The Art of Disruption: Creating Fluid Content in the Age of Meme Culture

Fluid Content

How can brands compete for attention when audiences generally lose concentration after eight seconds and new content is just a scroll away? By joining the fray with their own fluid content. At the final installment of this year’s Insights Lecture Series, Richard Turley shared his body of disruptive work from previous stints at Bloomberg Businessweek and MTV, and discussed how he’s bringing this approach to the ad world at Wieden + Kennedy.

 

The big question Turley proposed during his pitch for what would become MTV No Chill was “Can we give our audience a reason to stop looking at their phones?” Turley found success by applying the social media content delivery model, one in which short form content is stacked on top of each other and there is no relationship between one piece of content and the next, to the linear television format. Not everyone can (or should) be MTV, but the lessons learned from Turley’s success can be applied to content creation for brands of all kinds.

Make. Make. Make.

Creating fresh, relevant content daily can help brands cut through the noise to reach their audiences. However, creating content this quickly requires brands to rethink their organizational structures and streamline approval processes; it won’t matter to audiences how good the content is if it’s no longer relevant. Fluid content creation also requires sacrificing production quality for the sake of expediency. While working on his current project, WKTV, Richard Turley found that content shot on cell phones attracted the most audience interest. Using social media to create real-time conversations with your audience can also increase engagement.

Tap Your Network

Producing rapid-fire content doesn’t leave much time for sourcing talent, so Turley recommends taking an inventory of your network’s skillset ahead of time. Does one of your coworkers sing in a band on the weekends? Maybe you know someone with insane dance skills, or an uncanny impression in their back pocket. Take note of what is easily accessible to you. You never know what skills and equipment could help bring tomorrow’s content to life.

At the End of the Day, It’s All About Ideas

Audiences are more than willing to engage in content with low-production value, as long as it is fresh and new. Turley keeps up with the demand for ideas by maintaining the role of “Inspired Amateur.” By seeking different perspectives and taking opportunities to learn new things, content creators can actively replenish their inspiration. Brands should cultivate internal cultures that encourage idea sharing from all employees, not just higher-level decision makers or those in traditionally creative roles.

 

Beehive understands the values of fresh insights and powerful ideas, which is why we invest in practices that fuel our creativity and inspire us. For example, within the last year we’ve implemented regular Idea Lab sessions and CQ Field Studies to expand our thinking and spark new ideas. By incorporating similar practices into your content strategy, brands can create content that attracts attention and engages audiences, even in today’s meme-saturated culture.