Albert Einstein, as the story goes, was riding his bike when he discovered the theory of relativity. A great mind doing a simple thing in-turn produced a transformational idea. An idea that took decades to come to fruition, implement, and then distribute.
If only Al had a YouTube Channel…
Things have changed. Sal Khan began tutoring his cousins via YouTube in 2004; by 2011, Khan Academy, still largely based on YouTube, is the single largest educational institution in the world. Its lessons have a collective viewership of over 50 million. Sal remains the only teacher. So, one could argue that he’s revolutionizing education single-handedly. And the cost: Free to all. Except for YouTube, who had the brilliant idea to share ad revenue with audience generators to help inspire more quality content.
A great example of how the right idea put in a piece of share-able content can change behaviors – even behaviors with deep roots – with very, very few resources.
A Red Bull movie? Paint me blue, red, and gold – this can only mean one thing: For the brand, for the audience, and for the film – they’re going to be (insert Samuel Jackson inflection here) ”like three little Fonzies. And what’s Fonzie like? That’s right…he’s cool.”
Red Bull’s new project, The Art of Flight, is an ode (unwitting or otherwise) to subterranean winter action sports filmmaking – ala 62-years-and-running Warren Miller Entertainment. But The Art of Flight breaks the mold in a simple, yet important way: Red Bull is not a sponsor, but the storyteller. Far beyond the product-as-prop in the yesteryear of gratuitous placement, Red Bull is even beyond being a character in sub story line (forced chug of energy drink after victorious moment – I felt bad for these moments watching Winter X). Really, they are the curator of something between aspiration and inspiration – and they own that experience for their fervent following. Sure there’s an inundation of blue, red, and gold – but we the audience will forgive because cool goes a long way.
Furthermore, they confirm that the fringe formats of a feature-length-music-video-meets-documentary-but-high-octane-bad-ass-action-footage has a place for the masses. They’ll four wall it, they’ll push it over iTunes, they’ll throw it all over the social space, they’ll do a lot and do it well. And to kick it all off, they owned Youtube for a day. Big spend for a fringe theme.