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Starts at 8.34
I’m not going to lie; this was the best interview that I recorded at Cannes Lions. Prince Ea is one of the humblest and most inspiring people I’ve interviewed so far in this podcast serie – below is a sample of his work.
It was a pleasure spending 15mins listening to him and finding out about his journey in becoming a Spoken Word Artist to fronting campaigns for brands such as Chevrolet.
Joining Prince Ea were Sean DallasKid, Partner for Content and Creative at Fleishman Hillard San Francisco and his colleague Miker Stovall who leads the creative team in their Dallas office. All three of my guests had just finished presenting in ICCO’s House of PR on the topic ‘Brands as Activists: Shaking Up The World’, which Sean explained was about how brands have to be truly authentic to resonate with their audiences and that partnering with like-minded artists and content creators is one of the best ways to provide the trust that is needed to achieve it.
— Russell Goldsmith (@RussGoldsmith) June 21, 2016
Prince Ea can be found across pretty much all social channels including Twitter and Instagram, but if you want to see him in action, visit his Facebook Page where he has over 3.6m likes or on YouTube where his videos have amassed over 66m views. Oprah, who he told me kissed him on the cheek only a few days before, used the words “Powerful Message, Visionary Filmmaker” when describing him.
You can’t help but want to listen when Prince talks. Whilst he tries to inspire his audience with his work, his said that his own inspiration comes from people who embody love. He explained that we live in a world where everything is very material, where everything is resisting love, and so he believes that people who have the courage to become love and to speak love is beautiful. He used to be a fan of rappers like Jay Z and Eminem who he felt had amazing punchlines. However, when he started reading ancient texts and scriptures by Buddha as well as the Gita, he soon realised their ‘punchlines’ were even more powerful and so he is also inspired by wisdom and truth. Innovation and seeing people do things that have never been done before also inspires him.
Prince now gets approached by lots of brands and agencies to collaborate, but they would have to have the same authenticity and integrity as his own brand for him to consider working together. The most important thing for him is synchronicity and alignment with the message and in fact in a lot of cases, it’s content that he would have produced even if a brand didn’t get behind it. This also means that the feedback he gets from his followers is very positive.
The example that Miker showed in his presentation of where he has worked with Prince Ea was for Fleishman’s client Chevrolet in a campaign called #FuelYourHustle, as they were looking to partner with an artist who could inspire others to follow their passions, be successful and focus on what matters the most to them.
Working with Social Influencers can also work in a B2B environment too as Sean explained when he talked through a campaign he had produced for his technology client Avaya, which was all about Business Lingo. In this instance, they collaborated with YouTube content creators Tripp and Tyler to produce a really clever and funny video.
What’s key in each of these examples, as indeed was discussed when I interviewed UK YouTuber Hannah Witton in Show 12 of the csuitepodcast on the topic of the Influence of Social Talent, is to allow the artists the freedom to create the content themselves. However, as Sean explained, it takes trust with the client and artists for that to work. As quoted by Simon Sinek in his popular Ted Talk (below), Sean said that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” and so that’s the power of working with content creators in that they are not [playing] a role but are themselves, creating content that is authentic to them and people want to buy into that authenticity because they care. According to Sean, that is the new reality.
As for the future, Prince Ea wants to see more individualised approaches to technology and to content creators. He believes that it’s easy for technology to become a distraction. He questions whether the technology that we’re creating is truly progressing us forward as a species as he wants content creators and app developers to instil positive habits into people as opposed to addictive habits that make money off of people. He therefore hopes that the altruistic platforms develop and spread in the years to come.
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