Erin Gaetz — Founder, Southpaw Content
Erin talks to TheNextGag about working on a presidential election campaign, why sports brands are leading the way in the social media space and why you should look at music videos for inspiration.
Erin Gaetz is the Founder of Southpaw Content in the USA.
Erin Gaetz was formerly the Director of Video Content for Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign.
She got her start as producer for Major League Baseball and later went on to a producer role on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and “Money with Melissa Francis” on Fox Business Network.
Southpaw Content is a social media production company that produces, films and edits digital work that maximizes impact and engages audiences.
THENEXTGAG: DO YOU THINK THAT SPORTS FRANCHISES ARE LEADING THE FIELD IN TERMS OF SOCIAL VIDEO CONTENT PRODUCTION ?
ERIN GAETZ: When I started at Major League Baseball Advanced Media a decade ago, we were still working out how to make sports a second-screen experience. Now, teams are doing an amazing job of getting both highlights and really creative content out there super fast. That’s part of why shows like SportsCenter are having to redefine themselves. If you’re looking for the team who does it the best, it might be the Sacramento Kings. I love this tweet.
TNG: WHAT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF DOING POLITICAL ADS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA ?
EG: Capitalize on the moment. Don’t let bureaucracy within your campaign or organization slow down a great idea.
TNG: CAN BRANDS LEARN LESSONS FROM POLITICS WHEN IT COMES TO VIDEO PRODUCTION ?
EG: Actually, I think about this one the other way around. I think some political ad-makers are stuck in this rut of, “Well, this worked for us in 2002. We’re not changing anything. We’re sticking to our formula.” Political production needs to adapt like successful brands have adapted. That’s why I think my firm, Southpaw Content, has carved out a niche so quickly. We’re not afraid to take risks and try new things. I put a graffiti artist in a Jeb Bush video.
TNG: WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ARE GREAT EXAMPLES OF SOCIA MEDIA CONTENT ?
EG: Vogue has an awesome YouTube channel.
Adidas does a great job of capitalizing on events. Like, if an Adidas-sponsored football team is playing a big game on Saturday, you’re going to see a cool video about it.
Also, anything from @SenatorShoshana.
The lines between culture, politics, commerce and entertainment are getting blurrier by the day
TNG: IS THERE A RISK FOR PRODUCTION COMPANIES TO MIX BUSINESS AND POLITICS ?
EG: Nah — as long as you’re up front about it. The lines between culture, politics, commerce and entertainment are getting blurrier by the day. Smart firms are going to diversify.
TNG: WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FROM ?
EG: Music videos. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was a kid. Now, I have a bad habit of falling in love with one and insisting all my friends watch it. They’re like “Please stop emailing me about this Shania Twain video from eight years ago.”
TNG: HOW DO YOU MEASURE HOW WELL A PIECE OF CONTENT HAS PERFORMED ?
EG: I boil it down to these three questions:
- Did it reach the target audience?
- Did it make the impact it was supposed to make?
- Are people sharing it?
If you can answer “yes” to those three, you’re well on your way to successful content. The best example of this on the Jeb campaign was “The Real Donald Trump.” In addition to getting millions of organic views across online platforms, you couldn’t escape it on cable news for like 48 hours. We just should have released it earlier.
TNG: DO YOU THINK THAT ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD TALK DIFFERENTLY TO APPEAL TO THE GEN Z ?
EG: Absolutely. Just don’t be the living embodiment of that Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” GIF.
TNG: ARE WE NOW ALL LIVING IN A PARIS HILTON WORLD WITH PEOPLE BROADCASTING THEIR LIVES TO THE WORLD FROM THEIR SMARTPHONES ?
EG: Yes, and as people continue to create their own content, that’s going to affect the way advertisers and political campaigns try to reach them.
Also, I met Paris in 2006 and she smelled very expensive and amazing.
TNG: CAN YOU TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING PROJECTS ?
EG: We’ll be leading clients through the 2018 midterm elections (including my own brother!). We’re also branching into some projects with tech clients and a little bit of sports.
Shania Twain is not yet a client, though I have high hopes for the future.
TNG: ABOUT THE JEB BUSH OPERATIONS, ARE THERE THINGS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY ?
EG: Yes. I would go back in time and tell myself not to stress eat so much. I gained like 40 pounds on that campaign.
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