This week, for example, is proving to be a risky time for brands to use Twitter to share a silly meme, playfully “clap back” at a customer or riff on a made-up holiday. The platform has been filled with outrage and terrible news since white nationalists and supremacists clashed violently last Saturday with opponents in Charlottesville, Virginia, and President Donald Trump blamed “many sides.”
Here’s a real-world example of a corporate narrative taking a stand against hate speech. It will surely be controversial, and the targeted group, white supremacists, are going to complain loudly. There will be boycotts. AirBnB seems to have the nerve to live its principles, but this will be a real test of the unification of personal and corporate values.
In anticipation of a white supremacist rally scheduled for this Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, Airbnb has started deactivating accounts of people it believes are booking units to host gatherings related to the rally.
An exploration of a potential Boomer narrative. Keep reading past the first article for a Gen-Z analysis.
As they age, Boomers are more resistant to absolutism. Hyperbole or strongly worded and delivered claims about a product’s features and benefits usually work better with younger, more literal-minded customers. The young mind tends to see reality in definitive states or conditions: something either is, or it is not. However, Boomers tend to have a greater appreciation for the finer definition that nuance and subtlety give a matter. This predisposition means that marketing communications intended for them should reflect a conditional tone. Say less and let the customer interpret your communications based on their internal needs and related perception of your message.
Source: Know Your Customer 08/07/2017
Marketers cannot cede their storytelling to Facebook, but they do need to listen to Facebook’s feedback based on analysis of engagement with video. There’s no one magic formulae or video length, just the right combinations of medium, story, and time, which will vary based on the novelty of the story, the challenges to existing narratives (“I just don’t do things like that,” for example, in response to a new product — think of your parents’ reaction to Snapchat.)
Facebook will have a notion of what kind of video fits on Facebook. That doesn’t mean marketers should always follow that advice blindly. It’s just one more input in the creative and strategic decision process.
Facebook has had big goals for video for a while and advertisers are ramping up the amount of video content that they produce for the platform. However, brands are still pouring hefty budgets into producing TV assets that don’t necessarily work on mobile where consumers are increasingly watching more video.
“Midlennials,” to coin more descriptive name than “iGen,” grew up fully digital instead of in transition from analog to digital experience. It may have broken expectations and norms, blending with the Great Recession, to cast a new narrative for the midlennial.
[T]heirs is a generation shaped by the smartphone and by the concomitant rise of social media. I call them iGen. Born between 1995 and 2012, members of this generation are growing up with smartphones, have an Instagram account before they start high school, and do not remember a time before the internet. The Millennials grew up with the web as well, but it wasn’t ever-present in their lives, at hand at all times, day and night. iGen’s oldest members were early adolescents when the iPhone was introduced, in 2007, and high-school students when the iPad entered the scene, in 2010.
Oh, the things we tell Google. As a basis for storytelling, this willingness to share information to get information, including disclosing an otherwise unacknowledged fact to a search engine, points to an audience eager to share information. That sharing can be the basis of extensive personalization of stories, gathering feedback, and social campaigns. But it requires brands to share more information than they are used to or comfortable with in many cases.
The word “gay” is 10% more likely to complete searches that begin “Is my husband…” than the second-place word, “cheating”. It is eight times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed”.
Most tellingly perhaps, searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more prevalent in the least tolerant regions. The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana. In fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.
Millennials are digital migrants, Gen-Z is native digital.
According to Nielsen’s new Total Audience report, millennials and Gen-Z now comprise 48 percent of the total media audience. Gen-Z in particular is now the single largest audience segment at 26 percent (although there’s a vast age range).
Because members of Gen-Z are different in key ways from millennials, the demographic shift holds some implications for brands and retail marketers.
The ways social media shapes our memory could end up having knock-on effects for other mental habits. All those hours on Facebook could change not just what we do with our time, but how we think.
Here is a living example of competing narratives, between the Vatican’s view and that of President Trump. Historically speaking, the Church has more staying power than any politician, which gives the advantage to Pope Francis.
“The political strategy for success becomes that of raising the tones of the conflictual, exaggerating disorder, agitating the souls of the people by painting worrying scenarios beyond any realism,” it added. On the other hand, Pope Francis was “carrying forward a systematic counter-narration with respect to the narrative of fear” due to the “need to fight the manipulation of this season of anxiety and insecurity”.
Lobbyist Bruce Mehlman’s explanation of the changing narratives in society hits on a number of “core” issues that redefined the mass narrative as many conflicting priorities in the 21st Century.
Seven in 10 adults were married in 1967. Now it’s 50 percent. Three in 10 workers were members of labor unions then. Now it’s 11 percent. Two-thirds of Americans trusted government. It’s never been close to that since Vietnam and Watergate. The latest studies show only about 20 percent of the country trusts the feds to do the right thing.