Radical Bytes By Prashant Kohli - On Deadpool, Nike, Shield 5 Instagram Series And More

Prashant Kohli, in his bimonthly column piece 'Radical Bytes' shares his thoughts on the clever Deadpool campaign, Nike's 'Better for it' fiction web series and Shield 5's Instagram only series

Deadpool poster

Editor’s Note: Prashant Kohli, a creative soul and Head of brand strategy at The Glitch is writing a bi-monthly column at LI with the intention to share his thoughts about global digital campaigns that win hearts and challenge the ordinary. Opinions expressed in this post are the author’s personal views.

If you came back to read the second in this series, then I suppose you are a curious mind. In case you just stumbled across this on your Facebook timeline, here’s a link to the introduction to the series.

As individuals in our field of work, we all strive for “creative excellence”, a term which I feel is rather absurd, at-least in the field of advertising. The reason being that we all assume “creative excellence” as a given even before the project kick-off. I am not denying the fact that we need to strive for doing our best possible work, but I also firmly believe that creative process comes without any guarantees of excellence.

I came across this term “Creative Confidence” while stumbling online, and it has stuck since. It has found it’s way effortlessly into my vocabulary, and the more I think about it, the stronger I feel about “Creative Confidence” being the benchmark that the clients, agency and creative individuals should be striving towards.

So, what does it really mean?

I am assuming you must have spent a substantial amount of time in the last 10 days ogling the super bowl commercials and trying to judge the best one for the year. Every time I think of the best super bowl commercial, only one name comes to my mind – Apple’s “1984” commercial. In my view, that is by far the best commercial aired during super bowl. In fact it is the commercial that made the “Best commercial during super bowl” a coveted spot for creatives across the globe.

To me, that piece of storytelling also stands out as a shining example of “Creative Confidence”. It took an agency and the decision maker (take a guess) at Apple an awful amount of sweat and tears to get it past the hurdles. (There was threat of blood as well). If you don’t know the history behind it, do Google it. The clients hated it so much they almost fired their agency and sold the spots at the big event. But the sheer confidence of the minds behind this creative was so strong, that they made it happen, and the rest as they say, is history.

Creative process by the very nature of it is conflicted and full of insecurities. It takes strong individual will to see a difficult and “never done before” idea through. And yet, while pitching such an idea, any logical mind is bound to go through an upheaval to say the least. But then, only a mind that suffers from aspirations can be expected to make such “risky” decisions.

The only way this “risk” can be minimized is, if we work as partners with the brands we work “for”, and the individuals behind those brands. After all, no war was ever won without a well-coordinated army, led by a wise yet a bold chief.

So here’s to a few such wise men and women who have got the troops on their side, exhibited bravado in form of “Creative Confidence” and given us these wonderfully delightful campaigns. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Deadpool: The Genius of the Anti-Hero & Ryan Reynolds

Honestly, I don’t even know how to explain the sheer shock value, relevance and topicality of this entire campaign. Seriously, if anyone has owned the Internet after cats and laughing babies, it has to be this guy. So, in the spirit of Deadpool, more on this at the end of this article.

Nike: Better For It

When it comes to creative partnerships, a few amaze as much as Nike & Wieden+Kennedy. They are back, this time with a fiction web series hosted on YouTube “Better For It”. While they deliver the brand message with insightful and inspirational films like “Inner Thoughts”, this series is aimed at promoting Nike’s online workout videos and their fitness collection.

What really hits, is that the plot in itself highlights and feeds from online habits of people, with one protagonist taking up the challenge of starting her own fitness challenge.

Watch and learn, how to Nike “Just Did It”.

OK GO: Upside Down & Inside Out

I am a blues aficionado and not a lot of “new age” music impresses me. But, these guys: OK GO, are not mere musicians. Since the day they showed up with their first home made music video on YouTube, they have pretty much re-invented the whole business of Music Videos in their own small way.

They make their own videos, lending their ideas not just to the music, but to the visuals as well. The ideas in those videos are simply “Gravity Defying”. But most of all, they have created waves by launching the video on Facebook, with only a small message from band members on their YouTube channel, asking people to head to Facebook, beat that.

The reason: the profits they make from YouTube are insignificant, considering YouTube does not pay for views on videos embedded outside of YouTube, and this nifty little group of super smart guys are all up for finding an innovative way to monetize digital music videos. Google it, if you want to read more about this.

Also, a fun fact: They trained for Zero Gravity parabolas in flights at a site near the Cosmonaut Training center in Russia. Seriously, how cool is that!

Shield 5: The Instagram Only Series

With boys at OK GO launching their video exclusively on Facebook, Shield 5 took to innovating on one medium we all love: Instagram. I am going to take the liberty of calling it #Instatainment, and confess I have waited for a while for someone to do this.

It’s only natural, that some bold and confident creative person decided to give people what they love most on video – fiction, on a platform that is not ideally made for fiction. But well, it does take some real strong writing to hook you and leave you wanting more in just 15 seconds. Pretty much all the rules of film-making had to be tweaked if not completely thrashed.

In all honesty, I am in awe of the idea of doing a fiction series on Instagram more than the series itself. Do check it out though. It definitely deserves more “likes”.

Okay as promised, back to Deadpool, and I still don’t know how to express my excitement about this campaign. Just Google It. Search term suggestions: “Deadpool Shit Billboard”, “Deadpool gives Conan a massage”, “Deadpool’s fine ass poster”, “Deadpool Mother**cker Day”, “Deadpool Emojis (YES YES YES)”, “Deadpool’s bad-ass Christmas wishlist”, “Deadpool Touch Yourself Tonight” & “Deadpool wants your granny”. Okay, not the last one.

Image credit: Twitter