One Man’s Journey
The Story of Jacob and City Gym is a YouTube video that was published on June 16, 2015. This actual video is singular; however, Jacob posted a series of videos during his transition that can be viewed on YouTube as well. This factual story tells how Jacob was unhappy by the way he looked, and wanted to be more masculine. Jacob was born female, but he identified as male early on, and wanted to tell his story through YouTube videos. Towards the end of the video the viewer discovers that City Gym can be a place for men that have transitioned from female to male to help to feel a part of a community. It aims to be a place that is accepting, a place to work out, and feel comfortable in their skin.
Google small business created the video, and paid for it as well. I think this is clearly labeled because at the beginning of the video it says “The Story of Jacob and City Gym,” and below it “Google.” Also, at the end it says “Here’s to Courage,” and the after that, “Google.” The video was uploaded by Google Small Business and they left a comment saying “Tonight, we’re celebrating what it means to show courage. Thank you +City Gym KC and Jacob for sharing your courage with the world. Share your stories of courage, acceptance and belonging here. #HeresToCourage #ESPYs .”
This is similar to other content displayed from Google, because most of their stories are inspirational, and often times leave a lasting message. This is definitely tied to other content not only in this organizations campaign, but also can be seen by many other companies as well. I have never seen Google Small Business address a story like this topic, but this topic is very popular today, and is a lot more common in storytelling than it has been in the past.
This story is extremely innovative because it can be a touchy subject for a lot of people. There aren’t a lot of businesses that openly voice their opinions about transsexual people, and in my opinion it is just now becoming more common in today’s world. Often times a video like this might catch people off guard, but I think the way Google Small Business is introducing new ideas to people through different methods (a transsexual individual) is really compelling.
My overall reaction to this video is positive. It shows Google is encouraging people to be courageous and pursue their dreams. However some of the comments on social media show controversy. Some of the YouTube posts are positive; however, most of the comments are negative. The positive posts are thanking Google for standing for what they believe in, calling the video a powerful message, and some viewers are proud of the men overcoming adversities. The negative comments deal with people who are not ready to accept transsexual people and think that using hormones is not normal.
According to an article by Ad Week “the story is skillfully and evocatively told, and never feels exploitative.” A lot of brands have a hard time knowing what role they should take on transgender issues, but Google clearly has taken their side on the issue.
The lessons that other brands or organizations could take from this example is to just voice their opinions. Overall, not everyone is going to agree with what a brand has to say, but if the majority gets to thinking about the message, than it has done its job. Most people have never heard of City Gym, and without Google’s help, it would be lot less successful.