Algorithms are real beasts. They need to be fed regularly. When they are hungry, they’ll push you to the sidelines. Mastering the art of feeding these beasts is crucial. Miss a beat, and you risk being overshadowed. Adapt or be silenced—the choice is yours.
Amelia strode into the high-ceilinged conference room of Harrington & Sons, a traditional British luxury watch company. A large mahogany table took centre stage, surrounded by plush leather chairs. At one end sat Mr. Harrington, the CEO, looking distinctly uncomfortable. He fidgeted with his tie, sipped his tea, and waited for the meeting to begin.
Amelia, worked for CyberCraft a London based digital agency and had been briefed that Harrington & Sons were struggling with their social media presence. Their luxurious watches, despite their impeccable craftsmanship, were eluding search results.
She opened her sleek laptop, prepared to delve deep into the intricacies of the situation. “Good morning, Mr. Harrington,” she began, her voice exuding confidence. “I understand that you’ve been facing challenges in the social media sphere. Today, I’m here to guide you through the labyrinth of this ever-evolving digital realm.”
Mr. Harrington cleared his throat, “Ah, yes. I’ve heard you’re a sort of… dark wizardess in this sphere?”
Amelia smiled, her dark red lips a perfect match for her meticulously polished nails. “Well, let’s just say I’ve come to understand the intricacies of the beast we’re up against.”
“I do appreciate the ‘beast’ analogy,” Mr. Harrington remarked, his tone tinged with frustration. “It’s all so… inhumane. For years, our sales thrived on face-to-face interactions within our shops. Yet now, we struggle to draw people in, primarily because we seem to have become invisible on social media.”
Amelia nodded sympathetically. “You’ve hit the nail on the head, Mr. Harrington. It’s no longer just about the people. We’re now playing a game with the algorithm, and that’s the entity we need to charm.”
Mr. Harrington raised an eyebrow, clearly taken aback. “Algorithm? We’re in the business of crafting exquisite watches. Why should we be bothered with this… beast?”
Amelia leaned in, “You want to remain relevant, don’t you? To stand out in the digital age?”
He nodded, “Of course.”
“Then you need to feed the beast,” Amelia said cryptically.
Mr. Harrington looked puzzled, “Feed it? With what?”
Amelia grinned, “With content that may seem… irrelevant.”
“But we sell luxury watches! We have a reputation to uphold.”
Amelia, with a flick of her finger, clicked a button on her remote. Instantly, the projector screen came to life, displaying a video of a mischievous cat, batting playfully at a luxurious watch dangling from a table edge. The timepiece swayed back and forth, catching the light and sparkling, even as the cat’s antics made everyone in the room smile.
“Do you see this, Mr. Harrington?” Amelia began, pointing to the bottom corner where a view counter rapidly ticked up. “This cat video, playful as it seems, garnered a million views in just 24 hours. Now, consider this,” she toggled to another screen, showing Harrington & Sons’ latest meticulously crafted product video, “Only a thousand views.”
Mr. Harrington’s face reddened, a mix of incredulity and embarrassment. “Are you implying that our brand, with its rich legacy, should resort to… cat videos?”
Amelia leaned back, her fingers steepled thoughtfully. “Not at all, Mr. Harrington. My point is that there’s a certain… magic, if you will, to the types of content the algorithm favours. Cats, memes, challenges—they’re like a siren song to viewers, drawing them in. Once they’re engaged, that’s when you present your masterpiece.”
He frowned, the lines on his forehead deepening. “It seems frivolous, almost disrespectful to our craftsmanship. How does a cat batting a watch reflect our brand’s essence?”
Amelia replied, “On the surface, it might not. But it’s a bridge. It’s about creating an initial connection, evoking a feeling, and then guiding that captivated audience to the true heart of Harrington & Sons. Think of it as the appetiser before the main course.”
“I’m struggling to grasp this,” Mr. Harrington admitted, his fingers drumming on the table. “It feels so… out of character for our brand.”
Amelia leaned forward, her eyes intent on his. “I understand your reservations, Mr. Harrington. But consider this: it’s not merely about the content; it’s about engagement. Capturing the algorithm’s fickle attention is the key. Once you’ve done that, showcasing your exquisite watches becomes much simpler.”
Mr. Harrington, eyebrows knitted, pondered her words. His voice a whisper, he confessed, “It all sounds… slightly deceitful, doesn’t it?”
Amelia sighed, choosing her words carefully, “It’s not about deception, sir. It’s about adaptation. The digital realm thrives on dynamism and an understanding of the nuanced play of algorithms. Your watches are undeniably exquisite, but to truly flourish in this digital age, there’s a need to embrace more than just the inherent quality of your creations.”
She leaned forward, locking eyes with him, “The initial, seemingly irrelevant content is simply a handshake, an introduction to the world. From there, once we have their attention, we tell the true tale of Harrington & Sons, showcasing not just the watches but the history, the craftsmanship, and the legacy. It’s about creating a journey from what draws them in, to what will make them stay and invest.”
“I’ve an idea,” a voice piped up from the corner of the room. All eyes turned to see Mr. Harrington’s son, poised with a glint of inspiration in his eyes. “Why not introduce a new line of watches, aptly named ‘Algorithmic Beasts’? Our interpretation of merging tradition with contemporary technology. The watch dials could display ‘food for algorithms’, seamlessly blending the allure of modern social media with our time-honoured craftsmanship.”
Mr. Harrington blinked in surprise, clearly caught off guard by his son’s enthusiasm and innovative suggestion. “Algorithmic Beasts?” he repeated, reflecting on the name. The blending of contemporary notions with tradition certainly intrigued him.
Amelia’s face brightened, clearly impressed. “That’s ingenious! It perfectly captures the current trend of the ‘beast’ we’ve discussed, whilst honouring the legacy of Harrington & Sons. It promises to be a statement piece, both in its design and the story it tells.”
The younger Mr. Harrington leaned forward, his excitement palpable. “Picture this: A watch face inspired by internet memes, essentially digital bait for algorithms symbolising the digital age. But surrounding it, the age-old materials and craftsmanship of Harrington & Sons that have been our hallmark for generations.”
Amelia added, “In our promotional campaigns, we can cleverly merge these themes. Perhaps a video that starts with close-ups of these innovative watches, intertwining visuals of cats pursued by algorithmic beasts with the elegance of traditional watchmaking techniques, leading to the grand reveal of the ‘Algorithmic Beasts’ collection.”
A year on, ‘Algorithmic Beasts’ skyrocketed, catapulting Harrington & Sons onto the global stage — all powered by the genius cats eaten by algorithmic beasts.
All images generated using Midjourney