When you've got personality, laughter can bridge the short distance between people. Being playful makes us feel like we belong together. Defenses down, curiosity up, we forget what keeps us apart.
Connections from a billboard? Now that is something you don't come across every day - unless you live in Vegas or near Times Square. Meet Nathan Phillips, who was the CountsMedia world's largest fully live totally interactive video billboard in Las Vegas.
Last October, Bill (Nathan) talked with Bob Garfield about improvisation and using his skills as an actor to entertain and, in so doing, market. It looks like Nathan has taken his one man Bill(board) act in Time Square, NY this year.
In the world of marketing as context building, a world that, with the rise of the semantic Web, is becoming more important for marketers to understand and live in, if you want to be a leading brand, you lead. Which means that par for the course becomes the ability to improvise based on context and the information available.
Remember that Drew Carey show "whose line is it anyway?" Drew and gang were given ideas from the audience. The actors focus on the ideas, and then use their skill to build on them in unusual and (still) practical ways to tell a story. That is improvisation. As defined on Wikipedia:
Improvisation is the practice of acting, singing, talking and reacting, of making and creating, in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or new ways to act.
What are the characteristics of improvisation transferable to marketing?
- having a conversation, in the moment, with your audience
- building upon the response and feedback your public gives you
- developing rapport with those who are willing to be entertained
Those are all sound characteristics of conversational marketing. Want to make this fun? Let's do some improv comments here.
[hat tip to Anne Libby]