Before we pop this turkey in the oven, I just want to say that Thanksgiving is going to be a little different this year. Don’t worry, it’s still going to be the mostly the same: pickup football, Grandma’s famous stuffing, Uncle Dale’s politically misinformed threats about Guantanamo — those traditions aren’t going anywhere.
But, this year, we’re pivoting to video.
Yep, this Thanksgiving will all be about that shareable, snackable content that the internet can’t get enough of. I’m talking overhead, cooking-Instagram-style videos of Pee Paw carving the bird. I’m talking clips of us pranking Aunt Debbie’s step-kids. I’m talking loopable sponsored ads for canned cranberry sauce featuring the best up-and-coming comedians in the family. The sort of viral content that gets every marketable demographic on their feet and cheering!
Why pivot? Well, you kids are getting older and I’m afraid you’ll get bored with us and our stuffy old, traditional Thanksgiving. I know the holiday’s still warm and loving, but I want it to be something that you get excited about! A holiday with some pizazz! The kind that 18- to 34-year-olds go wild for on social media! Because pretty soon you’re going to go off to celebrate with your partners’ families and you’ll start traditions of your own. But if we pivot to video now, maybe it can hold the attention of millennials like you, my children.
So let’s make tons of bite-sized content this year! I’d love some embeddable clips of Andre showing off his Krav Maga skills. And we have to get Aunt Allie’s dog Dozer doing something cute, like running around with a paper bag hat or trying to steal turkey bones. We should also brainstorm ideas for a web series where Pee Paw and Julie’s new boyfriend go on a road trip together. I’m open to pitches.
Oh, and political content is so popular now, especially real and raw conversations about the country. How about some ten-second clips of Uncle Rob talking about libertarianism with Jack, fresh from his first semester of college and full of big ideas about socialism? The videos will likely spark a ton of negative comments, but all attention and engagement is good attention and engagement, even if it’s Grandma yelling that there’s no politics allowed at the table. Political web videos are a great way to honor the spirit of Thanksgiving and keep the content we pump out topical.
Cousin Robby just finished his first year at military school, right? That’s the perfect opportunity to shoot a couple of videos unpacking the effects of the prison industrial complex on our cousins. We’ll keep these short, no longer than six seconds, with Robby speaking over still images. Big, bold text splashed across the lower-third and some somber but upbeat music will really sell it. I can see that easily netting 10K+ likes on Facebook and Twitter, which is fantastic engagement for a Thanksgiving conversation that would normally just be kept quiet within the family.
And I know the risks. If any of these social media platforms change their algorithms to no longer favor video content, we’ll be screwed. That means we’ll lose younger eyeballs and our Thanksgiving will attract the baby boomers who are still on speaking terms and whose joints are good enough to make it up the stairs. To be brutally honest, if we lose too many demographic quadrants, we have to start talking about downsizing. We may have to move Thanksgiving to a different time of year, when everyone’s around and there’s nothing good on TV. Might have to rotate the guest list, too. Do we really need to see Aunt Andi and Uncle Tad every year?
So, what do you say? I have cameras set up in the dining room, the kitchen, and the living room, ready to go. The only downside is that to afford all this expensive camera equipment, I had to make some changes to our Thanksgiving menu. I’d appreciate some back-up when I have to explain that there might not be enough food for everyone.
All right, pop that turkey in, honey. And can you look at the camera and say, “Did you know people have been cooking turkeys for centuries? That’s right! Early man hunted the wild—” Honey? Are you getting this script? What do you mean you’re not thankful for another inexplicable pivot to video?