Raymond Loewy is famous for a lot of things, but to most people his most important contribution was his MAYA Theory. He said that in order to sell something to the masses, you have to make it the Most Advanced Yet Acceptable version of whatever it is.
So, if you’re Steve Jobs, you take the idea of the analog desk top, where papers tend to stack on top of each other, but you make it digital. You still call it a desktop, but you’ve made it infinitely more streamlined and sharable.
Or if you make movies, you tell a story about how difficult maintaining a successful marriage is, but you cast Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as husband and wife, make them assassins whose assignment is to kill each other. The love story has been told countless times, but it’s different now because they’re literally trying to kill each other.
It’s surprising and familiar.
And the theory itself is surprising and familiar. Surprising because we constantly hear about innovation and groundbreaking changes in technology or design. Familiar because when people explain these advances, they contextualize it with things we already know.
“It’s like Uber but for hotel rooms.”
But, when it comes to marketing campaigns, especially on social media, we tend to settle for surprising yet familiar when the Theory is most advanced yet acceptable. And we have to start pushing ourselves to think beyond the share and tag a friend ideas. It’s not familiar anymore. It’s mundane and a little lazy.
It’s falling back on what’s always worked, instead of taking the time to ask more questions and think of new ways to use the platforms.
A debate you hear a lot when brainstorming campaigns for social is whether or not users will actually take the time to engage. If you can get them to care about whatever you’re doing for more than the 3 seconds it takes to scroll past your post.
And the answer is always yes. You can always get someone to care about something. You just have to give them something to care about, you just have to do your part.
Do the deeper thinking. Design with purpose and not with a deadline in mind. Don't assume that the campaign you create is going to be gone in five seconds. Work as if this will be a successful, long lasting campaign.
If you care first about advancing what’s possible on the platforms, without going totally off the innovation rails like Coke, you’ll have millions of people ready to care.