(A revised version of the following post: http://www.brainserial.com/film/the-godard-coincidence/)
I guess my relationship with the films of Jean-Luc Godard could be described as “It’s Complicated.”
I’ve gone out of my way to see every film I have had access to…which might be close to 30. Yet, it’s hard to say I really like his films…it’s more that I find them extremely interesting.
His early to mid-‘60s films were the best. Known as the father of the French New Wave, Godard’s films had an incredible style to them even though I didn’t necessarily understand the point of his artistic effort. He also featured incredibly attractive women and allusions to socialist politics which weren’t all that obtrusive at first but got much more so later – to the detriment of his art, IMO.
One could say that his film Sympathy for The Devil marked a major stylistic turn for him because while it featured absolutely priceless footage of the Rolling Stones in the studio recording their hit song, half the film featured a very strident political discourse that, to the modern viewer, would be not just boring and dated but almost incomprehensible. His latter films covered incredibly diverse topics, and while I found them extremely challenging, they always fascinated me and I would go out of my way to watch his even most obscure films – not because I thought I would enjoy them but because they made me think.
The deeper I’ve gotten into Digital Marketing, the more I feel it’s a Godardian art with inchoate situations, non-linear plot lines, and esoteric mise en scènes. The digital marketer who’s not able to process disparate elements cohesively will ultimately not serve their client in an optimum fashion.
I see too many people in this industry treat the campaign development and execution process with the linearity of a TV Sitcom. Sure…there are some obvious tasks that have to be executed upon in a check-list fashion, but many aspects of the engagement can be quite nuanced and would benefit from a period of open reflection.
When I begin working on a new account (which just happened), it’s sometimes tempting to try to change things up immediately if something appears to line up in a non-optimum fashion. However…I’ve resisted that temptation. Instead, I begin looking at it from many different vantage points…peppering my teammates with loads of questions about the setup, the history, and the client. No matter my level of experience, at the beginning, I’m not nearly as attuned to the account mechanics as my teammates who have been part of the client relationship long-term. As I become more integrated into the framework of the account, I realize that even though some of my strategies and tactics will be pretty obvious, much of my relationship with it will be quite Godardian, and ultimate success will depend on my ability to deconstruct the picture nuances in a manner that is actionable for the benefit for all above.
The more I watch Godard…the better I become at being able to deconstruct his art into understandable components. Similarly…as I continue to work into complex accounts across multiple channels, it becomes easier for me to recognize patterns from previous efforts, utilizing that knowledge for maximum impact.