There’s Nothing Cool About Being Cool

8 October 2020

We’re seemingly more intelligent and more educated than ever. But, as humans, we still find ourselves buying into the packaging of a message rather than the contents itself, almost like we’re in a trance.

Commentary on the internet has become briefer because we don’t have the attention span. Social media posts fly around in their narcissistic trillions, with more onus on what something looks like, rather than ‘what’s on the inside’.

Instagram et al. are proliferating a desire to be perfect; or, in truth, making people feel crap because other people look perfect.

It’s easy to do; all you need is a filter… on reality.

Create FOMO (yes, another wanky acronym), by setting up a social media account for your business to make you look cooler than you are without too much effort…

Hey, look at us, we have an office dog!

Close up of dog that someone brought in, probably on "international bring your dog to work day" (June 26th if you were wondering)

We're cool. Here's us having pizza in the office... and beers... playing on our new foosball table!

Filtered photo of the nicer looking members of the team. "Julie from accounts, can you get out of shot please!".

Meanwhile, behind the camera…

Come on everyone, look like you're having fun for fuck's sake, I've just spent £25 on pizza and used up all my Clubcard points on these beers! And will some stop this dog shagging my leg!"

The fact of the matter is, there isn’t a lot of work that is actually that cool. Even so-called ‘cool’ jobs can be boring and repetitive as deadlines loom and sales targets need reaching. You know, as do I, that behind every Instagram or LinkedIn post is another story, the real day-to-day. The unfiltered, mundane stuff: The stuff that makes the money that lets the company survive.

Meaty Marketing

From a marketing perspective, where does that leave us?

It’s becoming harder to develop meat on the bone when it comes to messaging, and many marketers are simply opting for this  “highly edited to look super-super” snapshot programme to match supposed audience attention spans.

Is this press-style route of click-bait the answer? Create content to get people to click on it?

In short, no.

It’s Not You; It’s Not Me; It’s Us

Firstly, you should not be trying to appeal to the masses.

No-one cares that you are having a latte on your “oh-so-busy day”, or that you’ve just had a ‘super-super’ zoom call with your team. What they care about is themselves.

Right now (October 2020), I actually imagine a lot of people are slightly worried about their own jobs, rather than giving a shit that it’s World Porridge Day (10th October if you’re interested) as you post a photo of your bowl of porridge next to your computer as you tell the world you’re “working from home” today.

The key is to try to find a middle ground.

Assuming that you can deliver what someone needs in a good way – something that will offer them the benefits they are looking for – you just need to crack the empathy barrier to create a win-win. It may take time, but it creates relationships and develops brands in a more penetrative way.

My Two-Penneth (for what's it's worth)