The Youtube Aesthetic
Once upon a time advertisers and agencies believed that advertising had to look better than content. Commercials had to be glossier than the programs that appeared on TV. Print ads had to be created to stand out in magazines and newspapers. That was before services like YouTube. Khoi Vinh the Director of Design at New York Times has an interesting point as he writes about the YouTube aesthetic . “YouTube is a style now, an aesthetic of its own. It didn’t take very long, but it has lodged itself into our consumer psyche as a recognizable visual, aural and narrative convention.” He talks about this video that two guy created as they waited outside a McDonalds. The video is dark and bleary, but has over 9 million views (more than Dove’s Evolution spot). And it’s creator JoeWoody is a minor weblibrity. Khoi tries to sum up the style that’s quickly become part a of the pop culture. “YouTube style, which is to say, they are shot on digital video (though at a higher grade of quality than most of the source material at YouTube) in a cinematographically naïve manner; they feature pronouncedly offhand, amateur and somewhat embarrassing performances from purportedly ‘real’ actors; and they are ostensibly improvised — or at least they go through considerable effort to obscure the influence of any sort of director behind the camera.” Here’s a little effort we made in iContract in keeping with the spirit of the Youtube zeitgeist.