Entering the content market: Five don’ts

A relative newcomer to the industry could work out that Truffle Pig, the new content marketing child from the mighty marriage of WPP, Daily Mail and Snapchat, will prove to be momentous. But the announcement of the unfortunate pig’s birth proved to be an ugly affair. Even from the humblest amateur’s perspective, they should have avoided a few mistakes.

Don’t invent your own language

Reading about Truffle Pig is sort of like trying to decipher Latin. “Next-generation company”, “original concepts in story-driven marketing”, “perfect harmony and synergy” – just some of the phrases used to describe what Truffle Pig will offer. The words look familiar and it’s just about possible to work out what is going on, but it’s certainly not good English.

Don’t take your audience for granted

The Daily Mail is the big name behind Truffle Pig, but its online community wasn’t convinced by the idea. One reader, called somewhat bemused, hoped the venture might provide some respite from “the space filling/wasting karcrashians stories”, ending with a desperate “Please!”. Others were less enthusiastic, with Bonnieladdie from London asking, “What fresh hell is this ?”. But perhaps it was bbink from Liverpool who best encapsulated the public mood, writing simply, “I’m not arsed”. This will be a blow for WPP founder Sir Martin Sorrell. His excitement about “people’s appetite for great storytelling” was difficult to discern among the Daily Mail’s commenters.

Don’t self-aggrandise

Reservations about Truffle Pig expressed by Daily Mail readers hadn’t even crossed the minds of the paper’s chiefs. Although admitting they wouldn’t be “changing things” in the industry, John Steinberg, CEO of Daily Mail North America, promised to “totally evolve” media planning and creative processes. The MailOnline yacht was the only venue grand enough for the unveiling of this triumphant evolution. Perhaps if the four men launching Truffle Pig had spent less time on this collective back-patting, they would have remembered to put some shoes on.

Don’t abuse analogies

Alexander Jutkowitz is a pink-trousered maverick and CEO of the new venture. At the launch event, he argued that, “Content and truffles are almost exactly alike”. This seemed tenuous enough. But his subsequent exclamation, that

All content is equal, but some content is more equal than others. And truffles are a little more equal than some of the fungus we see in the world

was a marvellous and bizarre insight into the mind of Truffle Pig’s chief. His convoluted simile was as remarkable as his trouser choice.

Don’t choose a counterproductive name

Answering a question about his new company’s name, Jon Steinberg said, “A truffle pig finds the rare and tasty”. This is true, but it’s worth noting that the use of pigs for locating truffles has been banned in Italy since 1985; while they don’t eat the truffles, they destroy fertile truffle soil.

Let’s hope the blooming content marketing industry remains untrampled by the heavy hooves of Jutkowitz, Sorrell, Steinberg and Spiegel’s new pig.

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