Modern Family, The Mindy Kalling Show, Steve Buscemi…
While technology is making our experience increasingly perfect something is also happening beneath our pristine plasma screens. We’re seeing more scripts about imperfection. We’re getting close to putting the actual imperfect “reality” into media.
As a result of an increasingly transparent world thanks to social media, the fabric of our culture is shifting. With reality shows and social media, we’re seeing less of a focus on being perfect, and more of a focus on what it is to be human–what it is to be imperfect.
Modern Family’s script is based on three very quirky and flawed couples and the everyday nuttyness of their lives–and we can relate. It’s a breath of fresh air to finally see imperfect people on television.
Perfect For the Holidays
Because it’s the holiday season I’ve been contemplating imperfection. Many of us throw parties and try to make everything perfect just like in the magazines–perfect food, perfectly clean house, perfect clothes, perfect place settings….perfect perfect perfect.
I’m pretty sure human beings are the only species that does this. And for years we’ve bought the lie that perfect is attainable. We’ve knowingly bought products we know will not make us perfect, but we believe they will.
Let’s look at this quote from branding author Martin Lindstrom in a Fast Company Article where he talks about why imperfection is an ideal to embrace:
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not asking the ad agencies to focus on the negative aspects of a brand. What I’m suggesting is to show how life really looks. Babies do not stay clean when eating their pureed food, and apples are never all the exact shape and size and color. Messages portraying perfection are not trustworthy. No one actually believes them. We don’t believe candidates applying for jobs who claim they do everything perfectly. We don’t believe the person we sit beside at a dinner party who tells us everything in their life is just perfect. So why should we believe in perfect brands? We don’t. So it’s about time advertising changes their tune and strives for a little imperfection.
Martin is right. Brands need to catch on that the days of aspiring to perfection are coming to a close. Why are we still seeing so much perfection in advertising when this in no way relates to real life? I will buy from brands who speak to me–and that narrative is one of humor, of resilience, and of imperfection.