Content Consciousness In a Post Covfefe World

During the last few weeks it seems as if the media has been deluged with news about a select number of current events - the tragedy in Manchester, the arrest of Tiger Woods and Paris Climate Agreement just to name a few. Instead of creating a world of more informed citizens, the unrelenting stream of media often numbs us to the major events. We are inundated with news, pop culture, tragedy, and viral videos.  

However, the prevalence and accessibility of media today also gives brands and individuals the platform to take a stand, represent a cause or champion an idea. This month smith & beta is focusing its’ content around the connection between current events and the digital and creative industries.

Is there such thing as a digital butterfly effect? We shall see.

Last week the internet was buzzing with talk of some of the largest content blunders published in the last decade.  Whether it be President Trump’s “covfefe” tweet or Kathy Griffin’s photo that cost her her role at CNN, it seems as if recently public figure after public figure (and big corporation) can not seem to get their content right. As an industry that produces thousands of pieces of content daily there are some lessons advertisers  can learn from the front pages of last week’s newspapers to ensure that our organizations do not publish some crazy covfefe.   

And organization’s image is a complex aggregate of its work, people, positions, associations, and content. In today's narrative drive world the value of carefully created and positioned content cannot be overstated.. Since the invention of modern technology, a handful of images, videos and other forms of content have profoundly resonated with the public.

 But brands are increasingly catching on and utilizing powerful content to drive brand awareness. But with great reward often comes substantial risk.  We must never forget that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Pepsi learned the hard way in April that content needs to be meticulously planned - just because your intention is a social justice message does not mean it is easy.  

Brands are not just pushing stories about their products or employees, but also using their influence to engaging in political dialog. Moreover, brands and agencies are increasingly realizing that a successful content strategy does not just involve avoiding blunders, but also utilizing their position for good.

Australia, currently in the spotlight for not legalizing gay marriage, has seen multiple heavy-hitting brands use content to protest the lack of equality. For instance, Ben & Jerry’s recently released a statement that it has banned Australian scoop shops from selling two scoops of the same flavor, saying “love comes in all flavors.” 

Although Ben & Jerry’s does not have any direct pull with the Australian Parliament, they are using their content to encourage people “to contact their MPs to tell them that the time has come – make marriage equality legal!"

AirBnB has also released content to protest Australian same-sex marriage laws.

Steps to lead with great content: 

1. Ensure your organization is not the next headline for a content disaster

  • Consider not only the content itself but the potential effects
  • Get input from multiple sources
  • Research Research Research
  • Be clear in your message

2. Leverage your position for good

  • Consider the influence your brand might have
  • Stand up for causes your company, employees, and customers support. (Any cause is better than no cause!)
  • Speak to your consumers
  • And be genuine. We cannot stress this enough. Consumers can see right through insincere gestures

 

Did you read these already?
Brand Patriotism and the Fourth of July: The Politicizing of Holiday Campaigns

Holidays, like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Valentine's Day, are a marketer’s dream. With Winter Holiday spending in excess of $1 trillion dollars and Valentine's Day gift giving costs nearing $20 billion (including over $800 million spent on pets!), there is good reason behind holiday themed marketing. One holiday which is increasingly getting the attention of marketers and advertisers is the Fourth of July, during which consumers spend close to $7 billion annually (including over $1.4 billion on meat and another $1.5 billion on alcoholic drinks). Needless to say, when measured by spending habits, the country's patriotic spirit is thriving.

Read More...
Attention Spans are [Fidget] Spinning out of Control

Every era is defined by a corresponding pop-culture fad. Beanie Babies in the 1990s, Livestrong bracelets in the mid 2000s, and Snuggies in the early 2010s. Today the fad is overwhelmingly fidget spinners. The fidget spinner, said to be one of the most profitable customizable products since the Koozie, has taken the children’s toy market by storm.

Read More...
Sharing Economy Culture In The Creative Space

One of the largest economic shifts we have seen during the 21st century is the formation of a “sharing economy” model. Years ago being able to own expensive goods was a marker of status. It did not matter whether you had an expansive library of books or were able to gloat that you were a “two car family,” consumers strived to broadcast their wealth through the goods they purchased. That sentiment has rapidly disappeared but why?

Read More...
Before We Close the Doors on Teacher Appreciation Month...

With Memorial Day weekend behind us, it is beginning to feel like it is officially summer. It is time for schools to close their doors and teachers to take their well earned summer vacation. With smith & beta’s teacher appreciation month coming to a close, we would like to acknowledge one more incredible educator before officially closing the doors on May; Eddie Revis.

Read More...