Oath digital prophet Shingy: ‘The shit we’re producing for brands is killing people’

Brands need to stop feeding their consumers’ “sugar hits” of content in a world of “overwhelming” media volumes, according to David Shing.

The man known as Oath’s ‘digital prophet’ told marketers and agencies that they are “stressing out” and “killing” consumers by overloading them with underwhelming content.

Speaking on stage at the Mumbrella360 Asia conference in November during a sponsored session by Oath, Australian-born Shing, who is fondly known by his moniker Shingy,  said brands should focus on creating content “ripples” that fuel long-term brand building.

He told delegates at the event in Singapore: “Young adults want to be entertained, 98 per cent of them are bored… Today kids are dicking about on screens. But brands want to target everyone on the planet. And they want to have a deep, intimate relationship with them But if so, then creativity has to be redefined because the world is overwhelming.

“We’re hit with 1,900 media messages per day; 200 of those are ads and it’s underwhelming because we can’t find what we’re looking for. And one of the large contributors of stress today is media overload. The shit that we’re producing on behalf of brands to engage with people is stressing them out and killing them.

“Attention is what we need to worry about… how we assign our attention to a brand is up to us in how good we are at doing it.”

He added: “We’re very spiky; we like our sugar hits. That’s an ok way to sell things, but not a way to build brands over time. I think we need both. We need to create different ripples. To do this, we need to make sure the production has a point of view.”

Shingy: ‘One of the large contributors of stress today is media overload.’

Speaking about targeting a younger crowd who can “operate a sliding screen better than their parents”, Shing argued brands should turn their attention towards smaller, more intimate social media settings – for example, Instagram users who keep their accounts private.

Private, personal interconnected network is more intimate and personal than the open social network,” he said. “It’s an important place for brands to play in.”

He added: “If you’re in the content business now, you’re competing with everybody in the popular culture game. It’s remarkable because the audience you amass has its own audience.

“The life of content should be when you hit publish, not die. That’s the model a lot of brands don’t understand because you’re competing with expression as a form of entertainment… but this generation is more of a ‘we’ generation than a ‘me’ generation. ”


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