When your creative feels a little flat what can you do to fix it?
Case-in-point: Interviews are something that I’ve thought about a lot because it’s a skill I rely on. I’ve had to interview everyone from a homeless man to the CEO of Intel. Interviews are used for brand stories, in testimonials, and yes, in documentaries.
Despite their versatility, 99% of creatives start to die inside when they hear the word “interview.” It’s easy to think about interviews like the cardboard of storytelling — you need it to ship the package, but boy is it dull.
How do you take something as common as cardboard and make it feel fresh?
Enter Little Tickets. With this video JetBlue’s creative team took the concept of the interview and made it special again.
I know what you’re thinking: Round of applause for JetBlue, they spent a fortune and made a great ad. Okay, okay. So you’re not JetBlue. And maybe you don’t have a bucket of money to build a Lemony Snicket storefront on the streets of New York (although, that is super cute).
You don’t need to be at that level to take a worn out creative format and made it great. Let’s nerd out a little:
Lesson #1: Do the Opposite
The creative brief for Little Tickets could have been, “interviewing prospective customers about airline travel experiences.” That sounds pretty dull. I’m imagining a series of adults talking in annoyed tones about uncomfortable seats and overpriced bottled water.
JetBlue made interviews fresh by doing the opposite of what you would expect:
- Instead of adults, JetBlue interviewed children.
- Instead of deciding for them, they treated the children as the decision makers.
- Instead of kids getting a gift, the kids got to give a gift to their parents.
They were so thorough at doing the opposite, that they even built a whole tiny world as the interview setting for the video.
Lesson #2: Plan a Surprise
Little Tickets also leveraged off of a planned surprise. At the end of each interview the children were given the actual trip that they had dreamed about. It was a surprise ending for both the viewer and the children, and the twist kept the interaction fresh for everyone.
Lesson #3: Lead, Then Follow
The interviewer used a subtle skill that elevated Little Tickets from amusing to heartwarming. Can you guess what it is?
He listened. A good conversation starts with empathy and a genuine desire to understand what the other person is saying. The honest answers the children gave could never have been scripted.
Hive-five to Little Tickets for reinventing the interview!