Raise your hand if you know who Gary Vaynerchuk is.
For those of you with non-elevated arms, Gary Vaynerchuk is the host of Wine Library TV, a daily online video show on wine that serves as a promotional tool for the local and ecommerce wine business he’s involved in. Gary’s web fame has landed him in The Wall Street Journal and Time, and he’s appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Ellen.
So what’s the big deal?
New York Magazine refers to Gary’s style as an “unpretentious, gonzo approach to wine appreciation,” with an emphasis on gonzo. Vaynerchuk’s unabashed enthusiasm would prompt Sonia Simone to lovingly refer to Gary as a wine dork. Check out his latest show below for a taste.
Here’s the deal. How would you translate Gary’s enthusiasm into textual content?
It would be tough, right?
Maybe use exclamation points, big bold language, red headlines and subheads, colorful highlighting techniques… I think you see where I’m going with this. To translate Gary into text without losing his enthusiasm and passion for wine, you might well end up with the type of copy that marketing narcissists and sophisticated net heads routinely turn up their noses at.
And yet Gary has tons of those types of hype-adverse people among his loyal fan base. So what’s going on here?
Well, I think Gary makes a good case for the expanded use of video and audio for content and message delivery. It’s a whole lot easier to get across enthusiasm with voice inflection, facial expressions and body language. Try to do it in text, and suddenly to some you’re not innovative, you’re a cheese ball.
Keep in mind, however, that as popular as Gary is, not everyone digs his style. Plenty of people are likely turned off, with wine traditionalists lamenting Gary’s use of what they view as an infomercial style for wine promotion.
Doesn’t matter. Gary has the courage and the good sense to be truly unique, and to attract the audience that’s right for him. As the good Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
The bottom line is this: Gary’s gonzo style isn’t a good fit for me to use, and it might not be right for you. But if you don’t find a way to get your authentic enthusiasm across, you’re not going to achieve your online marketing goals.
And if you’re not enthusiastic about what you’re doing, why do it?
Photo Credit: Erik Kastner.