Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pushing PBIndustry

Granted, I'm a natural born cynic--and I have lots of years of paintball experience on top of that. But instead of passing judgment I'ma just gonna point out a couple of factoids and let you decide what you think of this. It's not really a big deal one way or the other. Really. It's not. It was this or jumping into the debate over whether or not the PSP was gonna restrict D1 to 10 teams 'cus you know that's what the current team page shows. Does not. Does so.
What? Oh. Think of what? This is another look at industry and media, new or otherwise. It was the recent announcement from the PE Kidz that started me thinking. You know, the new ETV gimmick with their digital download store. PE has probably done more in the new media arena than the rest of PBIndustry--and good for them (although I wonder how much the vision belongs to guys like Dan Napoli.) The point isn't though that the PE Kidz are trying different things and looking for new ways to use their sponsored teams and the potential of new media. It's that they are looking to transform promotion into product. (Which I find interesting.) A sort of modern alchemy.
At one level everybody is doing it, or trying to do it. Dye does a solid job with their promotional videos. They have a coherent, consistent style that is so immediately recognizable they almost don't need logos and look very professional to boot. But they are mostly just video ads. Across the industry it's a mixed bag of product display, pro endorsements and action images. Not to be confused, of course, with video reviews, interviews, etc. from paintball websites building their own content libraries or home-made team & action videos from pretty much everybody and his third cousin.
With all that diversity of content and presentation it's easy for it all, the commercial to the amateur, to sort of blend together. Content shows up over and over in many of the same places like on various websites and YouTube. I'm vaguely curious if sources get lost in the process and if most viewers tend not to pay much attention to the sources. (Wow! Another really boring The Monday Poll!) I'm more curious what y'all think of PE trying to turn their variety of promotional videos into product. Is there enough non-promotional content that peeps will be willing to pay to download some of the videos? Does the promotional content matter if the quality is there? How much of a difference exists because of the perspective of the film maker? Is MWAG's 'Push' or 'Sunday Drivers' immune from a commercial taint because of the maker's intent compared to say, the latest 'Artifact' series? What do you think?


abc said...

I don't care the source, as long as people are consuming paintball video content, it's keeping the embers of paintball warm in their hearts and minds and preventing them from flaming out.

On the other hand, I think the ETV stuff has always turned me off for some reason and I haven't looked at it in a couple years. Perhaps because it seems just too promotionally-campy. So maybe it would be great if I watched it, but because it gives the impression ETV is (understandably) cramming all things Eclipse down my throat I never pay attention.

3DSteve said...

For me, the source has less influence than the content. It's easy to find decent "action" videos, but relatively difficult to find compelling stories. Kids are learning quick how to shoot and/or edit videos to make them look and sound cool, but they're not necessarily learning how to tell a story with that video. To me, the Eclipse stuff stands out because it's not just pictures and music. Each one tells a story. That the story revolves in some way around Eclipse is tertiary to the facts that it's about paintball and there's a narrative.