By Kevin Kleber, Alexis Rice, and Garrett Wheeler [Header image credit: Netflix © 2022]
The premise of Netflix’s best romantic reality show ever: 30 single men and women date from pods. They can hear each other but they can’t see each other. From there, it’s a whirlwind of sonic speed dating, second dates, second guessing, surprise swaps, intimate encounters, commitments, betrayals, etc. All before these folks even come visually face to face for a dramatic reveal.
It’s a show about searching for a purer form of true love, one that’s led to all kinds of drama, weddings, and even some lasting marriages. (Helloooooo Lauren and Cameron, three years going strong!)
So, in an industry hyper focused on visual identity, can “Love Is Blind” teach us a thing or two about advertising?
Well, did Iyanna and Jarrett finally figure it out after way too much back and forth between him and Mallory?!
The answer is YES! And here are five ways...
In business relationships, it’s all about the wooing (the HR approved kind).
Maybe, we should all treat meetings with new and potential partners like a “Love Is Blind” first date. Don’t just roll in and expect each other to carry the conversation. Each meeting is a chance for everyone to lean into some good old-fashioned wooing. Ask great questions that demonstrate you are thoroughly interested. Be funny! Be smart! Charm their socks off! Are we talking about flirting? No, obviously nothing inappropriate – but maybe the business equivalent?… and maybe we call it “blirting.”
Is there chemistry? Because that’s something you just can’t fake.
Along the same lines, what would happen if we as agencies looked past juicy revenue numbers and clients looked past glam agency pedigrees, and we let chemistry decide which relationships might be the most harmonious and rewarding. Was there a click or a clunk when you first met? Here, we should take a lesson from Iyanna re: Shayne – if it’s just not there, it’s never gonna be there.
Creativity that matters.
This one’s about going beyond the superficial sizzle that comes with instant physical attraction. With ads, as in people, there needs to be something more, something that resonates. What we try to create every day is “the total package” – something that’s beautiful, smart and a great conversationalist. Wouldn’t it be totally rad if we all created work that made people feel like Danielle and Nick did when they first came face to face? Like visually attracted and emotionally complete?
Seeing past biases in recruiting and hiring.
We know this industry of ours is way more monolithic in terms of race and life experiences than it should be. But when the time comes to recruit with diversity in mind, we sometimes can’t see past our own biases. We gloss over candidates brimming with potential and interesting, nontraditional backgrounds because they don’t fit the mold of what we think constitutes the requisite experience. As a solution: we may not be able to put interviewees in separate pods wired for sound, but we can train our interviewers to be better “recruiting dates.” That means avoiding snap, superficial judgements on resumes. Listening better during interviews. Asking deeper questions. And hopefully getting to the heart of whether a candidate is right for your team.
Brutal and vulnerable transparency is sorely lacking in this industry.
“Love is Blind” does weddings a lil’ differently. Instead of “I do” being a given, some couples get up there and whammo, one of them busts out a surprise “I don’t.” They do it with transparency and vulnerability and they back up their feelings with good reasons and heartfelt rationale. Wouldn’t it be great if we got our “I don’ts” with that amount of feedback to learn and grow from? Also important to remember, no matter what Shake says, he got “I don’t-ed” first.
On next month’s blog, we’ll look at how Netflix’s “Is It Cake?” can teach us how to host better internal creative reviews.
Update from our Chief Creative Officer per next month’s blog topic: Apparently, we will NOT be looking at how “Is It Cake?” can teach us how to host better internal creative reviews.
Kevin Kleber is SVP, Creative in our Alcone-Irvine office.
Alexis Rice is Creative Art Director in our Alcone-Irvine office.
Garrett Wheeler is Creative Copywriter in our NYC office.