The objective of this article is to explore the scope to leverage Spoken Word Poetry to develop a Brand Voice.
Spoken Word Poetry
Spoken Word Poetry is a form of an art extracted from literary written context and dramatized through a vocal medium for the purpose of performance. A poetry has two integral components as mentioned below.
University of Pennsylvania has conducted a research on how lyrics influence the wellbeing of a person. It quotes that content plays a very important role in affecting the human nature and actions. The choice of words, rhyme scheme, and metaphors used influence the human psychology to a very great extent. Thus, there is a die-hard need for Brand Voice to develop the best content. This arises from the creativity which one develops from its association with literature and classics.
“Serious literature acts like a rocket-booster to the brain. The research shows the power of literature to shift mental pathways, to create new thoughts, shapes and connections in the young and the staid alike”, says Professor Philip Davis. This is the reason why poems should not be oversimplified, instead somewhat complex. And that is why literatures and classics must be revived and re branded in this present era of extermination.
It is the rhythm which is associated with words stringed together to form musicals. University of London has conducted a research to prove that how music alters the human psyche at an intellectual and a social level. It ignites the child in oneself and also makes him/her perceive things in a more truthful way. The reason for this effect is the activation of certain brain areas, such as the posterior cingulate cortex and medial temporal lobes, which have been linked to introspection which furthers pokes the psyche in a significant way.
Moving forward, as a matter of fact, internet is abundantly occupied by the magic of Spoken Word Poetry. Actors like Sarah Kay, Phil Kay and Prince Ea, are few of the trending icons of this awe. There are also various clubs like Button Poetry, Word Up, Word N Sound Live Literature Company and Project VOICE which promote these kinds of spoken word poetry campaigns which aggravates the fact that Spoken Word Poetry is not just a poem festival but a complete movement in itself which is gaining momentum day by day.
Morphing Stories into Voices
Brands never sell products rather they sell their stories and these stories are the building blocks for this ever popularising “Movement” prevailing in market. More than the utility of the product, consumers trust the Brand Value. For example, Paper Boat doesn’t sell beverages, rather Nostalgia; L’Oréal doesn’t sell personal care products, rather Beauty; Coca Cola doesn’t sell carbonated drinks, rather Relationships. Every YouTube campaign is a story with a definition of the Brand’s Lifestyle, which is the actual source of revenue for companies these days. One such example is shown perfectly by one of the Mobile Telecommunication firms in Thailand, True Move H, wherein it didn’t sell its product rather a beautiful message that how “Humanity pays off”. Many such advertisements come-in very often and has taken a special place in the field of Marketing Communications.
There are zillions of tools available for an excellent communication model for branding and promotions of a brand, be it Guerrilla Marketing, Ambush Marketing or In Bound Marketing. But, as it is very well known that every decade there is a hype of one particular technology pertaining to its utility, these days Content Marketing is seen in that hyped zone.
Content Marketing is not a new concept, it has been prevalent in this market since a very long time in myriad forms. Ranging from TV Advertisements to Radio and to Social Media, Content has played a very crucial role. Be it a poem, documentary, story, art, blog or music, content has no boundaries and is expanding beyond anyone’s reach. Since time immemorial, from the era of Shakespeare to today’s Lang Leave, Content has ruled the hearts and minds of people. No campaign is complete without an engaging content which will further attract the milieu. It is neither a technology nor a framework which is to be followed with a disciplined approach, rather it is the Creativity that should doom upon for a successful content marketing strategy.
There are two major types of content delivery which exist in the market around which the entire content marketing strategy revolves:
- Elevator Speech
It is to answer the “What” and “Why” of the brand, i.e. what does the brand sell in the market and why did it choose to get into that very market
- Business Development Pitch
It is the full-fledged delivery of the brand’s product and the story behind its growth
There is an old tradition of musical production in Bollywood and the reason for that was to make people feel the gravity of the situation. It gives viewers a sense of belongingness to the plot of the movie and make them feel connected with every protagonist present in the movie. On similar lines, the popularity of spoken word poetry can be supported.
Taking it forward and amalgamating the concept of Content Marketing, Branding and Spoken Word Poetry, a very beautiful and a revolutionary concept of morphing stories into poems turned up; that how a Spoken Word Poetry can be the “New Story Telling Experience” where brands will now not only speak for themselves, but sing in their own “Voices”.
Reason to Believe
Now, what are the reasons to believe and invest in Spoken Word Poetry and let the Brands sing, when so many other forms of advertisements are there like Newspapers, Video Marketing, Billboards, and On Ground Campaigns? It is very evident that collaboration of any form of content with music bolsters the efficiency of the idea which seemed to be a mere string of texts earlier. Also, it has been proved that people listen to music to regulate arousal and mood, to achieve self-awareness, and to socially relate themselves with others. And, Spoken Word Poetry is one such way which achieves these objectives in a very smooth and serene way.
But, the main question which arises is that why after so many years of main stream advertisements? And to answer the same, it’s all about the hype cycle. Currently, it is the Content Marketing which has taken up the throne. There are many facts and experiments which supports the above statement.
To elucidate, an eight year old child with just 8 weeks of musical training showed an improvement in perceptual cognition compared with controls; learning to play an instrument enhances the ability to remember words through enlargement of the left cranial temporal regions; musically trained participants remembered 17% more verbal information than those without musical training; children experiencing difficulties with reading comprehension have benefitted from training in rhythmical performance.
Better late than never, this is the time to bring the transformation. This is the time for the Metamorphosis in the world of Marketing Communications.
Brands using Spoken Word Poetry
As a matter of fact, this wave of metamorphosis has already begun but before getting into this exhaustive transformation one must understand the roots from where it has originated. Spoken Word Poetry started in the lands of Africa and from there it has spread like an epidemic in the western countries. They are using this mode of communication since a very long time, not only for the purpose of brand promotions but also to make themselves heard. There are many companies like Britvic, Levi’s, Telstra, Nestle and McCain which have already used Spoken Word Poetry. And, there are few like Paper Boat and Chevrolet which has taken a step toward for the same in the Asian markets.
Of all the brands mentioned above, there is not a single campaign which had repeated itself in terms of creativity, and this has really opened up a big pool of novelty in front of everyone. Every single piece of advertisement made till now using this concept of spoken word poetry is exorbitantly new. For example, Paper Boat uses simple Hindi poems for its branding and Chevrolet has hired Prince Ea for its musical promotion.
Thus, all that it required for a brilliant Spoken Word Poetry Campaign for any brand for that matter, is a genuine story, lyrics, some feet thumping music and a brand name that is on its journey of self-introspection.
That was all about Story Telling and the Narratives which has been discussed till now. But, is there any further scope of innovation to the same? Well, there might be. There might be an option to live these stories rather than just listening to them. Would not it be amazing to be one of those spoken word poets inside that video advertisement and sing the brand’s story from your own vocal cords? Surely, it would be. And, here comes another mind boggling concept of Story Living. A market shaken entirely by Augmented and Virtual Reality has opened up huge dimensions, to live what was once imagined. This whole concept in itself a complete research work which is out of scope of this article. But, don’t just leave it here rather, get your mind widen its horizons and study more about Story Living.
With the advent of technologies and talented minds, everything seems to be possible. But, every emerging idea is accompanied by several obstacles. And, the only problem that could be ever wondered for the Spoken Word Branding is the Scalability.
Restricted to only digital media, the content remains unavailable to the masses who don’t have the access to the “Digi World”. In addition, since it’s all about that “language” in which the story has been delivered, it might pose a challenge at the time of translation in that the essence of the “brand voice” is lost. Like Paper Boat campaigns are all made in Hindi with product’s names such as “Anar”, “Santra”, “Aam” etcetera which will limit the brand to go Global.
But, then to make something successful, the very first step is to “Start” and then,
“Change”, “Perseverance” and “Hope” is the key to grow, explore, innovate and achieve success.
Dimension to Personal Branding
Spoken Word Poetry, A path towards Social Entrepreneurship
Reiterating the stated fact, the origin of spoken word poetry dates long back to 1950s when Black Community used this technique to promote their ambitions and protests. There were many cohorts which were responsible for this beautiful production of voices. Few of them includes, The Last Poets, a poetry and political music group that was born out of the African-American Civil Rights movement; The Beat Generation, writers of the 1950s that rebelled against the literary and cultural status quo and Black Art, Black Power movement. This was seen as a means of expression and thought sharing which were unheard in the political system. Gradually, it traversed all across different sects of life and now, it has become the most favoured mode of “Free and Fearful Expression”.
Poets, now a days, not only use this mode of communication for their self-expression but also to inspire and motivate people. They try to connect the dots using the best forms of literature and bring a change in the society. Be it Prince Ea or Sarah Kay, each of their performances ignite a new wave of evolution. This change is so prevalent that big brands like Chevrolet, as mentioned in the article before, are hiring these talent professionals for their promotions rather than hiring an agency to do the same. The reason being very simple in that, these professionals have created a Brand in themselves. A Personal Brand which has led to a unique form of entrepreneurship called “Social Entrepreneurship”.
Social issues is something which everybody wants to contribute in but doesn’t have enough motivation to take it up on a daily basis. Everyone tries to do their own bit but that is not enough for the world which we dream of which is no less a sustainable place to live in. It requires enough hearts and souls. Incorporating Spoken Word Poetry in this domain has given it a dimension where poets are leveraging upon their personal brands to make it happen. Every time they speak, they open up a new door in the people’s lives.
“A Change doesn’t require a great idea but people to implement the small ideas in a great way. “