What's Wrong With This Video?

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If you haven’t already seen this, please watch. It’s only 1:47 long.

Q. What’s wrong with this video?

A. It’s brilliant. And that is what makes it so horribly wrong.

How is it, that in the 100 or so years that credit unions have existed, no CU executive, no ad agency creative genius, no anybody for that matter, has been able to articulate the difference between CUs and banks as well, as artistically, and as entertainingly as the 19-year old Canadian that did this video?

It took me a couple of Twitter tweets and an email to confirm that Larissa had indeed written the script herself, in addition to doing the stick figures and voice over. Not that it would have been a crime if Common Wealth’s agency had written the script. To be honest, I would have felt better had they written it.

Here are my take aways from this:

Marketing better learn how to communicate better. All this talk about “should we blog or shouldn’t we?” is moot if you what you’re blogging about isn’t meaningful and well communicated to the intended audience. Marshall McLuhan was wrong. The medium isn’t the message. The message is the message. Having said that, I’d be the first to admit that Larissa’s message would not be as powerful in a brochure. So the medium isn’t unimportant. But although marketers have learned that they can’t simply take brochures and put them online, simply slapping videos online isn’t effective just because it’s interactive.

Agencies better understand the concept of strategic enablement.
Where the agency earned its keep here is in bridging the gap between the strategy and the execution. After all, they didn’t do the execution (write the script, draw the stick figures, do the voice over) and it didn’t take a genius to come up with the strategy (just read a few of the thousand blogs out there all preaching about how marketers should be doing social media). There may be a better term for it, but I think of what the agency did here as strategic enablement.

Every CU marketer in North America should be looking at this video and yelling at their agency “Find me a Larissa!” Good luck to those agencies. I don’t think that many of them are going to find her. What’s worse, few of them understand that they add the most value to the marketing equation today not by preaching the need for new strategies, nor by doing the dirty work at the other end, but by creating the capability that enables the new strategy to happen.

I know this concept is fuzzy. I’ll keep working on it.

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