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Dove Brand Identity

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: Digital is causing the collapse of the marketing funnel

by Sarah Vizard @ Marketing Week

Facebook’s chief operating officer suggests the growing importance of digital and mobile and the speed at which consumers can find information is causing a fundamental change in the way brands communicate.

The post Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: Digital is causing the collapse of the marketing funnel appeared first on Marketing Week.

How Halo Remains Relevant Over A Decade After Its Debut

by Benjamin Leong @ Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How Halo 5’s advertisements smashed into the Top 1% of all iTunes tracks — 14 years after Halo first debuted Ah, Halo. The first Halo game was launched on Xbox in 2001, but the franchise is still going strong 14 years on with the 2015 release of Halo 5. Their branding was so wildly successful that as […]

The post How Halo Remains Relevant Over A Decade After Its Debut appeared first on Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog.

How to Discover and Measure Brand Associations - Brandwatch

How to Discover and Measure Brand Associations - Brandwatch


Brandwatch

Brands work hard to foster identities, but need to know if customers recall the brand associations. We reveal the best methods for discovering brand association

How to Create a Consistent Brand Voice on Social Media

How to Create a Consistent Brand Voice on Social Media


Sprout Social

Your brand voice can make or break your social media efforts. Make sure your tone stays the same across all your social channels.

Dove

Dove


Unilever global company website

Dove is committed to helping women realise their personal potential for beauty by engaging them with products that deliver real care.

The State of IoT in the Home: Part 2

by Ed Terpening @ Prophet Thinking

Opportunities and challenges for brands selling IoT products for the home.

The post The State of IoT in the Home: Part 2 appeared first on Prophet Thinking.

Re-Crafting A Brand Identity

Re-Crafting A Brand Identity


Three Pillars Media

Re-Crafting A Brand Identity

How To Get Word-of-Mouth: 40+ Successful Examples To Learn From

by Jon Tan @ Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

Over the past year, the ReferralCandy blog has been analyzing and dissecting all sorts of word-of-mouth successes: Established brands, new ideas on Kickstarter, and everything in between. We’ve read countless books and studies about the subject: Made to Stick, Tipping Point, Unleashing the Ideavirus, Contagious… you name it, we’ve probably read it. We’ve learned a […]

The post How To Get Word-of-Mouth: 40+ Successful Examples To Learn From appeared first on Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog.

Digital brand transformation: five ways to get started

by Liesbeth Smit @ Online Brand Identity – The book

If I speak to CEO’s of big companies and brands they all have digital transformation as one of their main priorities. However, if I speak to the professionals that need to drive the digital transformation […]

Curating On-Demand Content For Your Readers

by Upasna Kakroo @

I just came across SFMOMA’s fantastic text response service. Send a text with your mood or keywords, and they send you back a relevant art-work. This curation process has so many possibilities! Imagine were curating on-demand content your readers who are interested in various topics. You could send it at a moment’s notice. Using text...

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How university partnerships are helping brands attract the best talent

by Charlotte Rogers @ Marketing Week

Businesses partnering with universities to offer value-added opportunities for students are reaping the rewards when it comes to futureproofing the quality of their workforce.

The post How university partnerships are helping brands attract the best talent appeared first on Marketing Week.

Introducing The Smart Way to DAM: Brandfolder Intelligent Image Recognition

by Brittany Jones @ Brandfolder

Whether it’s marketing automation tools, predictive scoring, or even the benefit of getting real-time analytics (like Brandfolder Insights), the power of data is changing the way we do work. This...

The post Introducing The Smart Way to DAM: Brandfolder Intelligent Image Recognition appeared first on Brandfolder.

The 7 Undeniable Benefits of Social Media Monitoring for Brands

by Alex York @ Sprout Social

Your customers have a voice and more likely than not, they’re trying to communicate with you via social media. Handling all the individual messages Read more...

This post The 7 Undeniable Benefits of Social Media Monitoring for Brands originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Looking Back: Reflections from a Brandfolder Intern

by Vince Porter @ Brandfolder

I started my internship at Brandfolder feeling very nervous about what was to come.  Although I knew very well what the company did, I had no idea what I was...

The post Looking Back: Reflections from a Brandfolder Intern appeared first on Brandfolder.

How Rolex Maintains Its Status as One of the Most Valuable Brands in the World

by Monique Danao @ Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

Rolex has a lot of history. Its watches and timepieces have been worn by the most influential icons in the world. Its been a constant companion of  world leaders, celebrities and influencers. So, it’s always been associated with status and prestige. But how has the luxury brand maintained its place at the top, for more […]

The post How Rolex Maintains Its Status as One of the Most Valuable Brands in the World appeared first on Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog.

International round-up: Coca-Cola’s new corporate campaign, Uber sues mobile agency

by Marketing Week Reporters @ Marketing Week

Coca-Cola looks to make its corporate brand about more than just Coke Coca-Cola has launched a new corporate branding campaign in the US that aims to portray it as a “total beverage company” and shift the focus away from its most famous product. The spots, which are airing on US TV, feature a wide range […]

The post International round-up: Coca-Cola’s new corporate campaign, Uber sues mobile agency appeared first on Marketing Week.

Brand Identity: Add Value Through Shared Values - LRW Blog

Brand Identity: Add Value Through Shared Values - LRW Blog


LRW Blog

By signaling their values, brands lay the path for consumers to see themselves in the brand. This increases feelings of similarity and brand identity.

Dow Rolls Out New VORASURF Polyurethane Additives Family

by Brooke @ Sleep Retailer

As part of DowDuPont Materials Science Division’s ongoing commitment to provide customers with greater access to expertise and products, more buying options and reliability, the technologies of Dow Corning Polyurethane Additives (PUA) will be incorporated into the Dow Polyurethanes portfolio under the VORASURF Polyurethane Additives brand name. VORASURF Polyurethane Additives will serve the ComfortScience, InsulationScience and DurableScience markets of Dow Continue Reading

How L’Oréal Became a Top Global Beauty Brand

by Monique Danao @ Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

L’Oréal is one of the world’s top beauty brands. In fact, Forbes estimates that it’s worth $107.5 billion! How does the brand maintain its seat at the top? In part, through innovations in technology, beauty and advertising. 1. Makeup.com – publishes great articles and social media posts A quick look at L’Oréal’s Makeup.com reveals beauty […]

The post How L’Oréal Became a Top Global Beauty Brand appeared first on Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog.

Morrisons on how staff are inspiring both its marketing and turnaround

by Thomas Hobbs @ Marketing Week

Morrisons' top marketer discusses the brand's ongoing turnaround, the Amazon deal and his expectations for Christmas.

The post Morrisons on how staff are inspiring both its marketing and turnaround appeared first on Marketing Week.

3 steps to build brand consistency

3 steps to build brand consistency


Lucidpress Blog

/*-->*/Consistency is key. This 3-step process can help any organization achieve brand consistency by defining their brand's purpose, position and personality.

Dove

Dove


Integrated Brands

Unilever, a typical house of brands, is the global leader in the personal care market. Each brand in Unilever’s personal care business is precisely targeted to a specific group of consumers with a distinct value proposition to minimize cannibalization. …

Deliciously Ella on her ‘unusual’ approach to marketing

by Michael Barnett @ Marketing Week

Food writer and entrepreneur Ella Mills started Deliciously Ella back in 2012, and it has since grown into a multimillion pound brand. Here she shares the secrets to her success and the role marketing has played.

The post Deliciously Ella on her ‘unusual’ approach to marketing appeared first on Marketing Week.

CAN YOU DESIGN FOR RETAIL WITHOUT COMPROMISING YOUR BRAND?

by Anna Coffou @ Kaleidoscope

The post CAN YOU DESIGN FOR RETAIL WITHOUT COMPROMISING YOUR BRAND? appeared first on Kaleidoscope.

Key factors to consider before hiring a brand consultancy agency

by Steve Harvey @

What do people say about your brand? According to the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you aren’t in the room”. In other words, it’s the gossip that goes on behind your back, the conversations that are happening all around you, and the perceptions […]

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Dove - Online Brand Identity - The book

Dove - Online Brand Identity - The book


Online Brand Identity - The book

People tend to have both wishes and fears in relation to important themes in their lives. The simultaneous presence of a wish and fear around a topic that is important to a person can cause …

Close up

Close up


Unilever Middle East

Closeup is the original youth oral care brand of Unilever Arabia and Middle East. It is one of the first brands targeting youth in the oral care market globally, with an edgy and youthful image which stays relevant till date.

How To Go Viral On LinkedIn: 22 Tips From The LinkedIn Pros

by Si Quan Ong @ Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

The story started simple. It started with a request from Dave: “Yo SQ, let’s try to figure out if we could get traffic from LinkedIn back to the blog.” This one question led me down the rabbit hole of LinkedIn marketing — and in turn figuring out how to go viral, get traffic and build a brand. […]

The post How To Go Viral On LinkedIn: 22 Tips From The LinkedIn Pros appeared first on Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog.

How to create a brand logo: Your first step in visual branding

by Stephen Peate @

They might just be small images or basic graphics, but logos are powerful things. Creating a brand logo means distilling the meaning and essence of your company into a visual element that can convey your personality in a split second. As the most recognisable representation of any business, logos help you to (literally) make your […]

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Brand Personality

Brand Personality


Investopedia

A set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name. A brand personality is something to which the consumer can relate, and an effective brand will increase its brand equity by having a consistent set of traits. This is the added-value that a brand gains, aside from its functional benefits.

Dove needs to refocus on honesty, not rely on 'stunts'

Dove needs to refocus on honesty, not rely on 'stunts'


Campaign Asia

Dove is losing sight of its strengths following a string of attention-seeking ads this year, industry leaders have warned.

Next: We won’t retaliate against Amazon, we will learn from them

by Thomas Hobbs @ Marketing Week

Despite Amazon’s own-label fashion brand Find going after its core customers, Next chief executive Lord Wolfson says he won’t slip into 'terrible analogies of war'.

The post Next: We won’t retaliate against Amazon, we will learn from them appeared first on Marketing Week.

Dove 60th Anniversary | Packaging Design | Kaleidoscope

Dove 60th Anniversary | Packaging Design | Kaleidoscope


Kaleidoscope

We designed a range of packaging that pays homage to Dove’s rich history, highlights new technology and features distinctive assets that live beyond pack.

5 Powerful Insights an Instagram Tracker Should Reveal to Your Brand

by Brent Barnhart @ Sprout Social

While Instagram might have felt like uncharted territory in the past, the platform represents major possibilities for marketers today. The numbers don’t lie. According Read more...

This post 5 Powerful Insights an Instagram Tracker Should Reveal to Your Brand originally appeared on Sprout Social.

In A Far Far Away Land: 18 Proven Storytelling Formulas That Will 2x Word-Of-Mouth For Your Brand

by Si Quan Ong @ Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

On a beautiful spring afternoon, ten years ago, two young men graduated from the same college. They were very much alike, these two young men. Both had been better than average students, both were personable and both — as young college graduates are — were filled with ambitious dreams for the future. Recently, these men returned to their college […]

The post In A Far Far Away Land: 18 Proven Storytelling Formulas That Will 2x Word-Of-Mouth For Your Brand appeared first on Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog.

CanOWater on its hopes to take canned water mainstream

by Leonie Roderick @ Marketing Week

The water brand is hoping to solve the world’s plastic problem by 'building a cult of people' who will encourage others to switch from bottles to aluminium cans.

The post CanOWater on its hopes to take canned water mainstream appeared first on Marketing Week.

The Ambivalent Internet: An Interview with Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner (Part Two)

by Civic Paths @ Henry Jenkins

Much academic work on digital culture focuses on questions of meaning, yet as you note, it is often hard, if not impossible, to determine meaning and intent within online spaces and some of the groups you study refuse to ascribe meaning or sentiment to their otherwise overwrought content. So, if meaning is not your focus, what is?

Not being able to objectively confirm meaning or intent—even in individual instances of remix or sharing, to say nothing about the assessment of an entire memetic life cycle—might seem like a research roadblock. It certainly can be frustrating, particularly when the goal is to push back against a false claim or expose (what appears to be) a coordinated hoax, like the White Student Union Facebook groups. At the same time, not knowing who created what, what the(se) creator(s) meant to accomplish, or what a given text “really” means, forces one to stay empirical and focus on the things that can be known and confirmed. These questions can focus on logistic issues, like where the participation occurred and over what time period the resulting folklore traveled. 

Most critically when considering identity-based harassment, these questions can also focus on political and ideological issues. For example, who was empowered to speak as a result of an action, and who was silenced or minimized? Was this speech an instance of punching up, in which underrepresented groups were empowered to speak truth (and/or snark) to power? Or was it punching down, in which members of dominant groups further minimized already marginalized identities? What existing cultural norms were reinforced and what cultural norms were challenged? 

These questions are particularly helpful when attempting to unpack antagonisms that are—or seem to be, or are claimed to be, big question mark—couched in irony. White nationalists operating under the euphemistic banner of the alt-right as well as fascist apologists like Milo Yiannopoulos are conspicuous proponents of this approach. We don’t buy it, though. Whatever someone is trying to accomplish, however thick the layers of “lulz” they claim to be antagonizing under, does not matter to the final analysis. 

What matters to the final analysis is what seeds a person casts into the air. In the case of white nationalist antagonisms, these are seeds of bigotry and hatefulness. The more of these seeds there are, for whatever reason they may have been thrown, the more clogged the atmosphere becomes. And the more likely, in turn, that everyday people will end up with an itchy eyeful. 

Ultimately, this is the benefit of the ambivalence frame, and employing agnosticism when considering  motive. Saying that something can go either way, or has gone either way, or could go either way, might be true, but such a framing doesn’t—such a framing can’t—posit any further universalizing, broad stroke conclusions about any inherent personal or textual meaning. Whatever conclusions there are to draw hinge, necessarily, on what happens next. 

You explore throughout precedences for contemporary digital culture genres and practices within earlier moments of the history of folklore, but there is also a sense here that it matters that this is taking place through digital media. In what ways does the digital matter? What would surprise Alan Dundes were he to be able to read your book?

We’d frankly be surprised if any of the case studies we featured in the book surprised Dundes, who justified his 1966 analysis of latrinalia, i.e. anonymous bathroom scrawlings, by asserting that “the study of man must include all aspects of human activity.” Nor can we imagine he’d be surprised by the similarities between contemporary internet folklore and the folklore he collected in the latter half of the 20th century. People exhibited very familiar WTF-ness long before they were making internet memes. Indeed if there’s one thing that remains true across eras, it’s that human beings are pretty strange creatures, however or wherever this humanity unfolds.

Dundes’ and Carl Pagter’s 1975 study of Xeroxlore—jokes and images spread between and across American offices via copy machine in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s—provides one example of this overlap. A year before Richard Dawkins even coined the term meme, Dundes and Pagter were describing precisely the same kinds of memetic processes underscoring the quirky, crass jokes that have become so prevalent online. Like memetic jokes shared on the internet today, the humor of Xeroxlore stemmed from its resonant reappropriation. Office memos were cut and pasted together to mock incompetent bosses; existing “dumb blonde” jokes evolved into  “dumb secretary” jokes with the intent of demeaning a specific coworker, entire gender, or both at once; and sexually explicit drawings of pop culture staples like Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, or Charlie Brown and Lucy, were traced, retraced, photocopied, and passed around with great aplomb. 

Trust us, anything you’ve done to PBS’s Arthur has been done by your memetic forebearers.       

But of course there’s an equally strong counterpoint (ambivalence and all). Age-old folk practices, and the age-old ambivalence that characterizes these practices, are sent careening into overdrive thanks to the affordances of digital media. The fact that it is exponentially easier now to find, modify, and share a specific text or image, coupled with the fact that more people have more access to the tools required for remix and poaching (these days you don’t have to be a white-collar office worker to degrade Wile E. Coyote), exponentially accelerates the spread and audience of ambivalent folkloric expression. For example, as prevalent—and potentially scandalous—as prurient Looney Tunes Xeroxlore may have been in certain offices in 1960s and 70s, lewd Arthur content become so prominent so quickly across so many different social media platforms in the summer of 2016 that the show’s producers had to issue a statement asking people to cut it out

People, of course, did not, and news stories about the statement only amplified the practice further. Such amplification also affords rampant decontextualization, in this particular case and more broadly. Xeroxlore certainly ripped texts from their original contexts, but still tended to ground those reappropriations within smaller, more insular, word of mouth collectives. 

Internet memes, on the other hand, can very visibly and very publicly turn someone from an actual person into an abstracted, fetishized object of laughter. Just ask anyone who’s ever become “internet famous” by virtue of someone else taking the wrong photo of them at the wrong time. That notoriety can spiral out in frightening ways, sometimes instantaneously. That is the one thing that might come as a surprise to Dundes, or any folklorist who worked in a pre-internet context. 

Embodied folklore like latrinalia, denigrating jokes, and workplace hijinks certainly had their own problems—ones Dundes assesses thoroughly—but the ethical stakes shift when those practices can spin hopelessly out of control with a few clicks of a button.

Are people often too nostalgic in their understanding of traditional folklore, given what you tell us here, that 80 percent of it is obscene? What are the consequences of this overly romantic conception of the folk?

When people talk about traditional folklore, a few things tend to happen. First, the word “traditional” is often used interchangeably with “old” (rather than with the act of passing down cultural elements to the next generation, which technically can happen across era and media). Second, these traditions—from dances to foodways to oral traditional tales—are frequently lauded as being purer or at least more authentic than contemporary mass mediated culture. This contrast is especially pronounced alongside assumptions about digital media, and how thanks to the internet, or anonymity, or Facebook, or whatever, everything is terrible now. 

The fact is, things were just as ambivalent back in the presumably halceon pre-industrial days as they are in our contemporary world. Yes the tools of communication are different. Yes these tools affect ethical stakes. But folklore didn’t suddenly get obscene or weird or harmful because it was mediated through a screen. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Aarne-Thompson-Uther tale-type index, a massive collection of the most successful narrative elements in the history of human storytelling. As we discuss in the book, much of the content collected in the ATU—including stories of violence, murder, corpse-eating, assaultive sentient skulls, and various sexual grotesqueries—would be right at home on any 4chan thread. Much of the content collected in the ATU would also be immediately recognizable as the basis for literally every Disney princess movie (here’s some background on Beauty and the Beast, one of countless “animal as bridegroom” narratives collected in the ATU). 

Placing pre-modern folklore in its own little box risks downplaying these points of continuity. Again, yes, there are significant differences between folklore now and folklore from two hundred years ago. But as much as ours is a brave new world, there is also nothing new under the sun. The same tensions—between formal and populist elements, between the laughing us and the marginalized them, between those whose voices carry the loudest and those who fight every day to be heard—remain as pervasive as they ever were. 

Considering how and why helps isolate the cultural elements that are truly new, and what the implications of that newness might be. Folkloric nostalgia has a much more insidious consequence, however. The assumption that pre-industrial folklore was reflective of a simpler, purer past overlooks the kinds of regressive, damaging seeds—from racism to xenophobia to homophobia to breathtaking levels of paternalism and misogyny—these stories cast. 

Not just then, however, but now; contemporary stories across a variety of media continue to employ regressive folkloric elements, even those—like Disney’s latest crop of seemingly more progressive princess movies—that don’t as obviously forward problematic ideologies. These seeds are so densely concentrated, yet are such a common sight, that it is easy to mistake them for air. When restricted just to fictional narratives, these clouds might seem like nothing to worry about. 

Just whiffs of folkloric tradition; how quaint. Narratives aren’t just the stories we tell, however. Narratives are how we see the world. So when someone like Donald Trump shows up with the political equivalent of a box of Miracle Gro, feeding into too many people’s fears of the other, the different, the screw-em-they’re-not-me, then suddenly all these clouds of seeds take on a much darker cast.      

Whitney Phillips is an Assistant Professor of Literary Studies and Writing at Mercer University. She holds a PhD in English with a folklore structured emphasis (digital culture focus), as well as an MFA in creative writing. Her work explores digital media and technology studies, communication studies, cultural studies, folklore studies, literary studies, and critical race, gender, and sexuality studies. The MIT Press published her book This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture in 2015, which she followed in 2017 with The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online (Polity Press), co-authored with Ryan Milner of the College of Charleston. She tweets at @wphillips49.

Ryan M. Milner is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, USA. He investigates the social, political, and cultural implications of mass connection. He has published in outlets like Fibreculture, The International Journal of Cultural Studies,and The International Journal of Communication, along with contributing public commentary to Slate, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The New York Times. His book on memetic media, The World Made Meme, was published by The MIT Press in Fall 2016. His research on memes informs his second book, co-authored with Mercer University’s Whitney Phillips; The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online, is forthcoming from Polity Press in Spring 2017. He tweets at @rmmilner.

How to Create a Great First Year in Your Own Business

by Guest Author @

When starting a new online business, you must take into consideration that most businesses struggle within their first year. Even with helpful technology on their side, the first year of business can be a make or break time. This is why it is important to set up your business the right way with thoughtfulness. Here are...

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Soft-Tex Unveils Strategic Partnership And New Product

by Brooke @ Sleep Retailer

Soft-Tex International, supplier of advanced memory foam and other premium bedding products, has announce its strategic partnership with Restonic as the sole manufacturer licensed to manufacture & sell pillows, mattress toppers, pads, protectors and other bedding accessories under the Restonic brand. “The Restonic brand has strong name recognition in the bedding category with excellent products and a rich history of awards and Continue Reading

BEDGEAR’s Day Of Giving Supports Hurricane Harvey Recovery

by Brooke @ Sleep Retailer

BEDGEAR, the fast-growth PERFORMANCE lifestyle brand, has committed to donate 100 percent of its online sales on September 16th and $400,000 retail worth of bedding products to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. The bedding donation of pillows and blankets will be split between the relief efforts of the Dallas Mavericks and BEDGEAR's Houston retail partners. Leading the recovery effort, BEDGEAR’s “100% Continue Reading

Strong brands have a higher purpose

Strong brands have a higher purpose


ashleykonson

Some products and services have names that are devoid of meaning from a branding perspective. That is to say, they lack the positive associations in the mind of the customer linking the product or …

5 Reasons Why Copywriters Need DAM (Trust Me, I’m a Copywriter)

by Meg Prater @ Brandfolder

Hi copywriters. We’re a unique bunch, aren’t we? Mostly introverted. Lovers of puns. Seekers of quiet spaces in our open work environments. Some might call us temperamental. I’d call us...

The post 5 Reasons Why Copywriters Need DAM (Trust Me, I’m a Copywriter) appeared first on Brandfolder.

Brandfolder for Slack: The Efficient Way to do Digital Asset Management [eBook]

by Brittany Jones @ Brandfolder

If you haven’t heard of Slack by now, people may start referring to you as the person that’s “been living under a rock for the past 3 years,” because the...

The post Brandfolder for Slack: The Efficient Way to do Digital Asset Management [eBook] appeared first on Brandfolder.

Eclipse International Expands Van Vorst Mattress Brand Into Southeast Asia

by Brooke @ Sleep Retailer

The Van Vorst Mattress luxury brand relaunched this spring by Eclipse International is now being introduced in Southeast Asia through a new licensing agreement with Luxury Sleep, a well-established, Malaysian-based sleep products manufacturer. Under the agreement, Luxury Sleep will add the Van Vorst Mattress Co. of America since 1888 line of mattresses to its portfolio and will manufacture and distribute Continue Reading

Examining Gender Roles in the Context of Brand - Views - Interbrand

Examining Gender Roles in the Context of Brand - Views - Interbrand


Interbrand

Although gender is certainly not the only key to brand success, it might be one of the most effective tools when it comes to creating a clear brand personality.

HOW THE RISE OF PRIVATE LABEL IS AFFECTING BRANDS IN A BIG WAY

by Stephanie Donelson @ Kaleidoscope

The post HOW THE RISE OF PRIVATE LABEL IS AFFECTING BRANDS IN A BIG WAY appeared first on Kaleidoscope.

Uber brand takes another hit as it loses London licence

by Sarah Vizard @ Marketing Week

Transport for London says Uber is not “fit and proper” to hold a private hire operator licence as it raises concerns over a lack of corporate responsibility.

The post Uber brand takes another hit as it loses London licence appeared first on Marketing Week.

Public Health England wants to make its brand ‘part of the fabric of society’

by Leonie Roderick @ Marketing Week

The government health body is changing its strategy as it looks to take its “tools out of the marketing world and into everyday interactions with the health system”.

The post Public Health England wants to make its brand ‘part of the fabric of society’ appeared first on Marketing Week.

What Sort of a Brand Leader Are You?

by Upasna Kakroo @

Like many of you, I recently read an article on Steve jobs and his impact on the Silicon Valley brand leaders. Startups and small businesses like to emulate their heroes to replicate success. It’s not uncommon for Startups to pitch being the “Uber of ABC, or the AirBnB of XYZ” in an attempt to create a brand perception. This could potentially...

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The gift of gossip: How to master your word of mouth marketing strategy

by Rebekah Carter @

For centuries, people have made decisions based not just on their own feelings, but also the general consensus of what their friends, family, and peers are saying. It’s no coincidence that you and your best friends share a lot of the same things. After all, we all want to spend our money on the most […]

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Re-Crafting A Brand Identity

by rebeccasharkey @ Three Pillars Media

The Ambivalent Internet: An Interview with Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner (Part One)

by Henry Jenkins @ Henry Jenkins

Two of the most promising young scholars writing about digital culture today -- Whitney Phillips (This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture) and Ryan M. Milner (The World Made Meme: Public Conversations and Participatory Media) -- have collaborated to produce an important new book that is being released this week -- The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity and Antagonism Online. They are making a case for why folklore studies might provide us the conceptual tools we need to make sense of some of the most peculiar, twisted, perplexing, and problematic dimensions of contemporary online culture. I feel a certain sense of pride in what Phillips accomplishes here, having first met her when she was a somewhat befuddled graduate student, featuring her work on my blog and via our Spreadable Media website, and having provided her with mentorship off and on through the years. With her first book, Phillips has already displayed a nuanced understanding of people and practices that others would have dismissed with a well situated swat of the hand: instead, she helps us to understand what motivates trolling, how it is integrated into a much larger set of media practices (including those shaping professional journalism), and why it matters. This work seems all the more urgent as Trump and his minions, who in many ways embody aspects of the trolling subculture, has taken over the White House, with his disruptive tweets and outrageous claims.

I am just getting to know Milner but I am definitely going to keep my eyes on him from here.  Milner's work on memes as political speech is every bit as subtle and every bit as urgent, so I was excited to see what would happen as they join forces.

The resulting work is accessible to a broad range of audiences (including, of course, our undergraduates) so it is sure to be widely adopted as a textbook: it combines a rich gloss on existing literature in folklore with case studies drawn from the two researchers' own research.

In the interview that follows over the next three posts, I will grill them about both the larger methodological implications of this project and some of the particulars of their case studies. Both brought their A-game to this exchange, so look forward to some thinky responses.

The concept of ambivalence seems to be cropping up everywhere in contemporary cultural theory and appropriately it gets used to mean a wide variety of things. What aspects of ambivalence do you mean to evoke in the title of your book?

Our use of the ambivalence framework evolved out of what we thought we wanted to write a book about—online behavior that wasn’t entirely positive or entirely negative. We were thinking the title would be something like Between Play and Hate, to reflect that in-between nature. But as we started sifting through possible case studies, both online and off, we realized that so much of what we were looking at wasn’t cleanly falling within those bounds. Much more often, the behaviors in question were positive (world building, identity-reinforcing, fun) for those participating, and negative (alienating, identity-antagonising, upsetting or just plain annoying) for outsiders. And a whole range of reactions along that good/bad spectrum, as different groups encoded different meanings onto different texts for different reasons, for better and for worse and everything in between.

The simultaneity of these reactions, and fact that one couldn’t be designated as the definitive account, brought us to the concept of ambivalence. Not the colloquial sense of the term, which is more closely aligned with indecision (“Meh I’m ambivalent about going out to dinner; I’d be fine either way”) or ambiguity (“I’m not sure what they mean; it’s a pretty ambivalent message”). Rather we approached the term etymologically, with particular emphasis on that Latinate prefix ambi-, meaning “both, on both sides.” Coupled with its valeo root, meaning strong (think “valor”), ambivalence as we employ it is strong tension between opposing forces. So when we say that a particular behavior, message, or tool is ambivalent, we mean that it is equally capable of helping and harming, making laugh and making angry, and being both vessel for diverse expression and hindrance to diverse expression. In a way it takes on a verb’s role, implying a polysemic social process. This framing underscores our broader point that, when it comes to digital media, there are no easy solutions, and no simplistic, one-size-fits-all answers to pressing questions about free speech, collective participation, and basic safety—because these media don’t just go either way, they can go any way all at once, depending who might be participating, how, and why.

You also suggest here that the internet researcher needs a certain amount of ambivalence to pursue their work, suggesting the ethical choices that get made about what content to discuss often fall at fault lines between concerns about amplifying content that can cause harm or pain and the desire to critique and explain content that might otherwise be taken for granted. What insights does this work offer about how researchers navigate those ethical challenges? On what basis did you decide which cases to discuss here, what images to use, etc., issues you flag consistently across the book?

First, we’d back up and say that these questions aren’t solely the purview of internet scholars. Researchers exploring fully embodied folk practices have faced similar kinds of conundrums in their studies of bigoted, offensive, or otherwise ambivalent cultural content, for example Alan Dundes’ analyses (one conducted with Thomas Hauschild in 1983 and another with Uli Linke in 1988) of Auschwitz jokes popular in post-WWII Germany. As Dundes concedes, publishing these kinds of jokes continues their circulation, and risks further normalizing their bigotries. But not publishing would mean that the jokes couldn’t be held up to the full light of reason, with the implicit assumption that fresh air disinfects.

The same sorts of debates unfold around digital content, though with markedly heightened stakes: unlike the paper-copy, somewhat access-restricted academic studies Dundes was describing (i.e. his own articles, which no offense to Dundes weren’t exactly the hottest new trend for America’s teens), potentially destructive folklore can travel so much further and so much faster online than in embodied contexts. More problematically, this folklore is so much more easily unmoored from its original analytic context, whether academic or popular press; any published account collating and critiquing bigoted expression can be instantaneously employed as remix fodder for further bigotries. This is the main problem with listicle-type articles that collect the best (i.e. worst) examples of specific racist memes or disaster jokes or instances of antagonism. It puts the content in front of so many more eyeballs, and such a range of eyeballs at that, allowing for an equally broad range of remix and play.

As a result, we maintain (surprise) an ambivalent perspective on issues of amplification. We emphatically maintain that identity-based hate, harassment, and violence—and we’ll go right for an objectivist moral claim—is wrong. Not speaking out against these kinds of injustices risks signaling complicity (“you folks are on your own”), and might even facilitate further injustice. Buying into either option is morally irresponsible. On the other hand, it’s difficult to know when and if and how amplification, even with the very best, most earnest intentions, will ultimately make a problem worse, say by extending the half life of a story, or attracting more participants to a coordinated harassment campaign, as was Phillips’ concern in the wake of the sustained attacks against comedian Leslie Jones.

In short, by amplifying hateful content, particularly online, you never know whose water you might inadvertently end up carrying—a fact that should give everyone, and not just researchers, pause about how or if to respond to hateful content. As this relates to the book, we did our best to weigh the potential costs (amplified exposure or harm) against the potential benefits (amplified pushback against injustice) of including specific examples. And when we felt that discussing a case was warranted, like the attacks against Jones, we were careful to approach the people affected holistically—not as dry case studies to analyze, but as fully fleshed out individuals with friends and families and feelings. We may not have struck this balance perfectly every time, but we did our best to pay attention.

This book can be read as an introduction to core concepts in folklore studies and a demonstration of how they can be applied to digital culture. What do you see as the value of this disciplinary approach as opposed to, say, one grounded in cultural studies?

First and most basically, what’s happening on the internet—all the situated vernacular, all the creative expression, all the remix, all the slang; every in-joke and hashtag and portmanteau—is folklore; it’s exactly the sort of traditional expression (that is to say, expression that communicates traditional cultural elements, i.e. passes traditions along) that folklorists have focused on for over a century. Because folklore is what’s happening on the internet, folkloric approaches provide an obvious lens for exploring the internet—an opinion many folklorists share, as illustrated here by Lynne McNeill and here by Robert Glenn Howard. There are, as a result, all kinds of useful folkloric tools to employ when analyzing online behavior, including Dundes’ discussion of amplification, Toelken’s twin laws of conservatism and dynamism, Brunvand’s multiple variation, Oring’s appropriate incongruity, the list goes on and on.

The usefulness of folkloric tools runs much deeper than their applicability to online spaces. They are useful, much more significantly, because of why these tools were developed in the first place—namely, to contend with the fact that the lore of the folk has always been deeply, intractably, often head-explodingly ambivalent. At the most basic level, folklore is ambivalent because, to quote the ubiquitous folklorist Alan Dundes, it’s “always a reflection of the age in which it flourishes,” for better and for worse and for everything in between.

This isn’t the only source of folklore’s ambivalence. Because folkloric expression falls outside of or stands in some degree of conflict with formal culture, a significant percentage of this expression is quite literally not safe for work (or school, or church, or any other seat of institutional power); American folklorist Barre Toelken, for example, estimates that up to 80% of folkloric content is obscene, or at least would be regarded as such by outsiders looking in. Toelken wrote this in the 90s, and was referring to fully embodied behaviors. But the fact that folklorists have been exploring subversive, difficult, profane, and, sure, weird* behavior for generations, and furthermore, because these studies have focused specifically on the ebb and flow of traditions between and across social collectives, the discipline of folklore is uniquely equipped to deal with the ambivalent contours of the internet.

*With the gentle reminder that one person’s weird is another person’s Tuesday.

For example, most work in cultural studies might rely on the notion of subculture and of resistance, yet neither word has a very strong presence here, despite Whitney’s earlier work on the Troll subculture. So, how do you define the space where these forms of cultural expression emerge and the ideological positioning of these provocative works?

One of the main reasons we didn’t focus on subculture or resistance was because we couldn’t have been sure when those words were even applicable. These complications hinge on one of the book’s primary theoretical concepts: Poe’s Law, an online axiom stating that online—particularly in contexts where participants are unable to fully contextualize others’ messages—it is often difficult, if not impossible, to definitively parse sincerity from satire. This doesn’t just complicate questions about who is actually resisting what, but who is actually doing what, what their messages are even meant to mean. Something might appear to resist something, or appear to cast off “subcultural batsignals,” a term Phillips used when describing the (at the time) bounded community of subcultural trolls. And maybe it does for some participants. But maybe it’s doing the opposite for others. Maybe both things are true simultaneously. In any case, it’s just not possible to make universal claims about where subcultures end or begin, or where earnest subversion gives way to ironic play. What ground can you even point to, when it’s ambivalence all the way down?   

One example of this shakiness is 2015’s rash of White Student Union Facebook groups. As we discuss in the book, these groups—the first of which was purportedly affiliated with NYU—might have been the handiwork of real racists really enrolled at NYU and the other universities who were really concerned about creating “safe spaces” for (what they described as) historically trodden-upon white people, whose lands have been unfairly usurped, and whose heritage has been minimized (again, that’s their professed argument, not ours, dear god). But because the group emerged just as contemporary white nationalism—and critically, pushback against that white nationalism—was reaching critical mass, it was difficult to say exactly what was happening.

The groups could have been the handiwork of, or at least been amplified by, anti-racists eager to make white nationalists look as stupid as possible, or sincere white nationalists (maybe college students, maybe not) employing ironic rhetoric as a sincere send-up of so-called PC culture, or good old fashioned shit-stirrers (also maybe college students, also maybe not) looking to exploit emerging concern about white nationalism for laughs. Without knowing which was which—and allowing for the possibility, if not likelihood, that each possibility could have been true simultaneously—it’s not possible to say anything definitive about what was being resisted or what subculture was being represented. And so we didn’t try.

 

Whitney Phillips is an Assistant Professor of Literary Studies and Writing at Mercer University. She holds a PhD in English with a folklore structured emphasis (digital culture focus), as well as an MFA in creative writing. Her work explores digital media and technology studies, communication studies, cultural studies, folklore studies, literary studies, and critical race, gender, and sexuality studies. The MIT Press published her book This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture in 2015, which she followed in 2017 with The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online (Polity Press), co-authored with Ryan Milner of the College of Charleston. She tweets at @wphillips49.

Ryan M. Milner is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, USA. He investigates the social, political, and cultural implications of mass connection. He has published in outlets like Fibreculture, The International Journal of Cultural Studies, and The International Journal of Communication, along with contributing public commentary to Slate, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The New York Times. His book on memetic media, The World Made Meme, was published by The MIT Press in Fall 2016. His research on memes informs his second book, co-authored with Mercer University's Whitney Phillips; The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online, is forthcoming from Polity Press in Spring 2017. He tweets at @rmmilner.

Endorsements wanted: What is a brand ambassador, and why do you need one?

by Steve Harvey @

Let’s face it, the online world is one seriously loud place. There’s so much chatter to contend with, on blogs, articles, social media platforms, and even video-sharing websites, that the noise is practically deafening. Yet, if you want your brand recognition strategy to thrive, you need to figure out how to cut through all the […]

The post Endorsements wanted: What is a brand ambassador, and why do you need one? appeared first on .

John Lewis puts focus on social media with 360 ad trial and new hire

by Thomas Hobbs @ Marketing Week

The retailer is hiring for a new head of brand and social marketing role as it looks to differentiate its retail experience and invest in the brand.

The post John Lewis puts focus on social media with 360 ad trial and new hire appeared first on Marketing Week.

Brand Identity: A Community Experience

by Jessica Cornick, PhD @ LRW Blog

Meet Jane: registered nurse, Instagrammer, and “dance mom”; she uses Burt’s Bees, drives a hybrid SUV and works out at Planet Fitness. Jane, like all ...

Unspreadable Media (Part Two): The Best LGBTQ Youth Videos are the Ones You’ll Probably Never See

by Henry Jenkins @ Henry Jenkins

Lauren S. Berliner

The Best LGBTQ Youth Videos are the Ones You’ll Probably Never See

My current research began in the fall of 2010, in the wake of the highly publicized suicides of Billy Lucas, Tyler Clementi, and several other teens who had been bullied because they were perceived to be gay. At the time I was working with LGBTQ youth in a media production program that I had designed and was facilitating at a local teen center and was paying close attention to the rise of anti-gay-bullying discourse, and the ways in which spreadable youth-produced video was being exalted by educators, activists, and other allies a potentially emancipatory practice for LGBTQ youth.

Most notable has been the It Gets Better Project (IGBP) online video campaign, started by columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller, in which participants give personal testimonies that encourage struggling youth to believe that their circumstances will eventually improve. The premise of each video is that life as an LGBTQ youth is inherently filled with pain and oppression, but if you just hold on, it will get better.

We can see from the high numbers of views of IGBP videos and its derivatives that participation in this form of production means sharing the virtual stage with the likes of Pixar employees, celebrities, and even President Obama. .And when reviewing videos on YouTube we can see that some of the most circulated by LGBTQ youth around the world follow in the step with the IGBP narrative formula. 

Across the hundreds of related videos that exist online, there are striking consistencies in the message (‘stop bullying!’ or ‘hold on if you’re being bullied, life will get better!’), the positive tone, the call to action, and the digestible approach to the topic of violence and oppression. I will be referring to these kinds of videos as pedagogical videos, which I define as pedagogical. Pedagogical videos share the following characteristics:

  •  Social value is located in the content
  • Message-oriented (similar to broadcast PSA campaigns)
  • Aimed at enhancing LGBTQ visibility
  • Often based in oppression-based narrative
  • Aim to be highly spreadable

At present, the “success” of LGBTQ youth-produced pedagogical videos is measured by the extent of its circulation. When videos circulate widely through peer networks and achieve notoriety on a global scale, as many of the most famous LGBTQ youth videos have, one might assume there to be a straightforward connection between the video content and its social, cultural, and personal significance.

But one particular video, made in 2011 by 14-year-old Buffalo native Jamey Rodemeyer, prompted me to question this logic.

So, how to read this video? Jamey’s words claim empowerment, but perhaps you’ll agree that there is something unsettling here too, as if he is trying to convince himself that it gets better. Sadly, it’s hindsight that confirms this reading because just five months after posting the video, Jamey took his life.

Why would someone like Jamey produce a video like this that didn’t reflect his lived experience?

Jamey’s video prompts us to ask how the prerogatives of spreadable media shape, and potentially impede, a maker’s narrative and expressive possibilities. I would like to suggest that video production that is intended from the outset for wide circulation in the pursuit of visibility encourages youth like Jamey to participate in a particular set of production practices that risk masking their emotional and resource needs. 

If we examine the guidelines the It Gets Better Project provides its contributors we can see content normalization explicitly encouraged. These guidelines outline the visual and narrative parameters of successful (posts that won’t be blocked) video contributions. These sanitizing guides and requisite “positive tone” are likely motivated by practical concerns, such as a perceived danger of posting videos that suggest justifications and techniques for LGBTQ youth suicide. 

Contributors are offered advice on how to achieve the highest quality sound and lighting for their video. These aesthetic suggestions are based on a normative framing--the testimonial, seated, medium shot documentary style that Savage and Miller first initiated. It is assumes that contributors will be shooting in a similar fashion and tacitly encourages such emulation. In addition, the IGBP website suggests “talking points” that contributors should cover. The broad categories include “’Positive Messages of Hope for LGBTQ Youth,’ ‘Using Safe Messaging Practices,’ and ‘Suggested Resources, Help, and Support.’ The campaign requests that contributors seek to “inspire” young people, while staying “positive” and “uplifting” and avoiding any “language that could be interpreted as negative or that specifically mentions self-harm.”

Disqualified subjectivities or pathologized subject positions cannot be contained by this dominant narrative form. One’s participation in such a video, therefore, inevitably becomes a performance of a particular position with regards to the pain associated with (LGBTQ) youth and suicidal ideation. When one films, views, or circulates a pedagogical video, one identifies as the “not-bully,” “the ally,” or “the survivor” while also furthering a master narrative about LGBTQ experience. The dominant narrative circulating on YouTube about LGBTQ youth describes this demographic as especially vulnerable to violence (particularly bullying) and suicidal ideation, in part due to the ubiquity and reach of LGBTQ youth pedagogical videos like the It Gets Better Project. These videos eclipse other types of videos by and for LGBTQ youth that achieve less visibility online.

Yet when we disentangle the spread and mainstream visibility that pedagogical videos enjoy from the sheer number of videos that exist for and about LGBTQ youth, we begin to see a profuse and diverse representation of LGBTQ youth life that effectually counters the homogenizing, oppression-based narrative that the IGBP campaign and its derivatives further.

A second category of videos can therefore be characterized as more informal, improvisational, and typically posted for an already-invested local public of viewers (rather than an imagined, homogenous LGBTQ youth public). These videos, which I call performative, are characteristically disjointed, non-linear, and work against any particular script. In so doing, they direct the viewer away from notions of any essentialized interiority associated with being LGBTQ. So rather than describing a universal narrative of what it means to be LGBTQ, as pedagogical videos are apt to do, performative videos actively enact LGBTQ publics. Through a multiplicity of narratives, styles, tone, and genres, the sphere of LGBTQ legitimacy and identity is cast much wider. This is not to say that LGBTQ youth contributors to YouTube always produce videos with the explicit intention of providing counter-narratives, but rather, that the sheer range of content produced, in aggregate, provides a multiplicity of narratives and representations that in effect contradict any attempts to homogenize LBGTQ youth experience. Indeed the filming styles, content, metadata, and circulation of performative videos consummate LGBTQ youth publics online, and in turn complicate the proscribed, teleological narrative that the It Gets Better Project and similar pedagogical videos further. It thus moves us away from monolithic narratives rooted in violence and oppression and towards multiple narratives of possibility.

Here are some of the kinds of performative videos we can expect to find online:

Girlfriend Tag: LGBT Edition

 

Emo boy hair swoop and my coming out story

 They range from from local community collaborations, informal peer-education video blogs, videos shot in the home mode of production, to what I call “slam-book videos” based on the middle-school fad of group journaling to a set of open-ended questions. Taken together, performative LGBTQ youth videos confound the narrative of a singular public that IGBP seeks to cohere. In so doing, they point to different forms of queer sociality and futurity, evidencing multiple queer publics that are responsive to change and invested in transformation. To wit, these videos encourage alternative ways of thinking about the potential role of participatory video in the lives of LGBTQ youth. As the sheer variety of performative LGBTQ youth videos illustrate, YouTube is a site where marginal positions, narratives, and experiences are performed and circulated. These appear to emerge from local publics that have pre-existing audiences and knowledges that are embedded in the production process.

It is for these reasons, such videos rarely circulate beyond an already-invested viewership. This is in part due to the sheer ubiquity of videos online, but also because most of these videos do not follow the templates that seek to ensure spreadability, as the pedagogical ones do. 

But as local LGBTQ youth publics continue to utilize YouTube, the multiplicity of narratives, coalitions, symbolic representation and mimetic re-imaginings they create can help form the basis for transformative social change. These videos realize a world in which many other possibilities and ways of being LGBTQ emerge; de-emphasizing bullying, violence and suicidal ideation as the most legible, shared narrative.

Pedagogical videos require spreadability because their social value is imagined to be located in the content (a message). Performative videos, on the other hand, are typically more directed towards representing community and LGBTQ diversity, while activating local publics. Performative LGBTQ youth videos take many forms, reflecting the overall diversity of existing online production genres.

If pedagogical videos work to reinforce cohesive narratives about LGBTQ lives, LGBTQ youth video blogs (vlogs) and webcasts confound them. Whereas pedagogical videos ultimately work to fix particular kinds of understandings of what it means to be LGBTQ youth, performative videos reflect varied and sometimes even contradictory ways of identifying as LGBTQ. The range of video representations produce a diverse set of meanings about what it means to be LGBTQ and in effect, realizes the potential for joy, connection, and social action, often precluded by pedagogical videos that center around violence and oppression.  While violence and suicidal ideation are indeed very real concerns for the LGBTQ youth population, they are not necessarily central to, or definitive of, the experience of being a young LGBTQ person. In this way, performative videos challenge the pedagogical video genre’s ability to speak to and about LGBTQ youth. Performative videos position themselves less as panacea for LGBTQ youth pain, but rather as just one of many possible outlets for expression, social cohesion, and perhaps even reflexivity. These videos perform the narrative multiplicity that exists among and between LGBTQ youth and in so doing, encourage us to divest in the master narrative of oppression-based experience that is proffered by pedagogical videos such as those of the It Gets Better Project and recognize the heterogeneity in LGBTQ youth experience.

Lauren S. Berliner is Assistant Professor of Media & Communication Studies and Cultural Studies at University of Washington Bothell, where she teaches courses on media praxis and participatory media culture. She is also a filmmaker and the co-curator of The Festival of (In)Appropriation annual showcase of experimental media. Her forthcoming book, LGBTQ Youth and The Paradox of Digital Media Empowerment, combines participatory action research with LGBTQ youth media makers along with textual analysis of youth-produced videos to examine how youth negotiate the structural conditions of funding and publicity and incorporate digital self-representations into practices of identity management.  Her latest research is a collaboration with medical anthropologist Nora Kenworthy on a project that seeks to understand the phenomenon of crowdfunding for healthcare, focusing on how Americans are utilizing participatory media to solicit new forms of care and support.

How Dove Empowered Real Women And Achieved Success in 80+ Countries - Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How Dove Empowered Real Women And Achieved Success in 80+ Countries - Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog


Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

Dove is a personal care brand owned by Unilever originating in the United Kingdom, whose products are sold in more than 80 countries and are offered for both women and men. The company was slow to take off with a lack of global identity and a decentralized product. There wasn’t much of a corporate strategy …

What Do Pepsi and Shea Moisture’s Recent Issues Teach Us About Brand Authenticity?

by Upasna Kakroo @

Pepsi was recently in a soup as it tried to hop on to the activist bandwagon and released what critics called a ‘tone deaf’ advert with Kendall Jenner. It appeared to solve police brutality issues, trivializing the black lives matter movement with a can of Pepsi. Yesterday another casualty to extreme social media led criticism...

The post What Do Pepsi and Shea Moisture’s Recent Issues Teach Us About Brand Authenticity? appeared first on .

#SproutChat Recap: The Importance of Online Reviews & Reputation Management

by Vera Flores @ Sprout Social

A brand’s reputation can mean everything on the internet. Negative reviews and a poorly handled customer experiences can spiral into a public relations nightmare Read more...

This post #SproutChat Recap: The Importance of Online Reviews & Reputation Management originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Do You Have a “Fresh Remote” Problem? A Curious Case of Customer Experience

by Jason Brooks @ LRW Blog

Upon checking into a particular hotel of a brand I had never stayed in before, I noticed on the nightstand a little white translucent bag ...

Mary Meeker’s Internet And Digital Trends for 2017

by Upasna Kakroo @

The much awaited Mary Meeker digital trends report is out. Lo and behold, Internet growth is stagnating if you take out India. India still is at only 27% Internet penetration so there’s a lot of growth opportunity. It makes me wonder how connected we will be when the next billion is online.   Here are...

The post Mary Meeker’s Internet And Digital Trends for 2017 appeared first on .

Brand recognition or brand awareness: What’s the difference?

by Steve Harvey @

What’s the biggest issue your brand is facing right now? Think it’s money? Pricing? Investment? Nope, think again. Ultimately, “obscurity” is the biggest concern facing any business. If your customers don’t know who you are, then they’re not going to give you their trust, their attention, or their cash. It’s the threat of “obscurity” that […]

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Integrity Media Corp | 5 Questions on Brand Personality

Integrity Media Corp | 5 Questions on Brand Personality


Integrity Media

Creating a brand personality is investing in a long-term relationship that is not based on a one-time transaction, but on a lifestyle or a belief.

The State of IoT in the Home: Part 1

by Ed Terpening @ Prophet Thinking

How brands can be relevant to IoT device buyers.

The post The State of IoT in the Home: Part 1 appeared first on Prophet Thinking.

How to Sell DAM to Your Manager (For Designers, Marketers, & Creative Directors)

by Meg Prater @ Brandfolder

A while back, our President, Steve, wrote a blog post on how to sell DAM to your manager. But because selling new software to your boss is still one of...

The post How to Sell DAM to Your Manager (For Designers, Marketers, & Creative Directors) appeared first on Brandfolder.

The Brand Prism as part of brand identity.

The Brand Prism as part of brand identity.


brand manager guide

Brand Prism Revisited This is one of the most constructive brand tools made and is a favourite as it is simple to understand, easy to articulate your brand’s identity and to communicate acros…

The search for value: How to define clear brand values for your company

by Humphrey Couchman @

A brand is a lot more than the products or services you sell. Your brand is what you stand for. While your logo, products, website, and even your digital marketing campaigns may change over the years, one thing must always remain the same: your brand values. In a world where people are constantly looking for […]

The post The search for value: How to define clear brand values for your company appeared first on .

The Brand Prism as part of brand identity.

The Brand Prism as part of brand identity.


brand manager guide

Brand Prism Revisited This is one of the most constructive brand tools made and is a favourite as it is simple to understand, easy to articulate your brand’s identity and to communicate acros…

What’s in a Brand?

by rebeccasharkey @ Three Pillars Media

Dove: The Most Impressive Brand Builder | Aaker on Brands

Dove: The Most Impressive Brand Builder | Aaker on Brands


Prophet Thinking

Dove has grown tremendously in an intensively competitive arena with established competitors largely through their brand building efforts. Learn more.

Should your brand launch a youth sub-brand?

by Leonie Roderick @ Marketing Week

More companies are launching sub-brands to appeal to a younger demographic, but they would be wise to take a look at the parent brand instead.

The post Should your brand launch a youth sub-brand? appeared first on Marketing Week.

Dove’s Identity

Dove’s Identity


The BD&E Blog

“You are more beautiful than you think,” is the message behind Dove’s newest commercial as part of their Real Beauty campaign. Since its creation in 2004, the Real Beauty Campaign’s mission h…

Everything you didn’t know about branding & some more

by admin @ Integrity Media

Believe it or not, Coca-Cola did not pioneer branding. In the literal sense of the word, in ancient times (and in our modern day) branding was (and is) used to distinguish cattle and horses. Since we consider ourself business branding experts, and not livestock herders, there will be no further mention of branding in reference […]

The post Everything you didn’t know about branding & some more appeared first on Integrity Media.

White Dove Launches New Brand Identity

White Dove Launches New Brand Identity


Sleep Retailer

White Dove Mattress has launched a new brand identity to signify the company’s evolution and commitment to its retailer partners. Expressive of luxury, comfort and quality accessible to the full ra…

Survival of the Fastest: Enabling Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

by Upasna Kakroo @

I was recently invited to speak at the Management and Entrepreneurial Skills Summit held in Delhi, India. My video (as I could physically not be there) was streamed live for the session on building up an entrepreneurial  ecosystem and the survival of the fastest. Here’s the full transcript of what I shared with the audience,...

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India is Facebook’s Largest Market – But Not for Women

by Upasna Kakroo @

India just overtook the United States in having the largest Facebook audience in the world. Although it looks honky dory for the network, there’s something very unique about the Indian audience. It is heavily skewed towards young people and men. As a business trying to advertise to or reach the Indian audience, this demographic skew...

The post India is Facebook’s Largest Market – But Not for Women appeared first on .

Branding in the Age of Social Media

Branding in the Age of Social Media


Harvard Business Review

A better alternative to branded content

5 Funny Business Ideas That Actually Worked

by Guest Author @

Have you ever considered expanding your business, but you are running short of ideas? Perhaps you are thinking that your business idea is so ridiculous that it will be a flop. To keep you motivated, here is a list of five funny business ideas that actually ended up as big hits. Read through these tips and you might...

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7 Ways to Incorporate Video into Your Marketing Strategy

by admin @ Integrity Media

When it comes to video, brands that aren’t already using video in their marketing strategy usually see video as an empty expense costing thousands of dollars providing little to no return. But the root of the problem is not understanding how to use video in a marketing strategy. To get the most out of video, […]

The post 7 Ways to Incorporate Video into Your Marketing Strategy appeared first on Integrity Media.

Tikkun Candles

Tikkun Candles


Fuze 3

Tikkun Candles visual identity by Fuze Branding Tikkun Candles visual identity by Fuze Branding

Stand out from the competition by sharpening your brand identity

Stand out from the competition by sharpening your brand identity


ICEF Monitor - Market intelligence for international student recruitment

As the international education industry continues to expand and mature worldwide, one of its distinguishing characteristics is increased, even intensified, competition. Competition from a growing field of schools and agents, from new and emerging destinations, and from entirely new business models and types of competitors. How to distinguish one’s school or agency within that increasinglyContinue reading...

Company logo design: Polishing the jewel in your branding crown

by Stephen Peate @

The logo has become such an intrinsic part of any modern brand, that even toddlers too young to tie their own shoelaces can recognise industry graphics, or deduce what companies sell just by looking at a simple design. Company logos, whether it’s an image, stylised text, or a combination of the two, are a simple […]

The post Company logo design: Polishing the jewel in your branding crown appeared first on .

7 Ways to Market Your Videos

by admin @ Integrity Media

Admit it. We’ve all done it. We’ve created flashy, creative and hip brand videos that garnered little views even after we posted it on YouTube and shared it on social media. We read the statistics declaring the power of video and finally decided to film that video…. but with little results. What could we have […]

The post 7 Ways to Market Your Videos appeared first on Integrity Media.

An Interview with New Brandfolder CEO, Digital Media Executive Luke Beatty

by Meg Prater @ Brandfolder

We’re pleased to announce Luke Beatty as the new Brandfolder CEO! Luke is an entrepreneur and digital media executive. His extensive tech background includes founding the startup Associated Content which...

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What Does the Nordstrom Brand Gain Out of Fake Mud Jeans?

by Upasna Kakroo @

If you’ve not been living under a rock (pun intended), then you probably know that Nordstrom created a social media stir by listing a pair of jeans. A pair of jeans isn’t something shocking for the multi-brand retailer, but this is one covered with fake mud. Designed by PRPS goods, the mud jeans are retailing...

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5 Questions on Brand Personality

by admin @ Integrity Media

What do Nike, Adidas, and Puma have in common? The obvious answer would be that they are all athletic shoe brands. Just Do It. All in or Nothing. Unleash Your Wild Side. Their taglines show their brand personality and voice. In an industry where competition is cutthroat, these brands have strategically branded themselves and continue […]

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Brewers Fayre - Atmosphere Design

by Dove Admin @ BRANDING & CORPORATE IDENTITY

With the launching of two new pubs in a chain of 25 there was a requirement for an interior refit and rebrand. The brief was to create a contemporary Family Friendly ambience. We created original graphics, illustrations, colour scheme, a photo montage and style for the wall art. The result, a satisfied customer and the roll out of the concept across 25 restaurants.

Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

by Shane Kosch @ Prophet Thinking

General Data Protection Regulation intends to strengthen data protection and becomes enforceable across Europe on May 25, 2018. Here’s what brands need to know.

The post Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) appeared first on Prophet Thinking.

WHY THE MAKER MOVEMENT IS IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF BRANDING

by Audra Norvilas @ Kaleidoscope

The post WHY THE MAKER MOVEMENT IS IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF BRANDING appeared first on Kaleidoscope.

The Ambivalent Internet: An Interview with Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner (Part Three)

by Civic Paths @ Henry Jenkins

Late in the book, you consider Trump and his alt-right supporters. What can the book’s approach teach us about the newly elected American President and his often trollish conduct online and off. Even his supporters are telling us we should not take what he says, for example, in his tweets “literally” and suggesting that his words might better be understood “symbolically,” phrases that evoke the questions around authenticity and sincerity that run across your book.

Fun story: we hadn’t set out to write much about Trump. In fact in the book’s first draft, due to the press in June 2016, he was merely one among many public figures in the chapter on public debate. But as we revised the book during the late summer and early fall of 2016, Trump’s campaign took one bewildering, ominous turn after another. Trump’s behavior had always been…Trump’s behavior, but the things he was doing and saying were aligning more and more conspicuously with our underlying arguments. 

So we felt we had to carve out more space for his campaign, even if revisions at that point were meant to be light. We’re sure this drove our editor crazy, since we were making updates—often major ones, including discussion of the infamous Access Hollywood tape—as she was busy making her own editing passes of our manuscript (sorry Leigh). 

Working frantically to keep up, we asked if we could turn in the final edited draft by noon on November 9th (one day after the U.S. election, and one day after our original deadline) because we wanted to include the results. And then we all know what happened next. Trump the candidate—and we readily admit that we were writing about him assuming he would only ever be a candidate—became Trump the President. But that was it; we were out of time. We were also at a point in the process where we couldn’t impact existing pagination, or else we’d risk missing our spring publication window. Our compromise with the press was to change a handful of verb tenses, tinker with the structure of a few paragraphs, and insert a shellshocked footnote. And that’s how we accidentally wrote a political time capsule. 

Of course, subsequent months would reveal just how much overlap there was between Trump the President and the book’s main points. The most striking of these, as we’ve since argued, is the fact that Trump takes Poe’s Law to the highest office of the land; Trump is the Poe’s Law president. Who knows if he’s saying things because he believes them to be true, if he’s sowing calculated disinformation, if he’s just ranting about whatever’s on the television, or if he is, and we say this with some trepidation, “just trolling.” The fact that what Trump says may or may not be a lie, or at least may or may not be earnestly meant in the moment, is what makes figuring out how to respond to him so difficult. 

For us, and just as it is when confronted by Yiannopoulos’ logical gymnastics (“We’re obviously just joking, so the joke’s on you if you take us seriously, but also, please take us seriously, because the entire joke hinges on you not thinking it’s a joke”), the trick isn’t figuring out what Trump really means. Whether Trump and the administration more broadly is, to quote a recent game (“game”) played by Foreign Affairs, “stupid or nefarious?” (alternatively, “Veep or House of Cards?”), the result is the same. And so the result should be the focus. 

What do you see as some of the core tensions or fault lines within online political discourse? How does this reflect structural and systemic issues in contemporary democracy in this country?

As we maintain in the book, many of the tensions cited as unique to online spaces are so much bigger and so much older than the internet. The overlap between then and now, online and offline, is particularly striking when considering online political discourse. It is tempting, for example, to argue that online hostility, presumably caused by anonymity (or at least the ability to hide behind a computer screen), is why, to quote the title of Phillips’ book, we can’t have nice things

Before Twitter was even a gleam in the President’s eye, however, the American political system had long been marred by precisely the kind of antagonism, impoliteness, and incivility presumed to be the purview of internet pot-stirrers, as politicianspundits, and private citizens alike stooped to a whole spectrum of identity-based antagonisms and schoolyard absurdities. It is also tempting to argue that the 2016 election was evidence of, to quote Milner’s book, a world made meme

On this point, we actually agree. But as we explained in an essay directly following the election, it wasn’t internet memes—like Ken Bone’s sweaterMarco Rubio’s baby chair, or Ted Cruz’ alleged serial murders—that most conspicuously characterized the election. It was age-old memes—regressive stereotypes, blinding misogyny, blanket anti-elitism, and good old fashioned fear of the other—that made 2016 the meme election. Digital media certainly influenced what people were able to share with whom and how, and what the stakes of that sharing might have been. 

But overestimating the role the online plays in online political discourse, in this election or any election, overlooks the fact that these discourses are, first and foremost, a reflection of the broader world that contains the internet, not a reflection of the internet that is somehow detachable from the broader world. Underscoring the point that incivility and misinformation are people problems, not strictly platform problems, a recent Pew report found that a whopping 40 percent of Trump voters cite Fox News as their main source of election information. 

Given the network’s obvious role as a right wing spin machine, its dominance suggests that even if it were possible to eradicate fake news online, there are much deeper wells of misinformation. Failing to address those wells, and further, failing to address the reasons why certain stories resonate with certain audiences, means concerns over fake news online can only ever be concern over symptoms, not causes. 

Of course, online political discourse is also subject to its own specific tensions; the “brave new world” side of the “nothing new under the sun” coin. Digital spaces and tools—from entire social networking platforms to these platforms’ specific affordances to the overall ability to search for indexed content, and on and on—have an immediately democratizing effect, allowing people from across the globe to connect with the issues, media, and people most important to them. These spaces and tools also have an immediately destabilizing effect, as they allow antagonists to find what they want, and who they want, often as quickly as they want. 

Ditto for the flow of information: the same online communication channels that can shed light on an issue or clarify the facts, the same channels that allow average citizens to participate in unfolding news stories, not just consume them, can utterly muddle the facts through the spread of false information and targeted media manipulation (see Alice Marwick and Rebecca Lewis for their analysis related to the 2016 election). 

This results in an internet that is equally capable of empowering and diminishing not just voice, but a basic sense of grounded, shared truth. Donald Trump and #ResistTrump, white nationalism and Black Lives Matter, falsity and truth—online all can correspondingly thrive, as participants use the same platforms, the same tools, the same materials, the same memes, the same everything, to accomplish their objectives. The only consistent difference is what impact these behaviors have, outcomes themselves dependent on an audience whose bounds can’t easily be parsed, whose identities can’t easily be tracked, and whose motives can’t easily be known.

As you note, some groups have different access to power and privilege which shape what gives them Lulz and what they can and do say online. A high percentage of the jokes you reference here are misogynistic, suggesting how often online culture gets directed against women, issues that have surfaced especially powerfully around recent online trends such as #gamergate. How might we apply your theories and methods to understanding the kind of popular misogyny that fuels this movement?

To appreciate the full impact of misogynist hate and harassment campaigns like Gamergate, you have to consider just how far back misogynist hate and harassment goes. This speaks, again, to the kinds of narrative seeds that folklore has cast across the generations. Pre-internet urban legends—stories presented as true accounts of things that happened in another town over, or to a friend of a friend—are one outcropping of such culturally normalized sexism. As we explore in the book, many urban legends are outright misogynist, for example the countless stories (some with direct ATU prototypes) of women and girls meeting gruesome fates for not adhering to expectations for how “good girls” behave, namely demurely—itself echoing a millenias-old injunction against women asserting themselves, especially in public

Other motifs are more subtle, but still maintain rigid gender hierarchies, including the tendency for women in these legends to be punished far more often than their male counterparts for stepping out of line, to be placed in constant danger, often requiring protection by men from the men that seek to harm them, and to be sexually pathologized at almost every turn, exponentially more often than men, whose sexual appetites are framed as natural. In short, what unfolded during Gamergate is much, much older and much, much deeper than Gamergate. Gamergate, like the memes Trump successfully harnessed, is a genetic outcropping of all the seeds that have come before. 

Claims about the pervasiveness of misogynist motifs, whether subtle or explicit, online or off, might seem at odds with earlier claims about the difficulty of positing the meaning and intention of folkloric expression. Our analysis is not a post-structuralist free for all, however; you don’t lose the ability to make claims (in our case, explicitly feminist and anti-racist claims) just because some of the data is unavailable. Personal meaning might be impossible to universalize, individual motives might be impossible to verify, but even then it is possible to extrapolate broader collective resonance from what is most frequently shared by individuals; if it doesn’t spread it’s dead, indeed. 

It is also possible to show how the recasting of these old seeds further clog the atmosphere with misogynist (or racist, or xenophobic, or anti-Semitic) messaging. This brings us right back to the claim that folklore is always a reflection of the culture in which it flourishes. It is critical to focus on the specific unfolding folkloric traditions themselves, and to explain as much about these traditions and their audiences as possible. But the question folklore ultimately addresses is what ends up being reflected, and how the reflections of today are rendered all the brighter, all the harsher, all the more revealing, when considered alongside the reflections of the past.

Whitney Phillips is an Assistant Professor of Literary Studies and Writing at Mercer University. She holds a PhD in English with a folklore structured emphasis (digital culture focus), as well as an MFA in creative writing. Her work explores digital media and technology studies, communication studies, cultural studies, folklore studies, literary studies, and critical race, gender, and sexuality studies. The MIT Press published her book This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture in 2015, which she followed in 2017 with The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online (Polity Press), co-authored with Ryan Milner of the College of Charleston. She tweets at @wphillips49.

Ryan M. Milner is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, USA. He investigates the social, political, and cultural implications of mass connection. He has published in outlets like Fibreculture, The International Journal of Cultural Studies,and The International Journal of Communication, along with contributing public commentary to Slate, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The New York Times. His book on memetic media, The World Made Meme, was published by The MIT Press in Fall 2016. His research on memes informs his second book, co-authored with Mercer University’s Whitney Phillips; The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online, is forthcoming from Polity Press in Spring 2017. He tweets at @rmmilner.

A brand for social change? The myth of Dove's 'real beauty'

A brand for social change? The myth of Dove's 'real beauty'


The Conversation

Why do women hate to have their picture taken? That’s the question Dove, the global beauty brand, asks in its latest advertisement. The video – see below – is part of Dove’s campaign for “real beauty…

Branding 101 One Plum Design

Branding 101 One Plum Design


One Plum Design

A brand is the sum of all your parts. Your brand embodies every touch point a consumer might come across. When done right you’ll have a common brand understanding and loyal fans.

What We Can Learn From Dove's Marketing Strategies | Mechtronics

What We Can Learn From Dove's Marketing Strategies | Mechtronics


Mechtronics

Dove by Unilever has evolved to be one of the most trusted beauty product makers in the industry, appealing to women across the world.

Building and Shaping Brand Image with Visual Content: Why We All Need to Do It - StoryTrack

Building and Shaping Brand Image with Visual Content: Why We All Need to Do It - StoryTrack


StoryTrack

Learn why you need to build and shape brand image with visual content, especially video, to create strong connections with consumers.

Facebook responds to growing ‘uneasiness’ over brand safety with new ad controls

by Sarah Vizard @ Marketing Week

The social network is introducing new eligibility standards for publishers and creators that will lay out more clearly the type of content that can be monetised.

The post Facebook responds to growing ‘uneasiness’ over brand safety with new ad controls appeared first on Marketing Week.

Finding your unique selling point: How to choose an unbeatable USP

by Humphrey Couchman @

Dive deep into the heart of any successful business and you’ll find one crucial element: a value proposition. Otherwise known as the “unique selling point”, “unique selling proposition” or USP, this simple concept forms the foundation for the company’s existence. It defines what your brand stands for, how you can position yourself in the marketplace, […]

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How To Transform Your Business In To An Impressive Brand Personality

How To Transform Your Business In To An Impressive Brand Personality


Designhill

Learn the simple ways how Marketers can easily transform business into an impressive brand personality and make it more productive

Tesco looks to Unilever marketer to provide a clear brand identity - Marketing Week

Tesco looks to Unilever marketer to provide a clear brand identity - Marketing Week


Marketing Week

Tesco has turned to former Unilever marketer David Lewis to help turnaround its performance through a renewed focus on its brand identity and reconnecting with customers.

Case Study: How Fairline Yachts Saves 10% of Their Weekly Workload with Brandfolder

by Meg Prater @ Brandfolder

“…from a marketing point of view, it has saved 10% of our weekly workload by not having to find assets for people — and that’s a conservative estimate.” — Miles...

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3 Reasons Why Great Design Matters To Your Brand

by Upasna Kakroo @

It’s easy to get lost in the day to day workings of your Startup or business. You may think that you have less time to hone your online presence. Most people think of content or their products as the mainstay of good brand experiences. But most of us tend to ignore that content, products and services...

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Unspreadable Media (Part Five): Back and Forth

Unspreadable Media (Part Five): Back and Forth

by Henry Jenkins @ Henry Jenkins

Sam:

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost a year since the four of us presented our research at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference. Despite us all having our distinct focuses, I remember it being particularly remarkable just how many criss-crosses there were across our presentations, when it comes to themes about the contemporary media landscape and the various facets of this idea of “un-spreadable media.” So I’m excited to have this opportunity to reflect on this work many months later.

For those reading this exchange, a quick bit of background. Leah and I met through some overlapping pedagogical interests in transforming the practices of the media studies classroom, while I first encountered Lauren’s work through the ways her dissertation asked critical questions of the ways in which campaigns aiming for spreadability framed participation, in reaction to the work Henry, Joshua Green, and I--and all those who were part of that broader Spreadable Media research initiative--were doing. Henry and I were fortunate to be brought into the loop as Leah and Lauren began brainstorming ways to tackle questions of “unspreadable media” in various contexts...and, in particular, how digital discourse, participation, and media text production gets framed by frameworks for success driven by the “breadth model” of spreadability--a logic that success is determined by spreading as widely as possible.

As we gathered in Atlanta last spring, and as I reflect on the work we’ve collected here for this series, it feels like there’s a conversation to be had both about how these logics are so deeply imbedded within the media industries, and then the various ways in which organizations, communities, and individuals who are not in the for-profit media industry are measured by these logics, have their work framed within these logics, and often even internalize these logics in ways that may run counter to their goals. My hope is that this series can help accomplish that.

Perhaps a good starting point would be a bit of background about what drove each of us to this work, and where that work has gone since last year?

Since my piece for the series is particularly reflective, I’ll aim to keep my part in this short, but I’ll kick us off. In my case, I wrote this while immersed in the media industries, in my role at Univision/Fusion Media Group. While I was running a group designed to be a couple of steps removed from the day-to-day, frantic nature of the newsroom, it nevertheless is particularly telling that the reason this dialogue is happening now, rather than last summer or fall, was largely because of my delays. That pace within the media organization--and the fact that industries like journalism and television are 24/7/365--is one of the key drivers behind media organizations having a difficult time being able to conduct deep reflection on how business is conducted and how success is measured. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of people thinking about these issues in media companies. But the day-to-day production demands make this most frequently the conversation in the hallways or before meetings start, and the first thing to fall off the radar as the demands-of-the-month pile up. And, as long as an impressions-based system remains the logic of the system, skewing from it is especially tough. Yet, the signs are everywhere that a breadth-based model of measuring success isn’t particularly tenable, even for the for-profit media industries. The question is just what point of distress, or breaking down of old models, we have to hit before new ones become enough of a priority to receive time and resources.

Henry:

I made very little progress over last year in sharpening my thinking about the geographies of media circulation, interesting though this question remains to me,  and thus, I am eager to have the others push my thinking a bit on these questions.  I think it's safe to say that the 2016 election and its aftermath shook the stuffing out of a great many of us, forcing us to think more deeply about the mechanisms and logics shaping American politics today. Few presidential candidates have understood the dynamics of social media and its mechanisms of circulation more fully than the current occupant of the White House. Donald Trump has demonstrated the capacity to upend traditional journalism with a simple if high-intensity tweet.

From the beginning of the campaign, he dominated new cycle after new cycle, closing off the oxygen for anyone else in the race. It is scary to think about how effectively he was able to exploit the cable news networks’ 24-7 news cycle through his cagey exploitation of spreadability. Trump and his supporters often talk about the ways social media allows them to speak to the American public above the heads of (but not behind the backs of)  the major news organizations. Yet they also sought to actively discredit any group with the clout and resources to fact check their claims or challenge their underlying logic. It is not simply that they have found a way around editorial judgments but they have sought to dismantle the last trappings of legacy journalism.

At the same time, we are seeing the rise of alternative and niche-oriented media, whether the alt-right realm of Breitbart or the diversity represented by contemporary podcasts. And we're seeing the capacity of grassroots networks to rapidly mobilize large-scale protests against the current regime, such as the epic women's march on Washington. Sam asks about the breakdown of old models -- which seems to be happening much faster than any of us anticipated, and so we need urgently to understand how news and civic discourse is going to travel in this current environment.

My current  interest in the civic imagination pushes us beyond a focus on issues of circulation and mobilization to look at the way media messages reframe current debates to spark more intense commitments from potential supporters. My USC based research group, Civic Paths, seeks to better understand the roles that imagination plays in fostering civic engagement and inspiring struggles over social change. At the most basic level, before you can change the world, you have to imagine what a better world looks like, imagine a process to bring about change, imagine yourself as capable of making change, imagine a collective that shares  your interests and concerns, develop empathy and solidarity for others whose experiences are different from your own, and in the case of the marginalized and dispossessed, imagine freedom and equality before you experience it directly. We have been especially interested in how resources drawn from popular media resurface through grassroots media as part of the imaginary of various protest movements around the world. The kinds of “cultural acupuncture” that seemed extraordinary when we first began researching the Harry Potter Alliance now seems much more normative as we look out across the tweets and YouTube videos the document contemporary protest movements. These social movements are engaging with struggles with power while dressing as superheroes, plastering their signs with Princess Leia images, and flashing the three finger salute from Hunger Games.

Just as Trump uses social media to gain access to mainstream news organizations, these protesters are using the master's tools to dismantle the master's house, using the attention economy generated by global mass media to create a new rhetoric that speaks to and for those who have far fewer resources. In my last book, we describe this approach as “by any media necessary”, stressing the ways that these groups deployed any and all resources within their grasp to spread their messages for social justice. Today we are more interested in the how worldbuilding and storytelling reshapes the ways people understand the issues and how they assess the potential for change.

We've been drawn to Stephen Duncombe's description of “the tyranny of the possible,” which recognizes that our perceptions of the current situation limit our ability to imagine the possibilities of change.  As current situations have become so dire around the world, post Trump, Post-Brexit, post the collapse of the Brazilian government, post the rise of right-wing governments across Europe, post the Syrian refugee crisis, we have by necessity needed to expand the scope of our imagination to maintain hope for the future.

Some of this new imagery circulates far and wide, having a very limited shelf life but an enormous reach. Some of it remains anchored in the local, like images on a hand-drawn protest sign or a flyer pasted on the wall. Much of it falls somewhere in between, reaching those who need to know, inspiring those who have access, but remaining hidden from view to mainstream audiences who get their news only from mass media channels.

What makes the current moment challenging to understand is the unpredictable porousness of this new media ecology, as so-called fake news produced in outer Moldavia enters our Facebook feed as if it emerged from American media, and our inability to know where some of this news is coming from tests our ability to discern credible from incredible information. We need to own up to the fact that the fake news phenomenon represents one of the darker aspects of the current spreadable media landscape, a byproduct of a culture where anyone can forward anything to anybody and where fewer people, even American presidents, take ownership over the reliability of the  information they pass along. Now more than ever, we need to be discussing whether spreadability is good or bad for democracy.

Lauren:

I am probably not the only person whose current research was turned inside out and upside down by the recent election cycle. Insert, if you will, a clip from the 1986 movie THE FLY. An orangutan surrogate for scientist Seth Brundle naively enters a time travel chamber. The door closes for moments and then opens to a dramatic reveal.  Guts everywhere. Immediate reformulation is needed should Brundle ever move forward in his research.

If you’ve seen the film, you know that despite Brundle’s best efforts to rectify his experiment following this disaster, when he finally enters the chamber himself, a pesky fly is hiding there, leaving Brundle ultimately transformed: part human, part fly. (Apologies if this is a spoiler—I am just assuming that the statute of limitations has passed on this particular text!).

For me, the recent election was like Brundle’s orangutan experiment. Just as I was about to hand over my book manuscript (which includes a chapter on the research I discuss above) for publication, my approach and argument felt like it had exploded in its 30,000-word compartment. Orange hairs coated the intestines and heart of my work. I recalibrated. And as I finally felt ready to remerge and finish my book, I realized that that both me and my topic had mutated on an ontological level.

The through-line of my research and teaching has been to critically examine empowerment discourse as it has been taken up in the study of participatory media culture. I have tended to focus on the places where this discourse pervades, such as the It Gets Better Project, which have typically been efforts emerging from more liberal individuals or groups. While I was seeking to recuperate more radical progressive uses of participatory media, the alt-right was mobilizing, using participatory media to promote Trump’s candidacy and ideological positions. LGBTQ youth safety and vulnerability has been infinitely compounded by this election, especially for those who are undocumented, Muslim, and of color. This has left me to question my choice to turn a critical eye in the direction of those seeking to support them in the first place. When I sat down to write again, I realized I had a fly in my chamber.

I had been examining participatory media culture as it emerged in resistance to power, but a blind-spot that I realized I have had as a researcher and perhaps as a teacher as well, is the ways in which the far right has imagined themselves as resisting power too. As Sam and Henry have noted, we are seeing shifts in how news and civic discourse are circulating in this moment, which many of us are scrambling to understand. Civic imagination and a focus on futurity in general may be central to these changes, but the players aren’t always oriented towards social justice. Yes, protesters are dismantling the master’s house towards social justice aims, as Henry’s research so nicely illustrates, and, at the same time, it’s becoming apparent that Trump supporters and the far right in general are using the same media to build and reinforce the master’s house too.

The new culture war is fought with memes and hashtags. When my filter bubble burst, it was too late. Is spreadable media “good or bad for democracy,” as Henry asks? This wasn’t even a question on my radar until a few months ago. But, perhaps the question isn’t altogether different than one that we raised as a panel at the 2016 SCMS conference as to the ways in which celebrations over spreadability are often short-sighted and mask the potential for harm through circulation. Since November I have been working to revise my book to include the various ways in which LGBTQ youth are using the tools and tactics of participatory media culture to produce particular forms of subjectivity and community that don’t necessarily require media spread. In the years since I first began this project in the form of a dissertation, critiques of the It Gets Better Project abound, to the point that youth themselves have in many cases become critical of the trap of visibility that very spreadable mainstream media projects engender. I am now asking ‘what are ways in which LGBTQ youth are activating and animating local publics through media to perform identity and community?’

If there is any silver lining I can find in the recent election cycle, it is that the tumult has made it much easier in my research and teaching to locate and illustrate the existence and power of participatory media culture and the complex political undercurrents that shape it.  

At the same time, though, let’s not kid ourselves, there are still a few inches of orange muck at my feet, and I’m looking to you all for strategies for how to pull up and out.

Leah:

When I sat down to write this response, my head was thrumming with the low level of panic that news consumption has been causing since Comey’s “October surprise.” I drafted a short meditation on the guilt I have been feeling over what I was seeing as my own slacktivist culpability for the results of the election: my own blindness to the kinds of “vectors of customization and control” that I unpack in my presentation. The blind spots that Lauren describes are also my blind spots, and I was feeling particularly stupid for having spent last fall teaching news bias, aggregation, and propaganda during the day while spending my evenings forwarding, retweeting and liking within my deceptively like-minded media bubble. The gap between my critical apprehension and practical application of the issues surrounding spreadable media was wide before the election, and after the election the gap began to feel so great that most of the thoughts I mustered up around the topic seemed to rise up only to be sucked swiftly and decisively into that gap, never to be thought again.

So, while procrastinating writing this response, I got on Facebook (something I keep promising myself I will stop doing) and saw a post from We Are Seneca Lake, the activist group whose campaign to stop the storage of methane and propane in unstable salt caverns beneath Seneca Lake that I spoke about in my presentation. The post revealed that the gas storage conglomerate Crestwood Midstream has decided not to store methane at the Seneca Lake site. The activist community was hailed as “victorious.” The more than 650 arrested protesters and countless other supporters of the We Are Seneca Lake/Gas Free Seneca movement were cited as instrumental in the demise of Crestwood’s plan. The dedicated local activists showing up to block trucks in the snow, screenprint their own protest t-shirts, and post their DIY videos on YouTube had scored a victory.

Of course, it is an incremental victory. Crestwood Midstream continues to push for the storage of propane in the unstable salt caverns, and the work of the activist groups on this hyperlocal environmental cause is far from over. But, an incremental victory is a victory. And, it provides a model for the kind of strategy that Lauren is asking for above. As Henry points out in his reflective response, world building is taking place at the local level. And, as the We Are Seneca Lake/Gas Free Seneca activists have demonstrated, that world building continues to rely on an ever-evolving mixture of grassroots strategies and social media affordances. As a model, it’s not incredibly successful at mitigating panic or at pushing back against reactionary appropriations and mobilizations of progressive activist practices, but it is a model. And, in the example of We Are Seneca Lake/Gas Free Seneca it has had limited success.

The insights around spreadable interfaces, the politics of reach, and the potential for local change outlined in Sam, Henry & Lauren’s presentations make persuasive arguments about the radical potential of media distribution systems and structures. As I re-read our presentations and reflections and think about what to do next, I find I am thinking about the pink pussy hat that women and men across the globe wore on January 21st. The plan to wear the hat and the various patterns for knitting the hat are potent examples of spreadability: without Facebook and Twitter, we would not have the persuasive “optics” of millions of people resisting the rise of white supremacy and rape culture en masse on that day. Where the idea and image were virtual, global and spreadable the knitting and wearing were hyperlocal. The pink pussy hat is an instructive example of the possibilities that inhere to mixtures of traditional grassroots strategies and new social media affordances. The actions of the folks engaged in resistance practices reflect that potential. Perhaps one way forward is to find ways to forge what we might identify as a more intersectional spreadability: to amplify and engage with the potential of the mix, even where the mix, itself, pushes back against the message being spread.

Lauren S. Berliner is Assistant Professor of Media & Communication Studies and Cultural Studies at University of Washington Bothell, where she teaches courses on media praxis and participatory media culture. She is also a filmmaker and the co-curator of The Festival of (In)Appropriation annual showcase of experimental media. Her forthcoming book, LGBTQ Youth and The Paradox of Digital Media Empowerment, combines participatory action research with LGBTQ youth media makers along with textual analysis of youth-produced videos to examine how youth negotiate the structural conditions of funding and publicity and incorporate digital self-representations into practices of identity management.  Her latest research is a collaboration with medical anthropologist Nora Kenworthy on a project that seeks to understand the phenomenon of crowdfunding for healthcare, focusing on how Americans are utilizing participatory media to solicit new forms of care and support.

Sam Ford consults and manages projects with leadership teams in journalism, media/entertainment, academia, civic engagement, and marketing/communication. In addition, he is lead producer of the MIT Open Documentary Lab s Future of Work initiative and a co-founder of the Artisanal Economies Project  Sam serves as a research affiliate with MIT’s Program in Comparative Media Studies/Writing and as an instructor in Western Kentucky University’s Popular Culture Studies Program. He writes on innovation in the media industries, fan cultures, immersive storytelling, audience engagement, and media ethics. Sam co-authored, with Henry Jenkins and Joshua Green, the 2013 NYU Press book Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture.  In 2015, he launched and ran the Center for Innovation & Engagement at Univision’s Fusion Media Group (as FMG’s VP, Innovation & Engagement), which he ran through the end of 2016. He has also been a contributor toHarvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Inc.

Leah Shafer is an Associate Professor in the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges where she teaches courses that explore the culture and history of television, film, advertising, and the Internet. Her criticism appears in journals including FLOW: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture, Afterimage, and Film Criticism as well as The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, Teaching Media Quarterly, and Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier. A scholar/artist, she was recently awarded a research residency with the experimental media art collaborative Signal Culture, and her experimental documentary Declaration of Sentiments Wesleyan Chapel was included of the Iterations as Habitats exhibition of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.

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