Viacom's 'Culture Of Proximity' Provides Map For Marketers

The Challenge

The Culture of Proximity (CoP) is an ongoing documentary study based on Viacom Velocity’s proprietary research. The two existing pieces (1.0 and 2.0) are dynamic explorations of a rapidly evolving cultural landscape. CoP 2.0 builds on CoP 1.0, forming a strategic toolkit to help marketers navigate our quickly evolving culture.

Research revealed the many nuanced ways that today’s youth understand fame, the value they place on honest influencers, and the lessons brands can borrow to create influence on their own. It quickly realized that a Powerpoint deck wouldn’t do the story justice. It wanted to produce content that showcased its findings and functioned as a standalone piece of creative. 

The Execution

So, Viacom made a documentary that weaves together insights, research and observations from a wide variety of experts: academics, marketers, celebrities, influencers, and young people. It has taken a 360-degree approach to distribution, showing chapters of CoP 2.0 at industry events like Cannes Lions, engaging in conversation on Twitter, posting snackable moments on Instagram, and making everything available on YouTube. 

The Culture of Proximity 2.0 consists of four different chapters, each of which focuses on a specific area of interest: visual communication, fame, experiences and brands. “Visual Communication” explores the ways we use emojis, GIFs, memes and selfies to shape our identities, detect authenticity, and amplify our relationships.

“The Future Landscape of Fame” takes on the changing landscape of celebrity, deconstructing how to understand and use fame in a world where we’re closer than ever to our favorite celebrities. If achieving cultural fluency is the question, CoP 2.0 is the answer.

The Results

  • 10.3 million overall impressions across social media
  • Feature articles in Forbes, Fast Company, the Huffington Post, and Adweek 

Key Takeaways

Creative video is far more interesting to a potential audience than a spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation.

Marketers need to understand youth culture and how they can penetrate it to best effect.

Pitch story ideas to influential publications. 

This won the Research/Consumer Insights category in MediaPost’s 2018 Creative Media Awards.

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