Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I'm Jamal, I'm your waiter and I also act

Somewhere in the Los Angeles metropolitan area today, in a large conference room booked by someone's admin, there is an AAR -- After-Action Review -- going on. There are those giant Post-It note pads on easels, a shitload of Starbucks coffees, and a "facilitator" who says this isn't about blame (yes it is).

A couple dozen people with some version of my Day Job (most of whom have "Participate in X number of AARs" on their development plan) are sitting around in crappy conference-room chairs, feeling simultaneously murderous and skin-shreddingly bored. The facilitated conversation is halting at first; no one really wants to admit error or be the first to point the finger, since it'll come back on them fivefold, but enough gets said that there are some notes on the giant Post-Its at least, and the facilitator allows the introduction of What We Could Do Better Next Time.

Now some jackass who is probably a lot like my boss decides this is the moment to be bold. Seizing that moment like the daring, radical innovator he is, he acts like he has just come up with the notion of "incorporating more user-generated content" into the Oscar broadcast so that "viewers can really engage with the material," "have a stake in the outcomes," and "join the conversation."

He's like the reincarnation of Steve Motherhumping Jobs, this guy. His idea will be to have presenters and/or the host(s) read viewers' -- no, "home participants'" -- Tweets and Facebook posts live on air. This, he says, will help make Oscar "relevant," "buzzworthy," and "trend-leading."

Sensing the approval of more senior types (who know that the kids love their social medias), people in the room will glom onto this. Ideas will blast forth like wine: a Twitter crawl in the bottom of the screen! A viewer contest on Facebook for a new "Fan Favorite" category, to be decided by the number of Facebook "like"s! (Can we get Bob to reach out to our contacts at Facebook and Twitter so we can start having some conversations around that? We don't want to lose momentum, and we'll need executive buy-in.) The phrase "tell our story" will come up, more than once.

When the FB/Twit thing starts to dry up, there will be talk about Oscar's "brand," and how to "celebrate and incorporate our heritage," but not overemphasize the fact that your great-grandma could've been Douglas Fairbanks's side piece at the first one. We really need to "leverage" that 85 years of "iconic glamour" without "looking backward" too much. There will be suggestions for "dream hosts," ways to "sharpen the edge" and "create a more youthful profile." Eventually this will "circle back" to social media, because that is how Millennials "engage with content" nowadays; they don't like to just hear who the nominees are and which ones won. They don't, in fact, want to be told anything -- they want their voice to be heard* , and they like it to be in a social way, with their friends, and we need to recognize that and meet them "in their own space."

After this meeting has exhausted every minute of its three-hour running time, there will be a PowerPoint deck sent around, summarizing all the major and minor bullet points, and people will be "tasked with" various "action items," upon which they will all "report out" in the coming weeks, when they will begin to "have those conversations around" their progress on said action items. A year from now, this is why you will be seeing "alot" of idiotic, incomprehensible shit involving @ symbols, hashtags, the number "2" and the letter "u" trundling along underneath Clooney's face as they cut to him for the hundredth time because he's the closest thing we've got to an old-school movie icon anymore (and besides the last time they cut to Bieber he was picking his nose lololol!!!1!!).

This is how it works, America. You're welcome.

*No matter how painfully uninformed and vapid that voice is.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Anonymous Jory said...

Do we work in the same office?

1:53 PM  
Blogger Gleemonex said...

If we do, good sir, then I pity you as much as I pity myself ... ;-)

8:47 AM  
Blogger francine said...

Why don't we just have re-booted TRL host the Oscars and be done with it all? You have no idea how much lighter life is since I dumped FB and don't use Twitter. Then again, I'm probably going to turn into my mother who still writes checks and has my dad pump her gas because she doesn't know how to use the card reader keypad.

8:50 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home