In 2011, there were 101 documentaries eligible for Oscar consideration. (Hope you giggled and thought Dalmatians just like me.) Although the academy only short-lists fifteen for the big show as a rule of thumb, this is a record year for the industry that is known for giving us the skinny on the wizard behind the emerald curtain and his life as a circus magician from Omaha.
The increase in documentaries could be attributed to many factors.
Perhaps the latter decade cross-over success of documentaries like “An Inconvenient Truth, Supersize Me and Good Hair” has created more funding opportunities. Maybe the digital advancements in laptop film production has made creating a documentary easier than ever. It could also be that information accessibility through the internet has made it a lot easier to research facts and find willing “accomplices” in all phases of development. I’m sure it’s a little of all these, and a few others on the creation side. Yet, when looking at the consumer side of the equation, the dominate trend is a desire for knowledge.
If digital is the new black, knowledge are the shoes that go with everything. This trend has led to sold out TEDx conferences all over the globe, Huffington Post having as much influence and reach as the Wall St. Journal, and Dan Savage being on a nationwide tour. On the commercial side of things, it will continue to advance the the relationship between brands and consumers.
Consumers are going to flock to the products, services and resources that make them feel smarter and keep things transparent. This transparency will need to go beyond affinity marketing; and the brands that figure it out will have the deep-rooted loyalty made of dreams. It’s simply realizing that the consumer desires and can handle the truth.