old skool nub clocks up 30,000 views on youtube

Our utterly adorable friend Tuur told me that this was his favourite nub last week. It was made by the elusive Susan Ibreck and Celia Willis who were interns at Demos in summer 2007. I remember watching it for the first time and not really getting it (that guy’s horrible voice/the stuffy text he reads/the annoying pictures), but I guess that more than 30,000 people have seen it (probably more than the number who read the pamphlet) and 217 people have commented on it (probably more than the Demos blog has received in the same time period) and it has spread to all kinds of weird places, means that I was well and truly wrong and they were on to something. Watching it again now I like the way that the scrambled, recycled images echo the points that the text is making about the evolution words and their meaning. I’m fairly squarely of the opinion now the nubs that match the message with the mode of delivery are the ones I love most.

Thinking about it a bit more, I suppose the video’s success is partly related to the fact that themes of language, the blurring of cultures and the evolution of understanding/the dissolving of it are all part of the youtube experience which give it a certain ‘meta resonance.’


One thought on “old skool nub clocks up 30,000 views on youtube

  1. What I really liked about this nub is that it takes the approach of a ‘one idea’ book – books like Nudge that bash you around the head over and over again with the same point until you get it – but uses a smart visual trick to do so. So by the end you have been smacked over and over with the idea of words becoming loosened from their intended or traditional meaning by images that contradict, undermine or just grate against what the script is trying to say. That fight or confusion is a neat way of saying that language always faces that, usually political, struggle.

    Its also really funny, which is a nice way of undermining the slightly haughty think-tank script – another way of hammering home the core message about meaning and language.

    A big win.

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