Waggle Like A Bee

Waggle Like A Bee Image

During my Philosophy degree at Leeds I completed a module in the Philosophy of Meaning, which was an introductory course encompassing language and human behaviour - essentially, communication and how it creates meaning...

It's possible that without knowing it, my career began then, because I think the most interesting thing in this industry is whether or not the message is successfully received and acted upon. The strategy, the planning, the design, the implementation, the media, the channels – the only one thing that ties all agencies together (or makes one agency integrated) is the integrity of the ambition behind it all: communicating a message.

There are a number of factors that will contribute to communication – context, distractions, memory, associations...  Which means that sometimes the simplest messages have quite a complex and rich base of content.

And this is perfectly illustrated by the lynchpin of our ecosystem – the humble bee. For a long time nobody could figure out why some types of bees stood atop a certain platform in the hive and wiggled around like they were dancing jive. But eventually the message was decoded and is now known as the waggle dance.

I don't need to hark on about the details, but the dance itself is essentially a simple figure of eight, and the proportions (length and width) denote the direction and distance of flight based on solar position, whilst the passion of the waggle portion is the bee's attempt to communicate how excited he is about the quality of goods on offer.

So you've got your captive audience (the worker bees), a message (there's some food here), a call to action (it's this way), and some disruption (look at me waggle better than anyone else!).

Which all sounds pretty familiar. What I think this makes abundantly clear, is that:

You've got to have a message worth telling people

You should waggle

Waggling without the right message would look silly – I can imagine those worker bees would have something to say to the waggler if he sent them on a wild goose chase.

And saying something without waggling (in the midst of all the other noise going on), is just a waste of energy, because then nobody is going to pay much attention to you unless they're all really bored and/or desperate.

Waggling doesn't mean shouting. It doesn't mean acting like a fool. And it doesn't mean doing it for the sake of it. The great thing about a waggle is it's YOURS. You can waggle in your own way, and people will start to like you for your waggle as well as your message.

So this is a call to all marketers – we want to get you waggling. Simply, effectively, and with a bit of your own style and identity. Whether it's to figure out what your message is, who your audience are, or why you should waggle in the first place.

We are the practitioners of the waggle dance.


Last Updated: 30/11/2016
Author: Joe Chetcuti
Labels: Waggle Dance | Opinion

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