Content is Pineapple
The Blogfather mulls over content, pineapples and tone of voice, as we enter into Autumn.
Content has been cheapened. It is regularly produced with little time or talent being put into it.
It’s September already. If you think that’s scary, that will be chronophobia. Autumn has arrived, and the fresh wind of change has already brought with it a new logo for Google and a redesign for The Drum. It also seems to have carried off Sam’s Wraps, the Gasp lunch place of choice, to unknown lands (we think its Reading. Also, I should state it is a mobile van. It hasn’t gone all Wizard of Oz here in Woky). The world feels a little different already.
Marketing is forever in a state of flux and has to be. But some things remain constant, including Rory Sutherland sharing links to decent stuff, such as this.
It talks of why we hate cheap things, and raises the great example of the pineapple. The pineapple’s lofty reputation has fallen further than Lord Sewel’s. It was once revered with almost god-like attention, with earls building temples to it, but when it became readily available its price plummeted, and the psychology around the pineapple changed, even though the taste stayed the same. These days we have tinned pineapple chunks that are seen as a derogative suggestion for dessert when time, money and quality are lacking.
But at this point I pluck the pineapple from its context in the Book of Life’s piece, and stick it here, as I realized it is exceptionally relevant to something we’ve been putting in the hours on here at Gasp, namely producing something akin to a Gasp Bible; marketing fails to avoid. As part of this we got talking on getting to the crux of what is the problem with content (This is something I’ve mulled over before).
You need to cultivate your distinct voice. Be the content equivalent of a booming Michael Gambon. Everyone will recognize your distinctive output when they see and hear it it.
Certainly the use of the term is out of control, and some people seem to be unsure what it is, but now I know: content is pineapple.
Content has been cheapened. It is regularly produced with little time or talent being put into it. The same dross breeds like replicating cells, as people just copy and paste average content from the internet to become their content. There is far too much of it. What was once the novelty of watching a YouTube video online is often the banal norm.
So we need to raise the level of appreciation for content before the roof falls in. But how? There are no doubt numerous ways you can do this, but one way I personally know you can do it is to weave a story-telling thread into your content that is of interest to your customers, but constantly remains in your tone of voice. Story-telling is in danger of becoming a buzzword itself that people use with too much abandon, but you have to set quality time aside for it. We had the very talented copywriter Vikki Ross come and visit us at Gasp recently, and one of key things I took from her (other than how to write a Haiku) is that consistency of tone of voice is huge. You need to cultivate your distinct voice. Be the content equivalent of a booming Michael Gambon. Everyone will recognize your distinctive output when they see and hear it, and gather round to listen.
So don’t add to the noise, become the music, as we like to say. Or alternatively: don’t become a tin of pineapple chunks, be a Durian!*
Being exotic and divisive is better than evoking pure indifference.
Be more Durian*. To ape O2’s tone of voice. It won’t catch on.
*The Durian is a spiny oval tropical fruit containing a creamy pulp. Despite its fetid smell it is highly valued for its flavour. Banned on Singapore subways for said pungency.