At Moving Brands we talk a lot about the ‘moving world’ – this ever-shifting cultural landscape characterised by exponential change. It is both our lens for analsying brands, and our framework for creating them. That said, being alert to the ‘moving world’ isn’t just about understanding and developing the platforms and channels which supports it. It’s also finding inspiration in all this change – and the ways in which people are adapting to it – in order to tell amazing, compelling stories.
TV is a perfect example of this. While there are countless examples for how broadcasters are responding to the ‘moving world’ in terms of how people watch TV, there are far fewer examples of shows using the ‘moving world’ intelligently as a basis for exciting storytelling.
Most notable is The Good Wife, which is just finishing its third series. Though it’s not had the same acclaim as other big-budget American dramas like Homeland or Mad Men, it has quietly become one of the most relevant, insightful shows on TV. The Good Wife’s creators and writers weave emotional character-based storylines around pressing, real-world inspired themes of today – from an Internet search engine looking to expand into China, to the founder of a global social networking site objecting to a film about his life.
Far from trivialising or “band-wagoning” these issues, the show explores them in ways akin to well-researched and insightful journalism. Within the setting of the show’s law firm, we are introduced to both sides of the story, and helped to understand its impact through the characters – young and old, male and female, Republican and Democrat. It really is powerful storytelling for a moving world.
Similarly, new HBO show ‘Girls’ has the ‘moving world’ so very much at its core, that you barely notice it. This in no doubt facilitated by its creator, writer and star, Lena Dunham who – at 26 – is a ‘moving world’ native. In ‘Girls’, Facebook, Twitter, and sexting are just part of the fabric of the character’s lives, not awkwardly integrated sub-plots.
Personally, I feel like shows like The Good Wife and Girls represent an important new phase – one where technology and behaviour around technology is normal. It’s no longer sci-fi, or advanced or geeky. It’s just an accepted part of things. Innovation continues, new devices, platforms and formats are introduced, and the moving world does not stop. They said the revolution will not be televised, but it was. We just didn’t notice.