What I learned from a song.
Send in the Clowns by Stephen Sondheim is a song about a woman he loved, who late into their life, their story, walks out ending a marriage of two halves. This got me thinking, as being an integrated type brings certain challenges; it forces you to think at large about the bigger picture, the story, to take into account everything which makes up the often overused word of ‘engagement’. But what IS ‘engagement’? What makes is it so powerful? Put simply, it’s when one medium enters your consciousness. It arouses other senses beyond the first. It marries two sensed together and a narrative develops.
Engagement is a fundamental part of what I did for my Agency, and what I’ll continue to do freelance. Ending my time at BMB brings to the fore many memories. These memories made me realise – the Agency itself had engaged with me in its truest sense: I felt a sense of friendship with it, and an element of ownership. It has told its story to me, and its such stories when belonging to others which help other people to engage with brands. It’s the truths and comfort of understanding a story that come with the marriage of words and imagery; marketing’s soul.
I’m more than aware how powerful words are in engaging us. Whether it’s digital or print, online or offline, words paint unique pictures in our minds. Successful brands communicate with their own language – a tone-of-voice which defines them, and helps others associate with this.
Songs are one of the oldest forms of engagement – after all, when such words are married to music they go on to paint their very own stories in our head. And Frank Sinatra once spoke of such marriage when introducing one of the most poignant songs ever written; Send in the Clowns by Stephen Sondheim. It’s a song about a woman he loved, a woman who he truly engaged with, walks out and ends their own marriage.
“Whether it is the man or woman is un-important. It’s a break-up. It’s a lovely marriage of words and music”
So here it is – from the moment I heard this song, I learned that engagement is the result of a perfect coming together of two mediums. And when a story is told with utter truth.
Take a moment to place yourself in this story: