By APNWLNS payday loans
While I rarely talk about my work, our company (among other things) produces convergent media properties for pre-schoolers called This is Daniel Cook and This is Emily Yeung. If you have kids under 10, you’ve probably heard of them.
The backstory is that in 2004 Daniel hit the airwaves and immediately started to stir up as much chatter as I’ve ever seen around a pre-school property. The show featured Daniel Cook – yes, that’s his real name – heading out to explore the world one six minute adventure at a time and all the while asking adults the hard-hitting questions that a pre-schooler would want to know. We had a cute little red headed host who everyone from eTalk Daily to the Gemini Awards seemed to want a piece of for his intrepid (well, intrepid for a seven year old) interviewing style. He was like an adorable Mike Wallace, but like the regular Mike Wallace, he had his critics. “He has no manners” was a common complaint, but the reality is, if we would’ve packed the episodes full of please and thank yous in the editing process, there would have been a heck of a lot less time left over to actually teach kids about exploring the world – which was the goal of the show in the first place.
After 2 seasons and 131 episodes airing on networks across North America, we had an award-winning hit on our hands with some extremely loyal fans. Okay, watch this one too… While there were those who chose to complain, the fans far outweighed the ney-sayers. So naturally, we decided to move our international distribution plan forward and produce a second series, featuring a little girl. Why did we do this? It wasn’t to ‘replace’ Daniel as someone so kindly edited the show’s Wikipedia page to read (we changed that). It wasn’t because Daniel was getting too old. The real reason was because in our efforts to sell the series internationally as a format, we continually were roadblocked by believers that the show was only a success because of its host – and the concept wouldn’t work with anyone else. Being stubborn and enterprising producers, we wanted to prove that this unique format wasn’t just succeeding because of Daniel – we wanted to prove that networks around the world should be airing their own Daniel Cook with their own local kids. Of course, the best way to prove this was to find another real kid, put an orange t-shirt on them and send them out into the world to explore – just like Daniel. Makes sense, right? Enter Emily Yeung, an equally inquisitive little girl, discovered (after an exhausting interview process with kids hoping to break into ‘the biz’) checking out books at a public library outside of Toronto. No kidding.
While many have embraced the new show and it too has become a hit on Treehouse TV, it has encited some interesting reactions on the internet – some more mature than others. In addition, many took to their blogs and other message boards to exptess their opinions and give their own take on the transition from Daniel to Emily.
While I’m not suggesting for a moment that we shouldn’t have made This is Emily Yeung – it’s a great show – I’m merely using this as an extreme example of what the internet age is doing to brands. I’m sure that everyone’s heard the supposedly positive (Mentos and Coke) and negative (Chevy Tahoe) examples of that has happened to big brands online, you shouldn’t think for a second that putting your brand out there won’t draw at least a little heat. The point is, in a world with so many millions of people online, you’re going to find niche audiences who love and who hate virtually anything you have the cajones to put out there. There isn’t anything you can put out that someone won’t be morally opposed to or personally offended by – and thanks to the internet, they can now find everyone else out there who shares their personal distaste and chat about it with them. Or create some graphics.. or shoot a video… or build a website. It’s just too easy – but the thing not to forget is, you’ve got their attention. A lot of it. There’s value in that.
So, don’t sweat it. If these people can spend enough time and energy to go online and talk about your brand, you’ve clearly engaged them in some way. In turn, they’re engaging others – and that’s what the web is all about. Heck, that’s what building a brand is all about! So if your brand is taking a little flack online, don’t feel like the world is picking on you. There’s likely an equal amount of people out there advocating on your behalf and we all know people who are upset are far more prone to act than those who are content. Think of it this way – if there’s people out there who can will take the time to berate a seven-year-old they’ve never met because his editor decided to cut out the word “please” from his show, or his producer decided he do better business by expanding a television format, then I’m sure there’s someone who will tear down your brand for something you’ve done too. So don’t sweat it. It’s not the end of the world – it’s the beginning of a conversation.