Among other things, it’s this stickiness that interests me. If we take a look at J.D. Meier’s Six Principles of Sticky Ideas that he distilled from Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, it becomes clear why this campaign succeeds at every level. Every time we launch a campaign, we should think of these principles :
- Principle 1. Simplicity
- Principle 2. Unexpectedness
- Principle 3. Concreteness
- Principle 4. Credibility
- Principle 5. Emotions
- Principle 6. Stories
Still, I’m wondering what this triumph of marketing means for us as a society. We’re in the midst of the “sound bite” writ large. The sound bite is so compellingly sticky, that we tend not to look past it. And the velocity with which messaging is coming at us – from multiple channels –makes it difficult for us to do anything but react. Marshall McClune famously wrote “the medium is the message“. McClune’s medium was anything from which change emerges. And message was “the change of scale or pace or pattern” that a new invention or innovation “introduces into human affairs.”
Given the rapid pace at which technology is evolving, it can be argued that the message is now medium – and vice-versa? Perhaps, if it’s both simultaneously, that’s what gives The Girl Effect (and similar social media campaigns) so much power? It’s almost like the chicken and egg. It’s difficult to know which comes first. What interests me is that it’s all about extending ourselves (classically “medium”) and the changes that are thereby effected (classically “message”). Much of the power of this campaign is that the medium and message are almost one and the same. It’s interesting to ponder.
video numerous times before it hit me that there was nothing suggesting that girls might aspire to anything other than traditional female roles. Some have criticized this perspective. See http://aidwatchers.com/2011/01/so-now-we-have-to-save-ourselves-and-the-world-too-a-critique-of-%E2%80%9Cthe-girl-effect%E2%80%9D/ positing that The Girl Effect might actually harm women in the long run by reinforcing perceptions of “women’s work” and “men’s work”. Or check out The Girl Effect Parody: “The Idiot Effect” . Reasonable people can disagree. The Girl Effect is a serious video with a serious message. What’s of interest to me here is the power of the messaging and medium that turned this campaign into a lasting international phenomenon.