META MAKING (important insights from...s'mores)

I like s’mores. A lot. Who doesn’t? But when I saw this Hershey’s video, my first thought wasn’t how amazing the s’more looked. It was that the piece was as much about how they made the piece as it was about the s’more.

Turns out this was part of a :30 ad that I never would’ve known about had I not specifically done some mildly intense research.

A second vid goes into even more detail, and it’s awesome. Btw, a visual engineer named Steve Giralt appears to be the mastermind behind the project. (Well done, Steve.) Hopefully we can get him on the podcast at some point.

This self-referential—“meta”—approach to advertising isn’t new, of course, but it’s proliferating like crazy in terms of the “how to” facet of the concepts. Showing your audience how much meticulous detail you considered, how many tools you used, and how many problems you solved to create a stunning visual can be as compelling as the visual itself.

Existentially speaking, does this mean that the thing itself is not enough? Does it mean that more content is simply better? Does the wave of DIY-ness of the world and new generations demand more transparency? Is it none of these and I’m just over-thinking this?  

The veil of mystery associated with many things has been lifted over the past decade or so. In the past, the wonderment of The Thing was the thing. Today, a slice of the wonderment lies in showing more, celebrating effort, and teaching how.  

Jed Jecelin