Ok, yes this ad does make me want to buy a Nikon DSLR and a big heavy bag of expensive glass. But more importantly, it also makes me want to throw myself with reckless abandon into pursuing my passion of changing the world through powerful video storytelling. Wait… I’m already doing that, I think. But the point is, this massive global corporation, Nikon, chose to promote their new camera not with a flashy 30 second TV spot, or a commercial that lists all its features, benefits, and competitive advantages. We’ve been force fed enough of that kind of advertising over the last 50+ years and consumers just don’t have an appetite for it. Put simply – It. Doesn’t. Work!
So, this is the future. The future is advertising products “through story”. Making it personal and making it matter, matters. When people like me see someone doing something meaningful with a product, it’s contagious. When it’s authentic and it’s put together really, really well, THAT is what gets you ROI. A great example of a company that really nailed it and capture the best of both worlds, is my favourite coffee company, Fratello Coffee Roasters. Their new video is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time, in terms of cinematography AND in terms of capturing the real passion behind the company. This, is the future.
Look at the “Christmas Jammies” video that has gone completely viral this week. A man and his wife and kids puts together a 3min video that tells the (authentic) story of their family’s year in review, with some great humour and some clever song writing, not to mention some very cute kids, and they’re now sitting at 8 million views in one week. And… they just happen to be launching their own independent production company to help tell other people’s stories. Hmmm, slam dunk? Ya I think so. That’s about 8 million times the exposure that most startups get with an investment of about twelve bucks and 4 pairs of sleep wear.
So back to Nikon’s video and my own story of pursuing world-changing work/adventures. Right now I am super excited about the direction FarmOn.com is heading in, and the opportunities that are coming our way in the new year to really scale up the impact we’re having on the agricultural industry and the food scene. In February we’ll be launching the 2nd year of our #FARMVOICES movement, where farmers all around the world will again lift up their stories for the world to see. Last year we had over 2,000 stories shared on Earth Day, April 22nd, from 23 countries. And we didn’t do it by throwing a million bucks into a marketing campaign. We did it by spending about $500 and capturing the passion of a group of 200 ag students at Lakeland college, and putting the camera/microphone in the hands of actual farmers to tell THEIR story. It was pretty cool.
So I’m excited for more of that kind of game-changing action coming down the pipe. I’m also very excited for the direction I’m going to take with Benjo Productions in 2014. I now know what it feels like to work on projects that matter, and projects that are just a project. So there’s really no going back now. I may not end up wading through swamps in the jungle or riding elephants in India with a Nikon D610 next year, but whatever films I work on and whatever stories I pour myself into, they will be stories that matter and they will be stories that are about building a better world. I think that’s the future, too. This new idea of pursuing something because you know “why” you want to do it, even if you don’t know yet what the “how” or “what” is going to be. I believe the most successful people in the next 10 or 20 years will be the people who commit themselves to something big that they’re passionate about, as opposed to something they’re just good at. I couldn’t possibly tell you what I’ll be working on next summer, and that’s ok. Because I know why I’ll be doing it. Have a really great Christmas, and I wish you loads of adventures in the coming year, pursuing whatever it is that you’re passionate about creating.
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