Category Archives: communication philosophy

Google’s branding clinic: 3 reasons why its new Chrome spot works

The web is … well, that’s obvious, isn’t it? The web is what you make of it. It’s amazingly informative and blazingly deceptive. And increasingly, it’s video. Which is the point of Google’s new spot. Why does Google hope to build its brand — and its YouTube viewership, Chrome browser usage, and search engine business…

Postmodern love story

If the watchword of postmodern thinking is fragmentation, then I just found the great postmodern love story: Split screen – a love story. Very nicely conceived and executed, even for those of us who don’t know our London geogoraphy. Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Still loving stills, but appreciating the authenticity of video

It seems to me, on balance, that high-def video ought to be the medium of choice whenever a company wants to convey gravitas and credibility; small video cameras are the best way to deliver photo-journalistic impressions. For dramatic storytelling, cinema is still the king… But for sheer artistic impact and the crystallization of imagination or reality, still images have regained a lofty place near the center of the visual pantheon.

Motivation, Hollywood style

Lots of my favorite movies illustrate motivation principles. Runaway Jury, A Civil Action, The Insider, The Rainmaker, Quiz Show. Documentaries that fail at motivation include An Inconvenient Truth and Sicko.

Appreciating the Audience

The most important part of successful communication is to appreciate the audience. Hillman Curtis styles it, “Eat the Audience”. It means to know, to have empathy for. It also means to honor, or value their perspective, their biases, and their preferences. And it means to understand and have emotional intelligence regarding how our own perspectives…

There's no debate: there are lots of advertising strategies that work

I once had a gig teaching debate and classical rhetoric to high school students. The neat thing about policy debate is that you have to see and present both sides of every issue. Not just grasp both sides: see both sides, believe both sides. You can’t debate effectively if you’re just a cynical mouthpiece for…

The Three M's of Motivation – part 1: Cross the Moat

As part of my ICAA presentation on “Using Video: When it’s powerful, when it’s not”, I first talked about how we think and what motivates us. To set it up I used a clip of a little boy who I had interviewed. I asked him, “If you could change the world, what would you change?”…

Picasso on Van Gogh

Picasso on Van Gogh: “There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to their art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.” Van Gogh on Kindig: Posted via email from ztoryteller’s posterous

Modern video falls flat in a postmodern world

One reason why video usually fails to motivate people is that its user still holds the Modern flat-earth concept of authoritative messages: The communication style here is to present an audience with a complete perspective. No questions except rhetorical ones. In preparation for my talk I spent an hour perusing the web for fundraising videos,…

Starbucks: fighting a land war in Asia

When a person adapts to the times, they’re seen as progressive… becoming more “highly evolved”. When a company whose brand is as highly evolved as Starbucks adapts to the times, they run the risk of appearing shifty. That’s what Starbucks is facing, as has been widely reported in the press and blogosphere. At issue is…