Sideswipes: Is Your Media Francofied?

In every language media can speak, actor/author/teacher/filmmaker James Franco is trying to tell you a secret: Content, people. Lots of content is the key.

Franco has a gift for the hyper-production of content of all kinds. His new movie, "The Interview," is another in his long line of film credits. But did you know he is also the poet behind the prose in an upcoming documentary, has published pieces in Esquire and McSweeney's,starred on Broadway, been the face of Gucci, held a solo show at a gallery in New York City and once brought Sundance a mash-up multimedia project centered on the retro sitcom, "Three’s Company?"



I’m stopping way short of Franco’s insomniac full catalog. You get the point. What’s going on here is the creation of content by volume, without regard to quality. There are more misses than hits in Franco’s output if popular reaction is the gauge of success. Still, Francofied output is a media strategy to take seriously in an era of content hyper-production. 

The strategy here is allowing media to sideswipe culture of all kinds. The more cultural verticals that Franco’s media touches (film, literature, Broadway, fashion), the more opportunities his media has to connect with consumers. Sure, the odds may be low -- but look at the net result: super-broad segmentation. What Franco has that Brand X does not is an authentic conversation with several emergent cultures, simultaneously.

Very few brands could brag about a base as broad as Franco’s has stretched. His segment would include something like everyone from gay men that found Franco in the drama "Milk" to hipsters that dug him in the horror-satire "This is the End" to art-school kids that became Franco fans after he directed a dance-theatre production for which he provided all the narration.

The creation of content by volume without regard to quality is a strategy that has been around for decades. I’m not suggesting what Franco is doing is new. What I am suggesting is thinking about Francofied media as a cultural strategy. It’s for those truly keen on investing in cultural verticals, to explore them for insights about where shift and disruption are happening.

If your media can become Francofied you just may get a line into this all-important world of culture. Without it, it’s just another piece of content that was made to capitalize on a trend — which, incidentally, James Franco is already writing an Arduino-enabled, EDM opera about.

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