advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Robyn who? You know, the one with the cool music video? Oh.

Looking at what won awards at Cannes in terms of online/digital/social work, and the thing that jumps out is that a lot of the work seemed less about some amazing online experience and more about a practical, utilitarian approach to dealing with customers. Feels like where things are headed now is either in that direction, or it’s about eye candy for eye candy’s sake, where the only focus is on doing something amazing that grabs your attention—not helps you with your online reservations.

But that’s okay too. Trying out cool techniques, even when they’re used to promote mediocre product(s), leads to advances in design and advertising that others can take and run with.

Swedish pop star Robyn’s new music video as 3D site definitely does that. The 3D on top of an aggregated real-time twitter stream may be overkill for some, but it works. The song is Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do, and in it, she lists all the things in life that were getting to her after coming off the road. Users are encouraged to update on Twitter just what it is that’s killing them by using the tag #killingme in some way. (Click the image to see.)

This twist on the Pulp Fiction animated type technique takes key words from those updates and displays them large across the screen at a pace that matches the tempo of the music. Last time I really dug a new approach to music video was the Asher Roth site from a few weeks ago. Before then, Radiohead’s mathematical visualization approach on House of Cards was simply stunning. It doesn’t have objects or images, but this whole hand coded experiment is laying the groundwork for people to build on. (Like making the stream clickable as Renaldo is doing with his site.)

Nonetheless, it inadvertently raises an issue for content creators to think about: Does too much interaction with an artistic piece or event while it’s occurring lead to a disconnect between artist and viewer? The dynamic of any art (film, music, et al.) is that you’re usually focused on experiencing and enjoying the actual piece for its own sake and nothing else. You’re only *part* of the piece in as much as you’re a viewer.

(For all the talk of making things interactive for people, well, here ya’ go. Can’t get much more interactive than that, short of making areas clickable.)

This video has people watching so they can spot the one element in it which is them. And I did watch, for almost 20 minutes, not because I was transfixed, but because the load time for the site to update from Twitter took that long. So you may be better off tweeting and com back later.

Because you spend so much time watching for your name to appear though, you almost forget the song itself. The droning microhouse puts you in a spell, and I wondered if this effect could work in a song that had more than just a minimalist beat with sparse lyrics.

Either way, eye candy or not, this piece would not be out of place at Cannes next year.

(Agencies: Blip Boutique/Hollywood with Stopp Web/Stockholm.)

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