Ben Jones – The UnSkippable Future of Storytelling: How to cut through when all the rules have changed 

Here is today’s question – what is pink noise?

We’ve all heard about white noise. 

That being the words, phrases, stories and marketing messages in your space that sound EXACTLY the same as everyone else.

The tidal wave of noise that’s easy to get lost within.

Let’s call it the elevator music of influence.

So what is pink noise?

Well, it’s kinda the opposite.

Think of the last Netflix series you dedicated 24 hours of your life to bingeing, or the influencer you faithfully follow, combine that with cutting edge data, throw in some vibes (more on that later) and you’ve got a whole new post COVID world of UnSkippable storytelling.

Lost yet? Don’t worry it will all become clear.

To help translate this new world of storytelling – including pink noise – I enlisted third time guest and long time favorite of the podcast, the incredible Ben Jones.

Today’s Guest 

Ben Jones is Creative Director at Google and Head of Unskippable Labs. A team within Google designated with the huge task of studying the 5 billion hours of videos that are uploaded onto YouTube EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

Their mission? To work out exactly what makes us press, or not press, the SKIP button. Essentially decoding in real time the stories that are attract and keep the attention of their 30 million visitors a day.

Twitter @harperjones


You’ll Learn

  • Storytelling in a post COVID world. How our screen behavior has changed and how many of those changes are sticking around.
  • The vortex of time – how to make sense of a world where we’re happy to binge season after season of our favorite show (crazy fact, Amazon now spends more money on content than Paramount) – and yet micro content apps like Tik Tok are still exploding.
  • The power of ‘Vibing’ – why we’re less interested in what you say and more interested in the exact flavor of how you say it.
  • The future of creativity, how trust your instincts as a creator, while still making effective data driven decisions.
  • And finally, quick time vs. slow time. The importance of keeping one foot in the frothy present and one foot in the larger cycles of life.

I’ve said it before, I love having people back for a second and third time on the podcast.

It’s a chance to take the conversation road less traveled, explore ideas beneath the surface of their work and touch on the questions they’re currently wrestling with.

What I loved about this conversation is how open Ben is (and has always been in the years since we first connected) to changing his perspective.

He holds lightly onto any of his opinions or predictions – about what works, what might work and what definitely won’t work – and instead holds tightly onto an experimental mindset.

Test after test. Experiment after experiment.

Breadcrumb after breadcrumb.

Viewing the future as unchartered territory, means that he approaches every change and pivot – not with a sense of exhaustion and defeat – but with a consistent sense of wonder and curiosity.

That was my biggest lesson from this conversation.

Less energy on predicting what might work. More energy on finding out.

References and links mentioned

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