First up, I am looking at the exceptional work of Marcus Brown. He is, in my view, one of the foremost PRACTITIONERS of social media creation. He views the Web 2.0 technologies and the social networks that they enable as a fertile creative space in which he can artistically experiment, investigate and expose the various intersections of story, character, history, advertising and performance. He treats social media with both the reverence and contempt it deserves — rigorously decontructing expectations, desires and forms and then rising, phoenix like from the ashes to surprise and delight us all one more (last) time. He has single-handedly brought to life a variety of personalities that have asked the difficult questions that many choose to ignore — Sacrum, for example, sent a job application to Wieden + Kennedy in London which simultaneously demonstrated his skills while also showing how one of the leading advertising agencies on the planet were not adequately listening to digital conversations swirling around it.
In many ways, Marcus’ searing investigations remind me of Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty — his intellectual and creative endeavours devouring, in their articulation, the topics that he interrogates.
While he has generously left his Kaiser Edition website intact, despite the resignation of its host personalities, there are some key series/posts that any serious student of marketing/brand activation should spend some time with. These are:
- If I were a client today — this series looks at agencies from a client-side point of view.
- My first night — authenticity? How do you make a story real? Read this if you dare.
- Content will kill your agency — some acute thinking around advertising agency business models and the need for innovation.