Sketch Media, The Final Product: Nostalgia

Finally!!! After much stress and technical errors that – I’ll be honest – made me cry, here is the link to my completed Korsakow film:

I wanted to take the viewers of this Korsakow project on a journey. I wanted to show them ordinary life, and by doing this, also make them question their own existence, and where their own lives are headed.

Most of the constrained tasks I completed, I felt, fell under the theme of ‘nostalgia’. The filter used on my SLR camera on the weeks I used it creates a sort of mellow, brown, blurred effect. All my videos, even the ones I used an iPhone for, were filmed in my house and around the area I/my boyfriend lives. When I watch back over these videos I am reminded of childhood: of wandering the streets, going to the playground, noticing the tiny things around my house, and in general just having time to ‘play’. Of course when I was doing these tasks I was not ‘playing’, but stressing out and wanting to get them done, but watching back over them I realise that I could have slowed down and enjoyed it more.

I have used text throughout the project to continually pose questions, such as ‘what are we here for?’, and ‘where are you headed?’ – questions that act as rhetorical questions designed to make the viewer think, and associate feelings of nostalgia and rest with existential wonder. The idea, I suppose, is that they experience the playfulness of childhood along with the discovery that comes throughout life. There is even a sense that this is tied to the pressure of growing up – ‘where are we headed?’, ‘is there a plan?’. This, I found, was one of the most obvious ways to thread all of the videos together. Although difficult to predict the order of the clips, it is possible to keep a theme running throughout by never expecting answers to questions or requiring one text or clip to follow another. In this way it does not feel odd or jarred, but a natural flow of film clips.

In providing a ‘structure’ to my Korsakow film, I considered trying to link specific videos together to force a narrative out of it, however I much prefer the free-flowing structure I have ended up using. This ‘freedom’ in the ‘story’ I think adds to the theme of nostalgia, memories, and looking back as it indicates the freedom of childhood. Rather than using keywords, as this makes no difference to the viewer, I have simply linked all the clips using letters of the alphabet: a-w, as I have 22 clips in the sequence.

While perhaps not exactly what I was looking to create (largely due to technical difficulty – and living 2 hours away so not being able to quickly ‘pop into uni’ to upload a better version), I think my project is fairly successful. The aim of it is not tell a story, or to get answers, but to provoke questions while simultaneously reminding viewers of childhood, rest and an easier time. In this way the easy-going nature of the video clips contrast with the intensity of the questions posed.

In the process of completing each week’s constrained task, and learning to use Korsakow I was constantly wondering ‘what is the point of all this??’. The most important thing I have learned from the whole process I think, is that there doesn’t need to be a point. Is there a “point” to Korsakow? Not really. It is about experimenting and discovering, playing and seeing what happens. Somewhat magically, this is exactly what I was trying to convey in my Korsakow project. Perhaps subconsciously I was learning this as I was creating it.

Responding to Smart Consumers

The other day I caught a small snippet of a segment on Channel 7’s The Morning Show on ‘creative complaining’. It explained to viewers just how to go about making a complaint to a company online to get their attention and see results.

While online it is far simpler for customers to lodge complaints and feedback, and more obvious when they are unsatisfied, this is perhaps an OPPORTUNITY for PR to be excellent and satisfactory and perfect.

Consumers are getting smart. Steve Colquhoun writes in his article Setting the agenda online in an age of smart consumers:

For the first time in my career, I feel that the consumers are as smart, if not smarter, than the people in marketing today.

Despite this, PR is what it has always been, even before Web 2.0:

the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics

(Full definition found here.)

Erika Morphy discusses the argument that luxury fashion brands need only ‘show up’ on social media.

However, I would suggest that fashion brands must also endeavour to engage their audiences online. The following slideshare presentation provides some examples on how a fashion brand may go about doing this:

Last week we talked about the need for luxury fashion brands to not let the power of the people on Web 2.0 make their own power as an authority on trend, style, and taste obsolete. One way of doing this is using Web 2.0, and its immediacy effect for fast and satisfying customer service, and collaborating with the public rather than ‘just showing up’.

What do you think? What may be some examples of brands having used Web 2.0 to engage publics?

Fashion Brand Identity in Web 2.0

In Web 2.0, the people have the power.

For fashion PR, this poses a challenge. Fashion-conscious consumers the world wide are often very vocal about their good and bad experiences with certain brands, leaving the brand’s identity open to attack and manipulation.

Perhaps this is particularly so with “luxury” fashion brands such as Vogue.

In a recent interview with Encore Magazine, Kirstie Clements spoke on this in regards to her time as editor at Vogue. Interestingly, she makes the point that Vogue, as a luxury fashion brand, needs to set the agenda on fashion.

It may seem that this idea of ‘setting the agenda’ is rather outdated. However, for luxury brands it is this strong, authoritative voice that makes them so coveted and powerful.

How fitting - the cover story "The Future is Now"

How fitting – the cover story “The Future is Now”

Many of the posts on Vogue’s Facebook page are about ‘what to wear’, or ‘the season’s new looks’. There is minimal room for negative feedback as Vogue is often directing conversation a certain way. The page’s 3,000,000+ followers speaks for itself. People love and respect Vogue.

Luxury fashion brands, while possibly preferring and suiting the more traditional one-way communication media framework, must also recognise that social media is here to stay, and they must take part in the discussion. Dana Gers notes in an article on Forbes, that:

Brand makers that don’t create their own conversation with their most passionate customers through social networks risk having a passionate consumer create that presence instead. Facebook and Twitter are cluttered with brand sites that weren’t created and aren’t maintained by marketers.

Without a structured response and position in social media, brands risk losing their identities, or having them warped by the power of the public.

This highlights that while the people may have the power, this does not give fashion brands the option of relinquishing this power. They must find a way to use it to their advantage.

More of Me

More of Me from Stephanie Iversen on Vimeo.

Here are a few things from around my bedroom that I think represent me. I love sewing, and my books, and writing. The song I downloaded from ‘digccmixter’. I have used it a few times in videos because it is cute.

Vimeo isn’t playing very nice this week. I think there is a frame in this video that has stuffed up and isn’t showing. My final video won’t upload as well! Worst.