Paul Grimsley | Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agencyhttp://buzzazz.com Tampa Bay's # 1 Marketing FirmTue, 23 May 2017 19:09:14 +0000en-UShourly1No One Does That Anymore – Marketing A Supposed Declinehttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/no-one-anymore-marketing-supposed-decline http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/no-one-anymore-marketing-supposed-decline#respondTue, 23 May 2017 19:09:14 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5387Things Don’t Die They Just Get Repurposed Cassandras have always been around, but it wasn’t always so easy for these Chicken Littles to tell everyone about the sky-falling. When they start crying wolf now there’s always two choruses that pipe up – the naysayers and those that agree. But they have an easy audience, and […]

The post No One Does That Anymore – Marketing A Supposed Decline appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
Things Don’t Die They Just Get Repurposed

Cassandras have always been around, but it wasn’t always so easy for these Chicken Littles to tell everyone about the sky-falling. When they start crying wolf now there’s always two choruses that pipe up – the naysayers and those that agree. But they have an easy audience, and a comment thread can become a pretty lively place – if not a particularly logical or reasoned out place.

Rock and roll is dead. No one listens to jazz anymore. Virtual Reality is going to kill the internet, movies, and books, and traditional computer games. E-books will kill paper books. Ad infinitum.

MTV launched back in the day playing Buggles singing Video Killed The Radio Star. It’s a long running thing that in order to launch something new, you do it by launching yourself out of the ashes of the previous champion. These things don’t go away though – either the medium gets re-purposed, or it finds a way to integrate the new media into what it does.

The current iteration of radio may use a different delivery system but it is still there. Paper books became something different – bought by people for a different reason. TV managed to survive by changing how it is viewed, how it is delivered, and how it’s funded. Artists, using crowdsourcing, print on demand, all these different funding and distribution methods, are surviving in what gets pitched as an unsurvivable cultural wasteland. It is rarely as bleak as some people would lead you to believe.

Anyone who says we aren’t living in the halcyon days of yesteryear is likely not doing great in the present day. And why? Because they are rear facing – talking about the past rather than trying to create something new. It is true that the landscape is a more fractured place, and that burst culture blips on the radar and is gone before you can even nail down the characteristics of a movement. There is an element of early adopting, picking up the thread of whatever social media outlet your come across, and just flinging as much crap at the wall as possible and hoping that something sticks

Having lived through periods of boom and bust with the economy, and different music and literary movements, I haven’t yet seen a perfect system in place, and I have survived each of them – some of them have been considered pretty suppressive as well. Find an honest politician and you have identified a rare beast – the system works to disabuse them of the notion that they can change anything; it’s like the process of longshore drift where all the sharp edges are worn off, and then they fit in that round hole. Then the politicians go out there and they make waves, and it has big repercussions for those out there in the world.

Doom scenarios aren’t particularly useful for forging a way forward though. The President has been an interestingly insistent voice in proclaiming a number of publications to be failing, in insisting that a whole industry is in trouble, and there may be some truth in it … traditional print media has taken pretty significant hits since the advent of the internet and the rise of citizen journalism.

Disruption is forcing a change, forcing an evolution. Sometimes with these things you find yourself swimming with the current, and sometimes you are swimming against it. Not that I agree with the way a lot of things the current administration is doing, but the fact that they are shaking those in the media out of their complacency means that some of those people who might not have ever evolved are being forced to do so.

There is proof that things survive the upheaval – the aforementioned transformation of radio, and then there is the single – it started as a 7″ vinyl, became a Cd Single, and then downloads looked set to kill that, but then through downloads the single song became the way to escape buying an album of songs you might not like. Trying to stand still, or tread water, literally gets you nowhere.

Political change is sometimes harder to stomach because of the ramifications some of those changes have, but even they, sometimes, are a necessary part of an evolution. The problem is no one wants to burn down the house they are living while they look for a new one.

The post No One Does That Anymore – Marketing A Supposed Decline appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/no-one-anymore-marketing-supposed-decline/feed0
Twin Peaks: The Returnhttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/twin-peaks-return http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/twin-peaks-return#respondMon, 22 May 2017 18:51:43 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5406It Is Happening Again It is the show that set the ball rolling for so many different threads of weirdness that came after, and yet none of Twin Peaks’ successors ever hit quite the same beats that Lynch and co were able to manage. It is one of those shows with the kind of visual […]

The post Twin Peaks: The Return appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
It Is Happening Again

It is the show that set the ball rolling for so many different threads of weirdness that came after, and yet none of Twin Peaks’ successors ever hit quite the same beats that Lynch and co were able to manage. It is one of those shows with the kind of visual and sonic palette that is always slightly off-kilter and capable of presenting a real sense of unease.

The great thing about David Lynch is sometimes it is almost like you are never going to get a pay-off and he is just going to keep ratcheting up the tension until it gets unbearable, and you want to exit the room. There were rumors at one point that the revival might go ahead without him, and that would have just been horrible … how could you possibly follow after Lynch and produce anything that wasn’t just Lynch-lite?

Agent Cooper is back, as are some old familiar faces, but things have changed – things have moved on. It’s great that when we meet different people that we haven’t seen in years that they have aged, and that it is in the same way we all age – at different rates and in different ways. I haven’t seen too many of the actors in other things, so for me at least this creates the feeling that we are just looking back in on that strange little town.

It feels like it didn’t miss a beat. For a certain generation there are certain parts of the show that are iconic, and you wouldn’t really need much context on display to see that it was a reference to Twin Peaks. That image of Laura Palmer, the trees, and the Angelo Badliamenti soundtrack prime you for Cooper in the Black Lodge, prime you for any weirdness that might come. But even then there are some new touches – some new twists and turns in the intriguing mythology Lynch has constructed. There are parts that remind of Mulholland Drive; parts that remind of Eraserhead.

Show a few of these things and what else do you need to do to advertise this show? Not much. Lynch is a director who you got to expecting certain things – he’s played off this before with things like Straight Story, but generally you are going to be get that discomforting fusion of small town America, crime drama, and surrealistic nightmare that he does better than anyone else.

It will be interesting to see if this show heralds a slew of darker weirder shows on the networks. We’re only a few episodes in so we haven’t yet seen the whole creation, but there is a big desire for Lynch to knock it out of the park. After Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, which was not a very popular film, people want this to be the ending, or the continuation that they have been waiting for. If the quality of the show continues in the vein these first few episodes have managed then that promise could very well be delivered on.

It’s funny, in the years since it left our screens you would think that the tropes would have been absorbed into the culture, and that over-familiarity would have taken some of the sheen off it, and lessened the emotional investment in the show, and this could just be me, but that doesn’t seem to have happened here. People are as ready for good new Twin Peaks as they were for new Star Wars. Will we get closure? Maybe. Nothing is guaranteed with David Lynch, and that uncertainty is the greatest asset for both him and this show.

The post Twin Peaks: The Return appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/twin-peaks-return/feed0
Basquiat Stands Alonehttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/art/basquiat-stands-alone http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/art/basquiat-stands-alone#respondMon, 22 May 2017 17:51:56 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5405The notion of the sell-out is always an interesting one to consider – what are you looking for when you set out to become famous, and what is it that you lose when you reach that career apex? A lot of people would say edge, hunger, relevance … typically all of the things that made […]

The post Basquiat Stands Alone appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
The notion of the sell-out is always an interesting one to consider – what are you looking for when you set out to become famous, and what is it that you lose when you reach that career apex? A lot of people would say edge, hunger, relevance … typically all of the things that made you interesting in the first place.

People who hit it big with their first album, first book, first whatever, often get hit with what is known colloquially as Sophomore Jinx. They can’t replicate what they did before, and the second effort falls flat, and they become one hit wonders; Wonder Boys as the film of the same name would have it. Dying young is unfortunately a great way to avoid being classed as a sell-out.

Basquiat Has An Interesting Bio, And That Sells!

There is a great scene in the movie Basquiat where someone complains that she doesn’t think the painting she is looking at is going to match her furniture, and Basquiat grabs a bucket of paint and throws it at his work, getting really angry at the attitude that the monetary value of his art is more important to this woman than the art itself. Not that he didn’t want to sell his art – he seems to have been pretty good at promoting himself, but not at the expense of the art.

Why am I thinking about this aspect of the sale in particular? Because I read an article where the writer was pleasantly surprised that the purchase of the record breaking piece of art actually seemed to have a genuine emotional attachment to the art, and wasn’t just engaged in a fiscal transaction. The more an artist becomes known and the higher the ticket price on the art, the more this might come into question.

Some people tread the line of cult status, and never really break into the stratospheric heights that bona fide famous people occupy. Basquiat did a show with Andy Warhol, there has been a film made about him, but he isn’t exactly what you would call a super famous artist; not a household name. He died young; he died in tragic circumstances … it makes him interesting. People in the know know about him – he is an important artist. Things may change in regards to how widespread his fame is – one of his paintings just sold for $110.5 Million and that sets a precedent – that means other investors interested in the arts are going to be paying more attention. Sales of his paintings grossed $171 million the previous year, so there has been an uptick in interest in him. His reputation has been growing, and his status as a modern artist is seeing him rank alongside Picasso for some people.

One thing that has contributed to the price, is the rarity of works by the artist, and subsequent works that hit the market are likely to be lesser works, but the great thing about art is, when you show it somewhere it advertises itself – it’s not particularly easy to write copy about a piece of art that adds too much to the art that can’t be communicated by the piece itself. So, often what the copy concentrates on is the artist’s story – how interesting is their biography?

Having an interesting story, and occupying a niche that no one else is really working in, is a great selling point. Basquiat would have probably liked it … his friend Warhol definitely would. Whatever happens to his work in terms of sales, there is something about it that makes it seem like it could never truly be safe – there is an energy to his work that bristles and leaps off the canvas, so hang it where you will, Basquiat will stand apart from his art as investment, and as you learn about him, and learn about him through his art, its narrative will transcend the talk of dollar value. When something is being sold, of course its worth is important, but how it affects you and your life is often more important … this is true of art, and any other object or service purchased.

The post Basquiat Stands Alone appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/art/basquiat-stands-alone/feed0
No More Death Stars Or Reboots Pleasehttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/no-death-stars-reboots-please http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/no-death-stars-reboots-please#respondWed, 26 Apr 2017 15:33:44 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5366Another Death Star Would Suggest A Movie Design Flaw It blew up, and it had a design flaw that made this possible. Great. The New Empire went ahead and built the third iteration of a bad idea and called it something else, but let’s not dress it up any other way – it was not […]

The post No More Death Stars Or Reboots Please appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
Another Death Star Would Suggest A Movie Design Flaw

It blew up, and it had a design flaw that made this possible. Great. The New Empire went ahead and built the third iteration of a bad idea and called it something else, but let’s not dress it up any other way – it was not exactly breaking new ground. It was OK for the reintroduction to the universe, but now we need to move on.

I know how Wolverine was created – I do. You keep telling me like I have a memory problem. Oh, and wasn’t Spiderman bitten by a spider? The Hulk turns green when he gets angry and he was hit by Gamma Rays, right?

If we can’t get past this I think our relationship is going to have to change. We aren’t going to be hanging out so much. Special effects are great, and setting up the scene is great, but constantly rehashing the damned story? Not such a great tactic.

I sometimes like to be dropped into the middle of a story where you have to run to catch up, where it is assumed you will be smart enough to pick up the beats in the story telling and work out what is going on. Exposition moments are like leg shackles, and they used to be my biggest problem with things like Star Trek. Two minutes of guff that do not serve the story telling. Ever read Philip K Dick? His idea is that he throws a whole shit ton of ideas at you without too much explanation, and then he just keeps running, and if you fail to keep up? Tough. The story telling is the thing.

JK Rowling is great at introducing a concept and explaining it by having the characters use the gizmo, cast the spell, or navigate through the place, and it is described in action. Constant asides and filler designed for the people asleep in the back of the class is boring and tedious. We already have the audience cipher in most movies that is learning the way things work so we can to, but if they never escape the gravitational pull of being a cipher and achieve escape velocity to soar as a character, guess what’s going to happen? The audience who has now got the idea of what is going on is going to want them gone.

Tolstoy was a little problematic for me in terms of exposition – there are pages on matronymics and partronymics, just so you can understand who is called what, and this is supposed to be an undercut to setting the scene. Dostoevsky by comparison just launches straight into the narrative and you get dragged along by the scruff of your neck. Austen is exposition heavy; Charlotte Bronte throws you in the deep end.

Show Don’t Tell Is A Good Rule For All Media!

Nike says just do it, and you comply. Apple told you to think different and you rose to the challenge. Imagine if you had to have a product explained to you in detail before they got to the sales pitch on an advert – you’d be there forever. It should be an elevator pitch – something that can be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator. Of course, a film does allow for more explanation, but the problem is that the film-makers don’t seem to be thinking with the fact that people do already know something about the characters they are handling – people know Iron Man, Spiderman, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Wolverine, etc. Not every film can have a refresher attached to it.

On some level these characters are simple archetypes anyway, or just not that complicated as characters. Hulk angry, hulk smash – hulk calms down and becomes Bruce Banner. Thor is a Norse God who hits things with a hammer. Captain America is patriotic and hits things with a patriotic frisbee. Spiderman is like a spider. Iron Man is a rich dude in a mechanical suit who hits things or thinks at things. Can their reasons for doing this not be deduced from the fact that the people they are hitting are generally evil people who want to hurt or rule over people or both? If the dynamics in a super hero movie escape you, maybe you should go and lay down in a quiet room and stick to coloring books.

Not to just target Disney / Marvel / Lucasfilm – DC Comics, please stop introducing your characters and tell us an actual solid story. Isn’t Batman the guy in the suit with a huge bat on his chest? Isn’t the Joker an evil maniacal clown? Good, I’m tracking. Yes, I know who Superman is. Deadshot shoots things and never misses? Oh, he’s a dead shot?

Star Wars I will go to the cinema for. Rogue One and Force Awakens deserved to be seen on a big screen – they’re trying to do something new despite the Death Star being the biggest problem, at least on the surface. I felt like Guardians of the Galaxy gathered its crew up pretty quickly and got down to unfolding the narrative. Logan gave as an ending – at least to the Hugh Jackman iteration of the character (give it a second for the dust to settle and someone new will come along). I just kind of dread the idea that at some point Sony’s option will lapse on the X-Men franchise and then we’re going to get a Marvel reboot.

Some things can be assumed – when you sell a razor you don’t need to tell someone what a razor is for, or generally that it is a razor – you just need to talk about the novel things with your razor. The same principle stands for movies – just talk about the novel things happening with the character.

I hope I’ve made my point – let’s break new ground. Let’s hit the ground running. No more circling back. Build a new Death Star? Sorry, if you do that again then you aren’t an evil empire, you’re a bunch of uninspired idiots, and I will be left wondering how you got to rule over an empire, and I am going to have to think that the rebels are pretty much morons for you to be able to subjugate them.

The post No More Death Stars Or Reboots Please appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/no-death-stars-reboots-please/feed0
Disruption: The New Lingua Franca Of Mediahttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/disruption-new-lingua-franca-media http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/disruption-new-lingua-franca-media#respondTue, 25 Apr 2017 20:33:15 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=4858Shaking Up The Establishment Is Key For A Disruptor Disruption is the idea is that there are certain ways things are used, or certain ways things are done, and you are swimming against the flow, often in a way that is game changing. Is it a good thing? Depends what side of the fence you […]

The post Disruption: The New Lingua Franca Of Media appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
Shaking Up The Establishment Is Key For A Disruptor

Disruption is the idea is that there are certain ways things are used, or certain ways things are done, and you are swimming against the flow, often in a way that is game changing. Is it a good thing? Depends what side of the fence you are sitting on.  That’s pretty much how it slices for you in terms of propaganda too. No one wants to be on the receiving end of a smear campaign. No one wants to be the victim of fake news.

Fake news is the latest buzzword, and it gets thrown around, sometimes unfairly it seems, when someone disagrees with a story that comes out. It’s often pure click bait, and upon digging a little deeper the story collapses. The same is true of any examples of “alternative facts” as pushed by the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer or Kellyann Conway. Truth is truth, not some mutable thing that bends to the whim of opinion or necessity.

Trump disrupts in the way he uses media, and still the mainstream media seem surprised – surprised that he won’t play ball and switch from the successful tactics that got him where he is. And we are now starting to see disruption politics – and those who disagree are caught flat-footed because they are still playing by the old rules.

Theresa May has, by all accounts, caught the Labour Party off-guard by calling an early election. A surprise given that her predecessor pushed the idea of 5 year fixed terms, and May herself had said she wasn’t going to call it so soon after the Brexit vote, to avoid causing instability. The rules of the game change when the odds are in your favor though, right?

Disruption tends to come fast and unheralded, and it tears up the maps. It has worked quite well for some people, and if it continues to provide forward momentum it may become the modus operandi adopted by the majority. Maybe it is what is needed to shake some people out of the deadlock of routine holding patterns where they act like everything is normal, and fail to do anything new to tackle problems. Engagement is up, it seems a shame that it took such radical change to prompt that.

Trying not to normalize a certain way of doing things, if it carries on for a long enough period of time is going to take a lot of effort. The interesting thing is that disruptors create a scene where they too may be disrupted at any time, and it becomes a game of who can adapt to the changing scene and the unpredictability quicker. Get left in the dust? Tough.

Destabilization Opens Up The Field To New Players

Does this mean that there is no long term plan behind the action we observe? Not necessarily, but the disruption caused by not respecting old ways of doing things causes a lot of turbulence, and it can appear, at least on the surface, that chaos is prevailing. Then the thing becomes to look for evidence of production; evidence that the tactic is producing results. If it isn’t then perhaps you are witnessing chaos in truth, but if a forward movement and products are evident, then one would have to admit that there is some kind of plan being put into effect, even if it is bypassing normal procedure.

What does this mean for other people operating in this sphere? It means you have to be a lot more adaptive and ready to change than you perhaps were before – it is a very tempestuous climate in which to operate, and can be very disorientating. The way you talk about things and market them is going to be just as subject to the changing climate as everything else, and you have to stay in touch. You don’t make an advert where Kendall Jenner is at a protest pitching Pepsi.

Some news outlets are emerging with a definite and new sensibility after their world was shook up, but not everyone is fairing quite so well.

You can definitely see that a lot of people don’t know which way to jump. After the election there hasn’t been too much in the way of ideas and direction  or reinvention coming from the Democrats; they still seem to be reeling and punch drunk, and unable to get the drop on their opponent. The grassroots movements that are mobilizing and the Bernie Sanders campaign seem to be a little better at getting out ahead of the confusion and sharing a message about what they believe in, but just look out there and you can see we are not looking at the same landscape. It is much more mutable and combustible, just like a certain leader, some might argue.

The post Disruption: The New Lingua Franca Of Media appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/disruption-new-lingua-franca-media/feed0
Paint A Vulgar Picture – On Their Hands A Dead Starhttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/paint-vulgar-picture-hands-dead-star http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/paint-vulgar-picture-hands-dead-star#respondTue, 25 Apr 2017 19:53:46 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5351“At the record company meeting On their hands – at last! – A dead star !” It’s an age old problem – how do you continue milking the cow when the cow has shuffled off the mortal coil? How do you market it? How do you capitalize on the investment you have made, and how […]

The post Paint A Vulgar Picture – On Their Hands A Dead Star appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
“At the record company meeting
On their hands – at last! – A dead star !”

It’s an age old problem – how do you continue milking the cow when the cow has shuffled off the mortal coil? How do you market it? How do you capitalize on the investment you have made, and how do you do it tastefully?

If the fans perceive that you are cashing in on the tragedy then you are going to find them angered by the newly unearthed songs that you have released two weeks after their favorite musician died. If they see it as a heartfelt tribute, or a release in line with the philosophy of the artist, then you are going to have a smoother ride.

Either way, after the initial shock has worn off, people are going to want something to fill the vacuum your artist’s death has left in their life. If you can fill it with demos, b-side collections, rarities, or novel formats, then you are going to bank it. Cynical? Perhaps. Just take a look at the Jimi Hendrix industry, or Biggie and Tupac. It kind of got the level where, oh, Tupac dropped by the studio and said uh-huh to a question, so we’re going to loop that and say that he guested on the track; same with Biggie. The desire for more product is so much that record companies get a little dishonest.

Substandard work and things the artist would have never released make it into the market place, and sometimes what these extras add to the corpus of work is negligible. Can you really see inside the working process of someone by looking at their failures? Does it elucidate upon that vital spark which leapt into being in the cut that they eventually went with? Is it not still ephemeral?

Morrissey’s song, which gives this article its title, nailed an attitude that has been pervasive for a while, and has got ever more so with the ability to recover things into the digital format. Maybe it is the equivalent of unearthing a Van Gogh in the past, to find some kind of sonic doodle that has John Lennon’s voice on it.

Satiate the need
Slip them into different sleeves!

I got to thinking about this after seeing headlines about the fate of Prince’s estate. I look to the way Bowie’s work has been managed since he passed. I think about Bob Marley and the recently unearthed recordings. I wonder about the trove of Zappa recordings we’ve never seen. In the literary world we have Salinger, and there must be countless others with works just waiting to be put out there. I know of at least a couple of Kerouac novels written in French that haven’t seen the light of day.

How do you judge what to release? They’re easy to market – these “new” works, but they’re not always what’s promised, and sometimes after that initial rush of enthusiasm for new product, one sees that there was actually a reason that these things never saw the light of day.

It used to be a format and reformat issue, where they would release something on a new type of media and include never before released materials, now you’ll sometimes get a digital key to material locked elsewhere online. The game is ever changing. Now you can resurrect someone – look at Peter Cushing in Star Wars; there was holographic Michael Jackson dancing; Audrey Hepburn in an advert for Galaxy chocolate. Where does it end? Does it end? How long before they generate songs from a Beatles AI? Would you still market that as a Beatles song?

Being dead really isn’t much of an obstacle to being successful, and as each successive generation comes along, that’s a new market, isn’t it?

The post Paint A Vulgar Picture – On Their Hands A Dead Star appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/paint-vulgar-picture-hands-dead-star/feed0
Closure In Media – A Double Edged Swordhttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/closure-media-double-edged-sword http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/closure-media-double-edged-sword#commentsMon, 24 Apr 2017 15:36:37 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5346A Franchise Being More Driven By Money Than Narrative Might Never End When someone sits down and pens a hit song they are hoping that they might somehow stumble upon a formula – that they will make hit after hit ad infinitum; at least some songwriters hope for this … for others it would represent […]

The post Closure In Media – A Double Edged Sword appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
A Franchise Being More Driven By Money Than Narrative Might Never End

When someone sits down and pens a hit song they are hoping that they might somehow stumble upon a formula – that they will make hit after hit ad infinitum; at least some songwriters hope for this … for others it would represent a creative death.

When you write a book and it sells well your publishers are going to tend to push you for more of the same – especially if you hit it big first time, because being out there and experimental entails doing the untried and the untested, and how likely is it that this is going to bring you the same success? Of course, there is a chance – you may be Radiohead or David Bowie or a Chuck Palahniuk; but it is just as likely to fail, and that means that publishers aren’t going to invest in you, nor the music makers.

The same thing holds true for TV Series too. More of the same but different. A riff on the original formula. You want a long running show where you can grow the characters and tell the stories you want to tell about them. When it comes to ending that story though, how do you do it? Do you wrap it all up neatly in a bow and give every character an ending that befits the amount of effort your audience has put into watching the show, or do you leave it all hanging up in the air and walk away without resolving anything? It’s a hard call creatively. It’s probably a little bit simpler if you view it from a fiscal standpoint.

More stories mean more money. I watched Girls last episode and it was a pretty low key affair – you knew it was coming, but it didn’t drive anyone off a cliff … it left it in a place where you could totally pick it up later. Maybe there will be a sequel series called Women – maybe not, because I am sure the actresses and actors want to move on from playing the same character the whole time.

Sopranos in my opinion dropped the ball – the whole show from day one was about the consequences of a person’s actions, and here we go with absolutely no definitive ending, after what, six seasons? I was more than a little peeved.

Buffy ended well. Deadwood was cut short. But some things can never end, and in perhaps some way we don’t want them to. Batman is forever, and so are all his cape-wearing friends. And the Star Wars Universe? That’s a franchise, so as one character or actor brings their role to a close, you can just roll straight on past their horizon and into someone else’s journey. Some people might turn away and say they can’t imagine Star Wars without Harrison Ford, but plenty can. Princess Leia is leaving during this film because the actress passed. When Luke takes the dirt-nap are we gonna say, I don’t want no more Star Wars? I don’t think so.

A Good Ending Can Be The Thing That Makes A Film

I think some of this may derive from the fact that we consume media differently. It started with the advent of videos – where you could watch films over and over again, and didn’t have to hope for it being on TV after it had left the silver screen or the broadcast schedule. DVDs increased the lifespan of the media and started to feed the geek need for all the back-ground extras, and blu-rays expanded on even that. Switch to streaming and the new trend of binge-watching, and you have created a hungry maw attached to a demand feed baby that can never be sated. So is ending your show shooting yourself in the foot? Are you trading in a sure thing for a maybe?

When you look at how hard it is to actually get a series off the ground the decision to stop making it might seem even more insane. There are a lot of negotiations before that Pilot ever even gets the green light, and then once the pilot airs there is no guarantee that it is going to picked up for a series, and once that first season has aired, if it didn’t find its feet fast there is little reason for it to get a second season.

When you have a film franchise now, do you ever really set it up to have definitive ending? Does that do the story a disservice? Personally I sometimes like it when the story is self contained, when it has a structure of beginning middle and end, but I know some people hate that – they always want to know what happened next. If there’s a demand for it then it must be hard not to flog that dead horse one more time. But Donnie Darko never needed a sequel. I reserve judgment on Bladerunner’s sequel, but there was something to me that was very satisfying about where we left Deckard and Rachel. Not everything is going to work out as well as Star Wars.

Is the thing in me that wants things to keep going the nerdy collector completist? Is the thing that wants a definitive end the artist and the writer? It often feels like a battle between commerce and art, but the lines there have been blurring more and more it seems. You aren’t just looking at a movie most of the time – you are looking at an entry point into a whole merchandising empire. Films – things that don’t have all this behind them – the indie or art-flick, they are an entirely different beast, but there’s still a lot of money there … just look at the Oscars.

Not every series has a neat way of replacing the main character after a run as Doctor Who, and so we end up with a weird lack of tension sometimes, because we know the main characters can’t ever really die. Sometimes that tires a person out – when you have the fiftieth reboot and recap and origin story it wears thin. To be a marketing juggernaut is a dream of most though – so having the Disney/Lego/Marvel/Star Wars convoy moving ever onward isn’t going to bring about any change in the way it’s done for the moment. These behemoths probably make the smaller more personal movies possible.

They are a feature of the landscape, and they probably to a large degree put the landscape there. So, for the moment? No end in sight. And sometimes that’s a bad thing and sometimes that’s a good thing.

The post Closure In Media – A Double Edged Sword appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/closure-media-double-edged-sword/feed1
The Proof Is In The Proofinghttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/the-proof-is-in-the-proofing http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/the-proof-is-in-the-proofing#respondThu, 20 Apr 2017 15:48:31 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5348Even Professionals Make Mistakes Grammar Nazis aren’t proof-readers. Nitpickers aren’t proof-readers. Super-critical people who pick over the bones of your work and then post in the comments about how bad your proofing skills are, aren’t proof-readers. It does require some skill, but the other quality which a lot of people who do amateur proofing don’t […]

The post The Proof Is In The Proofing appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
Even Professionals Make Mistakes

Grammar Nazis aren’t proof-readers. Nitpickers aren’t proof-readers. Super-critical people who pick over the bones of your work and then post in the comments about how bad your proofing skills are, aren’t proof-readers.

It does require some skill, but the other quality which a lot of people who do amateur proofing don’t realize that they need is a little humility. Why? Because even the best proof-reader is likely to make mistakes at some point. You train to eradicate blind-spots as much as you can; you research and discover tools that help you to better perform your job, but you are still going to make errors. Professional doesn’t mean flawless or foolproof. I’ve read great articles and still tripped over grammar errors or typos that you, for a second, get very indignant about, but then try and consider this – how many times have you pointed out someone’s error and made a mistake while typing out the correction?

A dropped out word doesn’t flag up on the screen; neither does a correctly spelled word in the wrong place – well, this can be adjusted for in your spelling correction software, but don’t dream that it’s going to be a hundred percent fool-proof.

Get A Second Set Of Eyes On It

So what is the best thing for a proof-reader to do? Get a second set of eyes laid on your work. It in no way lessens your professionalism, and in fact it is the mark of a professional that you can set ego aside and put the importance of the work first. When I trained as a journalist one of the things I had to get used to was getting my work bounced back to me several times to make edits, and when I finally got it pushed through the process I was confident that it did what it needed to do, and that it was a good piece.

So once you get over the roadblocks that you as a proof-reader may have put in the road, what are the other things you can expect to encounter?

When it comes to proofing other people’s work, I have bumped up against one thing more than any other – people take the suggestions that you make to them about their work very personally. I have read some pieces that had tense issues, spelling issues, grammar issues, and problems with shifting for first to third person and back again, and by cleaning up these things the work would have majorly benefited.

There is the perception that proofing is easy, and anyone can do it. To a degree this is true, but you want someone that is detail-oriented, and if you have someone that is an experienced proof-reader, their choices are likely to be a little better informed than someone sitting down to do it for the first time. Conversely, when you give someone the breakdown of what needs to be done to correct their work, they will often turn around and tell you that it is too hard, it is inessential and isn’t really going to affect the reading pleasure of the audience; and then the writer will tell you they intended it to read that way. What? Nonsensically?

What is the intent of someone sitting down to proof-read your work? Well, if they are a professional it is generally to help you improve it. Editing obviously comes before, or should, but there is sometimes a collapsing of the roles into one another. Proofing is more about looking at the structural architecture of a piece; editing hits more at the meat of the piece and its intent and what it is communicating, though the how does play a part of this.

This idea that you shouldn’t offend anyone is kind of where a lot of the inability to take even constructive criticism comes from, but in a professional environment it just isn’t useful. If ego gets in the way of turning out a good product then ego is a problem. If you have mechanics in a shop and a chief mechanic that runs them, quality checks their work, and then can’t tell them for fear of offending them, then that is an issue … people are going to leave with cars that might break down or be dangerous. No one is going to die from faulty copy (we won’t get into a Brazil scenario here), but you could end up making inaccurate or libelous statements; and you might lose future customers because of your badly constructed writing. So, it is important, and it means you are going to have to set aside your pride and at least be able to listen to what is being said.

I am a British writer working with American English, and I am responsible for proofing a lot of my own work, and I sometimes have to think about grammar, idioms, spelling, and all the pitfalls of the continental drift that has occurred with the language. I do pretty well, but sometimes I have to ask. I have a degree in English; I trained as a journalist; I have been writing and involved in publishing for years, but the one thing I know that makes me a better writer, and a better proof-reader, it knowing that I always have more to learn.

If you find any errors in the above text feel free to tell me, but as you do that, take a second and look at your motivation – are you doing it to to point out how wrong I am as a proof-reader, or are you doing it to help?

The post The Proof Is In The Proofing appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/the-proof-is-in-the-proofing/feed0
The Problem Of Privacy On The Internethttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/problem-privacy-internet http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/problem-privacy-internet#respondWed, 12 Apr 2017 15:36:51 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=5311Big Data Drives Things In Unexpected Ways Data is big money, and you are constantly generating data trails wherever you move, and whatever you do. Go to https://myactivity.google.com/ and check out how much of your daily activity is recorded – the voice searches you did, the places your phone checked you in at, the apps you opened […]

The post The Problem Of Privacy On The Internet appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
Big Data Drives Things In Unexpected Ways

Data is big money, and you are constantly generating data trails wherever you move, and whatever you do. Go to https://myactivity.google.com/ and check out how much of your daily activity is recorded – the voice searches you did, the places your phone checked you in at, the apps you opened on your phone, the web pages you looked at. It starts to get a little perturbing.

Who owns it? If you think you do you may be in for something of a shock when you find out how many people have access to all the things you do on the internet. Is this the Post Privacy Age? Will this lack of ability to protect data, coupled with the deregulation of the industry and fast and slow lane internet prompt a mass exodus? Is it a prelude to some big sea change in the way we interact while using these things? Who believes in the throwaway nature of Snapchat anymore? Not the people whose naked pictures ended up elsewhere, that’s for sure.

The way things are marketed to you is something that is changing all the time – you get tracked, you get pitched at every opportunity, and what they are calling AI starts to be able to predict a lot of different things about you. You consume and click and move around, and all that data ends up siloed in places you wouldn’t even think of.

When you come through customs and get your social media accounts checked how free is your freedom of expression? Where go your first amendment rights? Saying you have nothing to worry about if you haven’t done anything is all well and good if the definition of “done anything” remains a fixed datum – not to get all dystopian on you.

We do this to ourselves though – hacks expose less about ourselves than we volunteer every day. Facebook and Google are treated like a kind of infrastructure that is as benign as the surrounding landscape, and we sometimes forget they are for profit companies. If I don’t know you it doesn’t take me long to get some amount of data on you – all I have to do is type your name into a search engine.

Eliot wrote “This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”

It is funny that a lot of the science fiction depictions of a society which is locked down, and all data is known about the citizens, very rarely does it give us the idea that the citizens voluntarily surrendered all their private data. This is exactly what has happened though – who reads the disclaimers? In an age where we are overburdened with data every second we are awake, disclaimers and privacy notices are often an overload we are unwilling to submit to, and so we click through.

You could of course free everything up under the assumption that no one is going to trawl through that much crap to get at the nuggets of truth, but you’d be wrong. Snowden gave us an insight into how quickly data could be processed when people were questioning the speed in which Hillary Clinton’s emails were analyzed. How do you really know what is pertinent data to an investigation into you? How do you know as political sensibilities shift what might be problematic information to have out there?

Someone sells your data to someone else and and you find yourself unable to get credit, buy a car, navigate the morality police on the housing association committee. The ramifications aren’t something we have had to live with, but they are something we may have had a glimpse of in the past. Let’s get gloomy for a moment and realize that the Holocaust was in large part facilitated by the number crunching made possible by the IBM punch-card machines that were being used by the Nazis – they cataloged and quantified the racial make-up of the nation, they facilitated the movement of millions of Jews towards their end during the Final Solution, and afterwards, those same machines were used to catalog the dead. Information is powerful – if it weren’t why would there be so much money spent on protecting, so much money trying to obtain it; if it weren’t so powerful, how has it been used to take down political candidates and drive opinion in a whole lot more technological way – google Cambridge Analytica.

What Robert Mercer’s company is able to do, and how much information it can obtain about private citizens, can be a little alarming. It makes you think about how you use your data, where you deposit it; who obtains it when they buy up some small start-up that produced a popular Facebook game everyone plays. You have to surrender something to move freely online, but the problem comes when you suddenly realize you have given away more of your privacy than you thought.

What’s the solution? Pull back and spend less time on the internet? Cut down on the number of sites you give your information to? Or just give in, because you realize that everything you carry around with you that is vaguely technological is outputting data about you? We haven’t reached the point yet where functioning in the world is entirely dependent on technology, but it does play a pretty integral role in our lives – perhaps we are approaching the end of a honeymoon period, and the lines need to be re-drawn?

Or perhaps, oblivious to what they are clicking, people will stumble on blindly, and only those out on the fringes will be sounding the alarms. And maybe none of it is anything to worry about anyway. I like Facebook, I like Google, I have nothing to hide. How important is privacy anyway? What does it matter if my credit score and medical data are out there? What can people do with it?

The post The Problem Of Privacy On The Internet appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/problem-privacy-internet/feed0
Busted Hip Crippling The Critical Systemshttp://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/busted-hip-crippling-the-critical-systems http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/busted-hip-crippling-the-critical-systems#respondFri, 13 Jan 2017 19:41:10 +0000http://buzzazz.com/?p=4706Attack the hip to sound hipper. Point to the fact that someone is supporting the wrong charity, or how they have somehow failed to be as totally inclusive in their philanthropy as you have been. It’s interesting how this kind of bullying somehow slips under the radar, and it’s often written in a rhetorical way […]

The post Busted Hip Crippling The Critical Systems appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
Attack the hip to sound hipper. Point to the fact that someone is supporting the wrong charity, or how they have somehow failed to be as totally inclusive in their philanthropy as you have been. It’s interesting how this kind of bullying somehow slips under the radar, and it’s often written in a rhetorical way that invites no dialogue. It is the province of the snob, and increasingly seems to be the remit of the uncharitable or deceptively helpful critic, who just wants to help you out of your ignorance, you poor cultural hayseed.

This failure of critical writing plagues a lot of magazines and journals, and does little to endear a reader to a viewpoint they may not share. Why would someone sneering at you be at all seductive? Adverts that employ a similar tack, where they choose to focus on the failings of the competitor’s products rather than talking about the benefits of their own products fall into the same trap.

If Clinton hadn’t sneered about Trump and by extension his supporters, might she have stood a better chance of not alienating them, and perhaps of been able to persuade them of the rightness of her own campaign? Maybe not – in a lot of areas they seemed as diametrically opposed as the strictures of their chosen parties demand. But denigrating people is hardly a great tactic to win over hearts and minds.

It is essential for critics to have an opinion – most of their readers look to them for guidelines on how to formulate their own approach to a piece of work, but pulling apart, for instance, Dylan, in order to trot out the more “authentic” artists that you like, and which demonstrate your own cultural savvy is a callow practice that does little to elevate anyone involved in the equation.

Best Ofs in a way are doing a similar thing, but their whole angle is to accentuate the positive, and talk about what they liked. If you feel someone or something is superior to another person or thing, why not just write about the thing you like? Sure, in some essential way this may be missing the point of being a critic – to be critical. The thing is, constructive criticism is all well and good, but finding out how ill conceived your admiration for someone is, and how stupid you are, and how uncool you really are … it doesn’t feel good, and its not true. The person you are reading is picking a fight just to say something controversial and mistaking it for interesting half the time. It’s a dead end. It’s misguided.

Mos Def’s song Rock And Roll juxtaposes white musicians with black musicians against them and tries to claim that all the white musicians are copyists with no soul. So, The Rolling Stones are trumped by Nina Simone; Elvis Presley gets beat out by Chuck Berry. The whole idea being that they’re guilty of cultural appropriation and therefore inauthentic. It’s true that groups like Led Zeppelin owed a big debt to people like Willie Dixon, and sure The Rolling Stones listened to a lot of Blues records, but it is not as if they don’t make it their own and add something new into the mix. Bowie was called a chameleon at points and lines of influence can be traced between him and Lou Reed, Iggy, Marc Bolan; dig back further and John Webster was called a ‘thieving inveterate magpie’, and Shakespeare interpolated older stories through his plays. You are on shaky ground when you start batting the notion of authenticity around, and hipness is on a sliding scale too.

Self proclaimed hipsters are rarely hip, and your claim for cool eradicates your coolness – too full of yourself. Sometimes you should just focus on what you have to offer or what you like in something – it makes for positive advertising, and creates a better message. As a critic most readers want to know how cool a product is, not how cool you are. All viewpoints are relative, and the disclaimer that should be attached to any piece of writing not solely fact based that says it is the opinion of the writer only.

The post Busted Hip Crippling The Critical Systems appeared first on Buzzazz Advertising & Marketing Agency.

]]>
http://buzzazz.com/advertising-and-marketing/busted-hip-crippling-the-critical-systems/feed0