As we approach our first meeting together, I wanted to set the tone for what’s to come.
My personal ethos is that success comes from our ability to adapt information to our needs more than our ability to adapt our approach to new information.
This can lead to some really unexpected analogies and metaphors, drawn from the unlikeliest of inspirations. There is a fine line between being outlandish purely for effect and landing a true insight that’s made more memorable because the source is unexpected.
With content being more mobile than ever, the opportunity to draw inspiration is infinite. Within the realm of professional decorum, few things should be considered out of bounds.
With that in mind, I am going to kick off our first cycle with a Disney Jr. Big Block Singsong short.
For those of you who watched the video, I imagine your reactions range from “that’s 2 minutes I’ll never get back” to “well that was weird”. What inspired me to post this?
- The most obvious rationale:
I recall Greg mentioning he has small children. His near constant exposure to Disney+ programming has clearly warped his sensibility of what content adults will find entertaining.
- The “trying to hard” rationale:
Greg and Kim have really been hammering home that this semester is going to be a grind, so this is an extremely light-hearted attempt to set the tone and inject some energy with an upbeat, inoffensive message.
- The “four-dimensional chess” rationale:
Technology in general, and MarTech specifically, is full of extremely complex concepts which most people, at best, are aware of and, at worst, are way over their heads. Big Block Singsong videos were created to introduce complex concepts (to its toddler audience) in a way that is concise (~2 minutes), memorable (the key concepts are often the refrain of the song) and efficient (the visuals are extremely creative, while remaining pretty simplistic).
Warren Brown and Adam Goddard have produced 89 of these videos. Some are better than others, but each has reminded me of the value we can add by finding the simplicity in the complex and, to mixed benefit, how incredibly memorable a “simple” message can be when it strikes a chord with the right audience.
All of you are here because you’re extremely intelligent and motivated. You are also, to varying degrees, trying to stand out in an incredibly connected world that, by design, caters to short attention spans.
As you work on the assignments to come, I encourage all of you to reach deep into your own personalities this semester to find new and memorable ways of making the information more accessible, even if it’s just to yourself.
These WordPress posts should be a showcase for your own unique perspective and a workshop for each of us to help refine how we can make our perspective more impactful by finding the simplicity in the complex.
If you absolutely feel the need to showcase “how much” you know on a subject or “how thorough” you’ve been, there’s an app(endix) for that.
While I do not encourage you to attempt a BigBlock PowerPoint, I look forward to seeing your personalities reflected in the work you do and, in turn, for that passion to make your material more accessible regardless of your audiences’ expertise on the subject matter.
“Anything can happen and it just might. [Where we go from here] is the story you [all] get to write.”