The bad boy image flys in the face of convention

Walk into any interactive ad agency today to seek their advice on blogging and their responses will roll off the standard FAQs. It’s all logical and relevant. “Start by identifying your target audience,” they say “and then spend time understanding their interests and their deeper motivations.”

They’ll tell you that research should determine the keywords that trigger search activity in order to improve your search engine optimisation and thus get more people within your target group to find your webpage. Above all, don’t forget to use images and videos with loud music to shake your audience back to life after you’ve sent them to sleep with that incredibly boring content.

Ok, maybe the resulting post might not be mind-numbing to everyone because I’m sure a couple of geeks will love the content so much that they’ll share it with every one of their two followers on Twitter, achieving 50 per cent engagement (that’s way above the 2 per cent average).

Everybody would like to know how to write the type of thrilling content that pulls the heartstrings of their customers. The reason your posts aren’t doing this is because the accepted guidelines lead you to inserting your brand name 50 times into a 200 word post. It will accelerate your search results and who cares that it drives your audience crazy.

Blame it on Aristotle, even though he is 2,340 years dead, because he prescribed how stories should be written and since then popular fiction has been based on his method. Enter James Dean in 1955 where he stars in his most celebrated movie, Rebel Without A Cause, and the tale that Aristotle spun begins to unravel. Dean was the cultural icon who brought us the ‘bad boy’ image and to this day the entertainment industry has earned trillions from it.

No form of research would have concluded that the Dark Triad personality would be a main feature in the storytelling and music of our age and Aristotle, Plutarch and all other white haired and bearded wise old men would have been labeled insane if they attempted to propose it.

One of the most popular characters of the 20th century, James Bond, displays a fully loaded cocktail of symptoms that are associated with mental conditions and antisocial conduct. His movies are a flagrant exhibition of his violent behaviour, promiscuity, deception, and narcissism (“Bond … James Bond”), yet the chicks love him and everyone to a man has watched his films, earning the franchise a total of 5 billion dollars at the box office. 

Back at the ranch you have another blog post to approve. If your resident blogger offers you anything but what comes from age old wisdom, you shoot it down like the Dirty Dozen would. Take some time out and reconsider what you’re really trying to achieve and ask your team to rewrite the script, take some risks and grow some gonads.

You’ll know that they’ve written something worth reading when it stirs your emotion, or maybe even evokes fear or outright laughter and it’s at that point that you’ll need to take the advice of one of your bad boy peers, Richard Branson, and say “screw it, let’s do it!” You may then sign off the script and wait to hear from the board of directors.


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