Brilliant Deviant

The Contentious Hook

Contentious Hook iPhone

The holy grail of content – using data to write a contentious, divisive story involving our two favourite things – sex and smart phones.

Yesterday, I wrote a brief post about a process for making ‘big’ content.
The truth is you don’t always need to ‘go big’.

OKCupid looked at their data (surveying their users), and were able to pull out that iPhone users (at least claimed) in surveys to have sexual encounters on average more than respondents of Android phones or other handsets.
They wrote a blog post about this.

It went viral. Google “iPhone users have more sex” and just the first page lists Time, Wired, Cnet, Huff Po, Buzzfeed, Techradar, BusinessInsider, IGN, The Register, Gizmondo published a post about the story and linked to OKCupid’s piece. If you continue searching, you’ll find pages and pages of search results – all taking about this story.

In reality, it’s the most basic form of PR available. However, they managed to:

– Look at their data and find an interesting story.
– It involved sex – which I hear ‘sells’…;)
– … and phones (I think quite a few people have these…)
. … and not just that, it fits owners of phone brands against each other. (we like to be on a team… Football team vs Football team, Mac vs PC, Hilary vs Trump etc)
. … and not about which phone is better in any way. It’s not a technical contest – It’s about the owners of the phones. And there’s a clear winner (which can be disputed – as perhaps iPhone users exaggerate more? Or Android users are more conservative answering surveys? Or maybe this is all bullshit and the data was ‘organised’ to make for a killer story?)

– They even wrote a blog post about it with graphs etc for the press to use.
How much did this take to produce? Some time for analysts to review data? Some time writing a blog post? Some time reaching out to a few big publications (who they may already have relationships with).

When it comes down to it, bells & whistles can help, but a good story that hooks people in – and then splits the audience down the middle – will always get a ton of coverage / shares / interest / angry / pointless / hilarious internet debate.



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