Digital world we are still largely addicted to DR messaging and 'guilty' imagery to drive acquisitions.

From a CPA (donation) perspective I couldn't help wondering if creative similar to Chris' Art were used in conjunction with a donation facility how much money could be have raised for Greenpeace, Cancer UK, Amnesty and others in one campaign? A physical demonstration of the Power of Collective behaviour for good.

Just the 2 cents of an ordinary guy who will never look the same way at a Plastic cup ever again...

No comments: