These days, we speak to our clients and their brands about one thing above all others – BEING BELEIVABLE. Doing what you say on the tin. No hyperbole. But the nature of believability is not the static beast we assume it is today – today’s beleivability is direct, uncompromising and fuelled by both the rise in digital channels (you can’t hide anything) and the growing dissatisfaction with, and distrust of authority by the general public (you’re hiding something from me until proven otherwise).
Back in the faded days of 1979-1981, Telly Savalas was filmed by Harold Baim (yes, he’s from Leeds too…) in a series of promotional “Quota Quickies” for UK cities. They were shown in the cinema before the feature film, because of a change in the law which meant that cinemas had to show a British film for every American film, of around one-third the length. made many of these films.
So, back to believability. Kojak never visited Birmingham, never visited Aberdeen and certainly wasn’t overlooking the Queen’s parade at Portsmouth – he simply did a voiceover from across the Atlantic. But until recently this edifice for the sake of entertainment or message was completely uncomplicated by issues surrounding “truth”. Watching these films you’re struck by the artifice of it all – but its a charming and naive moment in time that has become a fascinating part of history.
Its suddenly become a whole lot more complicated, and easy.
If you lie, you die.
In the case of Blue Peter it means really naming you cat Cookie rather than Socks, and for brands it means having to navigate an ever-expanding stable of messaging and comment. Watching these films I feel that we need to re-invent magic and joyfulness for the truthful generation, and try to capture some of the wonder that Harold Baim tried to bring to life in his arcane films. Good can equal delightful too.
See the Birmingham film here:
And finally, Portsmouth: