so just catching up with some of the flotsam and jetsam that emerged from Cannes this year and stumbled across the above video of a session brought to you by Saatchi & Saatchi and Richard Dawkins. Dawkins was introducing the agency’s New Directors’ showcase, which their website describes as a platform for:
“The very best new directing talent, identified by our offices around the world, and through the relationships we have with key internet sites … each year we wrap the Showcase around a theme … This year’s theme ‘Just for Hits’ is a visual and oral extravaganza featuring the world-renowned British evolutionary biologist, Professor Richard Dawkins. The show connects the world of science and academia, with the world of film and the Internet.”
the showcase theme, of course, addresses an enduring obsession with the industry – getting viral success. whilst ‘planning viral’ is a contradiction in terms (you can weight the odds in your favour but I defy anyone to say they can plan that something will go viral), there can be few better academic contexts than that of Dawkins’ Meme theory, developed in the ’70s and first described in The Selfish Gene.
in that regard getting Dawkins to introduce a showcase of videos around the theme of ‘just for hits’ is a rather brilliant piece of showmanship. in Dawkins’ own words “the internet is a first-class ecology for memes to spread … going viral [was] the very phrase I used in The Selfish Gene” source – his theory is the embodiment of many marketers’ wildest dreams.
here’s a video of the Guardian’s interview with Dawkins at Cannes.
featured image via BBC