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Content Marketing and the Hot Chick at the Bar


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I’m a sucker for parody. Especially smart, insightful parody that doesn’t hit you over the head. The other night, I was watching a skit called “The Hunk” that was poking at the series of “The Bachelor” and other spinoffs where everyone purports to be looking for love in a rented $5,000-per-night mansion with TV camera crews running all around.

The particular scene that I want to reference here is where one particularly beautiful woman is talking to “the hunk” who asks, “What is your deepest, most intimate secret you haven’t shared with anyone?”

The answer?  After a long (and I mean long) pause, the answer finally comes out, “I don’t like to wear socks.”

Deep indeed.

Now, I realize this isn’t shocking. I realize that it’s almost commonplace to have a very beautiful person turn out to have no depth as a person at all. It’s more shocking when they DO have substance beneath the beauty.

So here’s where this world of beauty, substance and “The Hunk” come into play in our world at Elasticity.  It’s this new craze to rename everything we’ve been doing over the last 10 years as “Content Marketing.”  It’s watching videos of 20- and 30-year-olds change their titles from copywriter to strategic content director.

And you know what?  They all are skinny, wear tight jeans, sport ironic tee-shirts and a hairdo that took 30 minutes to be made to look like they don’t give a damn and just rolled out of bed. Such beautiful, and similar-looking people.And the videos aren’t bad either.

Omnicom, Weber, Edelmann…. they all have them. These beautiful new sites, videos, sub-group P&Ls, and PowerPoint decks. But I kept waiting for the girl who’s job it was to come up with the actual ideas to come on screen.  The guy with the big idea.  I kept waiting to see the substance.  Or at least an old woman to come on camera and say, “Where’s the beef?”

But nothing.

And that’s my rub with this whole new content marketing gold rush.  I don’t care how many content producers, strategic content directors, online content and bathroom reading content gurus you have on your staff.  What’s the creative idea?  What’s the storyline?

Storytelling (another cool agency buzzterm) is a craft that involves lots of creative, technical people.  But without a good plot line, your content media distribution plan isn’t going to go very far.

I feel like I’m at the zoo watching everyone run around with $3,000 SLR cameras and never getting any better pictures out of it than with their camera phone.  And yet, at the same time, I know photographers who have a vision, who know how to visually tell a story take better pictures with a camera made of cardboard and a pinhole.

So what’s the connection?

I’m thrilled that the content we create at Elasticity for search programs, for PR purposes, and the voracious content appetite our social media programs require are getting their due now with a whole new marketing segment named after it.  I’m glad our industry is catching up and focusing on the content.  But I’ll truly be shocked when the ideas, the story plot lines, the creative movements that require this content are promoted the way these new content strategy directors are.

Beauty AND substance. It’s rare. But I’ve seen it. I work at Elasticity.

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