WEEK 26: The Good, the Bad and the Bold

A week or so ago, our CEO was a panellist at the Economic Times’ New Media Summit, and spoke amidst high level executives from agencies like Group M and Publicis, and brands like Google, Tata Motors, Nestle, Flipkart, and more. He was quite the disruption, as he unabashedly shared Humour Me’s views on advertising today, i.e., conventional advertising is coming to an end. In a room full of people defending older and more established approaches to advertising, our CEO spoke of the value of branded entertainment and how it is very important to understand where your audiences are present and the kind of content they are consuming.

One of the topics he touched upon was a mistake that most brands make in taking a generalist approach to their content and trying to please everyone. Attempting to hack attention by piggybacking off trends is possibly the worst way to approach branding, as the very nature of trends is that they keep changing, and if you as a brand also keep changing with them, then you leave your consumers confused as to who you really are. The most important thing as a brand is to establish your identity and generate a community of loyalists; after that is accomplished, you can be as ‘trendy’ as you like, as your fundamental identity will remain unaffected.

Recently, our CEO’s insights were proved right by one of the biggest media platforms in the world – YouTube.

At the close of every year, YouTube creates a video called ‘YouTube Rewind’ which features the best YouTubers (in terms of popularity and original content) that year. These videos usually have some sort of theme or story, and are immensely popular and eagerly anticipated. This year, the theme was ‘give them what they want’. YouTube decided to base their video purely on user suggestions, and attempted to be more inclusive than they have ever been before. They featured YouTubers from across the world, included all of the most popular internet trends, and even spoke of more serious topics such as mental health and people who made a change in the world. These topics were chosen based on a poll YouTube took in which they asked their viewers what they wanted to see. And they gave them exactly that.

 If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can watch it here.

‘YouTube Rewind, 2018’ received 12 million dislikes, making YouTube’s own video one of the most disliked videos in the platform’s history.

Ironically, this video did not even receive a single positive comment. Here are some of the comments:

This video teaches us a very important lesson – it is impossible to please everybody.  

In other news, we recently received a job application in which the candidate mentioned that they had read every entry of this journal. This worked out well for them, as I do the preliminary screening of all applicants, and was quite flattered. In his interview he asked if he would be featured in this week’s entry, and to him I say congratulations, you made it to the journal (although your interview results are still pending).

In addition to handling Humour Me’s official email, I also keep track of the messages that we receive on social media. This week someone messaged us on Facebook, asking us to edit his personal videos. On explaining our value proposition (and also the fact that we are a branded entertainment company – asking us such a question is essentially asking an advertising agency to edit your personal videos) I received a very rude response in which I was accused of being arrogant and condescending by saying that we work only with brands. I did not know how to answer this person who clearly had no idea about what we do, so I sent him the link to our ‘About Us’ video, and wished him all the best in his future endeavours.

I am heading to my hometown next week so I won’t upload an entry for a couple of weeks. On behalf of Humour Me, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and I will see you in 2019!


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