Dove Brand Value



Unilever Pakistan

Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.

Dove vs. Dior: Extending the Brand Extension Decision-Making Process from Mass to Luxury (PDF Download Available)

Dove vs. Dior: Extending the Brand Extension Decision-Making Process from Mass to Luxury (PDF Download Available)


Official Full-Text Paper (PDF): Dove vs. Dior: Extending the Brand Extension Decision-Making Process from Mass to Luxury



Unilever Canada

Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.

Amazon, Google and Dove rank high in 2017 national report on brands that demonstrate world value and purpose beyond profit

Amazon, Google and Dove rank high in 2017 national report on brands that demonstrate world value and purpose beyond profit


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA--(Marketwired - June 6, 2017) - Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release. enso, a mission-driven creative company, today unveiled the results of its 2017 World Value Index, an anticipated annual report that benchmarks 150 organizations by measuring and ranking each brand's overall World...

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…

10 Most Compelling Ad Campaigns of the Decade: Why They Went Viral

10 Most Compelling Ad Campaigns of the Decade: Why They Went Viral

Pretty pictures no longer cut it.

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.

Amazon reveals how it thinks about advertising

by Sarah Vizard @ Marketing Week

The retail giant is rapidly building out its ad business but says marketers should think of it as a way to add value to the customer, not just as a sales tool.

The post Amazon reveals how it thinks about advertising appeared first on Marketing Week.

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.

Why Purpose Is Paramount To Business and Branding Success: A Walmart Case Study

by Simon Mainwaring @ SIMON MAINWARING

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The post Why Purpose Is Paramount To Business and Branding Success: A Walmart Case Study appeared first on SIMON MAINWARING.

Bringing Fan Fiction into the Classroom: An Interview with Francesca Coppa (Part One)

by Henry Jenkins @ Henry Jenkins

Across the fall, I am sharing a number of different interviews showcasing the current state of fandom and fandom studies. Over the next year, a range of new books are going to transform the landscape of this particular corner of the academic universe, bringing new voices to the table, adding new approaches and issues to our research agenda, solidifying ground gained over the past few decades, and calling into question established wisdom. As I have in the past, I hope to use this blog to direct attention onto this scholarship and also illustrated how it is connected to a wider agenda of work on participatory culture, learning, and politics.

Today, I am welcoming Francesca Coppa, one of the founding board members of the Organization for Transformative Works, a long time fan and fandom scholar, and one of my favorite thinking partners on these topics. Through the years, she has served as an important advocate for fans in struggles over intellectual property and censorship; she's directed attention onto the historical roots of vidding as women's media practice; and now, she's helping to reshape what it might mean to bring fan fiction into the classroom. More and more academics are teaching about fan fiction, and more of our students come to college already having some experiences as writers as well as readers of fanfic. Yet, how do scholars, who may or may not themselves have roots in fandom, decide what fan works to put on their syllabuses and assign to their students? How do they give students, who may or may not have background in a particular source text, the preparation they need to read such stories thoughtfully and receptively? Given that fan stories emerge from the creative and critical conversations of the fan community, how do we help people to see the signs of that process at work if they are reading texts that have been isolated from that larger context?

The Fan Fiction Reader addresses these pedagogical and methodological needs, offering a carefully curated selection of fan stories drawn from a range of different fictional universes and reflecting a diverse set of fan genres. Each story is given a critical context in terms of its relationship to its source texts, to other works in the same genre, and to critical conversations within the fan community. A rich introduction provides an overview of current understandings of what fan fiction is, why it matters, and what motivates its study. One could not ask for a better guide than Coppa, whose many years of active participation as a fan and her authority as an academic, work together here to enable her to make meaningful statements about what we are reading. 

Over the next few installments, I will be talking with her about the project, its goals, and the compromises which have to be made to make such a book possible in the first place. For a long time, both commercial and academic presses would allow scholarship on fan fiction but would not reproduce the stories themselves.  I admire Coppa and her publishers for the courage they showed in challenging those taboos.

Henry Jenkins:  You have edited the first anthology of fan fiction for use in the classroom. Can you share some of the factors that led you to believe that such a collection would be valuable or necessary? In particular, what are the limits or risks of faculty members sending their students to read fan fiction “in the wild”? What kinds of background would teachers and students need as they engage with fan fiction in the classroom?

Francesca Coppa:  The truth is, the first person who needed a fanfiction anthology was me!  While many students discover fandom on their own - some of my students already have AO3 accounts and are suitably impressed that I’m one of the founders - you can’t count on any group of students sharing a fandom even if they know what fandom is. I tried having students go off and find stories based on their interests, but--well, it takes some expertise to find a good piece of fanfiction if you’re new to it. And then, even if students find stories they like, they have no shared, common experience. So one of my reasons for doing the book was to put together a collection of accessible texts that we could all read together. I picked stories in mega-fandoms that were likely to be culturally relevant for some time. I was also looking for stories that showcased fannish tropes and that would teach well. I tested a lot of fic in my classes at Muhlenberg and also as the Visiting Professor of Television Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  One of the things that I learned was that if a story got too sexually explicit, then that was all the conversation would be about: we just couldn’t get past it. It was like, “I saw Harry Potter’s penis!”  Okay, yes, but what else was going on?  So while I was committed to putting sexually explicit fanfiction into the book (sex and sexual relationships are such important themes in fic) I also had to choose stories where the sex wouldn’t bring class to a grinding halt. 


HJ: The legal challenges of producing such a volume were considerable, given long-standing debates about the legal status of fan fiction in contemporary Intellectual Property law. Can you share some of the process that you went through and what insights this might have provided as to the current legal status of fanfic?


FC:  You and I had a conversation at the 2008 DIY Festival (actually captured on film) where I told you I’d learned that you could do quite a lot in fandom if you were willing to tolerate a little uncertainty. The Fanfiction Reader is the result of me being willing to tolerate that bit of uncertainty--well, me and my editor Mary Francis, and the wonderful University of Michigan Press, and all the fanfiction authors who were willing to trust me when I said that I wanted to put their stories into a book. I believed this book was needed: there are so many courses that want to talk about fanfiction: in fan studies, remix, media and transmedia, audience studies, film and television studies, adaptation. I also believe that fanfiction is a transformative fair use, and so legal to publish in certain contexts (and in this I’m backed up by the Stanford Fair Use Project, who reviewed the manuscript and committed to defending it in case of any legal challenge.)  But really, all kudos to the University of Michigan Press, because it’s institutions being willing to defend fair use - institutions and their lawyers - that makes the difference. There’s a chilling effect out there, a culture of fear. But as my colleague Rebecca Tushnet likes to say: fair use is a muscle that needs to be exercised. So I think this was worth doing on those grounds alone, and I hope other people will use this as a model of fair use in practice. You really can do a lot!


HJ: There are also political and ethical issues within fandom that shaped what stories to select and how to approach these authors. Share some of your thinking process about the best way to deal with these fan writers through this process.


FC:  I’m lucky that between my own years in fandom and my time on the board of the OTW I’ve come to know a lot of terrific fanfiction writers and I have some ground on which to approach those I don’t know personally-- I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck. I started by soliciting stories from writers who I knew would be on board ideologically with the project of publishing a curated, academic collection of fanfiction with a university press - writers who’d be willing to tolerate a bit of legal uncertainty with me. But after that, I just approached writers cold, because I’d read and liked their stories!  “Hi, you don’t know me, but…”  Incredible as it is to say, I didn’t have anyone turn me down. Actually, I drew a lot on the practical experience I gained when Laura Shapiro and I made the “What Is Vidding?”  documentaries with you and the MIT New Media Literacies lab a few years ago, so thank you for that. Dealing with pseudonyms and releases and all that was easy because I’d done it before; I’d thought through issues of fan privacy.

Francesca Coppa is Professor of English at Muhlenberg College and a founding member of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), the nonprofit which built and runs the Archive of Our Own. She writes in the fields of dramatic literature, performance studies, and fan studies, and is currently writing a book about fan music video. She is a passionate advocate of fair use.

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.

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.

Get More Chats With These Appealing Eye–Catchers

by Olga Kolodynska @ LiveChat

If you haven’t got a chance to have at least 10 chats on your website, you probably don’t realize how LiveChat works and how much it can do for you. It’s especially important during the trial period, when you have 30 days to decide if you want to buy a full version of our product.

But here’s the catch: your visitors might not be aware that you have LiveChat on your website.
If that’s the case, it’s worth showing your visitors that they’re actually just one click away from getting an immediate help. One of the best ways to do it is by using beautiful eye–catchers.

The post Get More Chats With These Appealing Eye–Catchers appeared first on LiveChat.

How to Discover and Measure Brand Associations - Brandwatch

How to Discover and Measure Brand Associations - 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

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.

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.

Mark Ritson: Opposing Trump means sacrificing sales for brand values - Marketing Week

Mark Ritson: Opposing Trump means sacrificing sales for brand values - Marketing Week

Marketing Week

American marketers have a dilemma: should they stand against Trump and alienate half their market, or stay impartial and weaken their brand values?

Brand value of the leading personal care brands worldwide 2017 | Statistic

Brand value of the leading personal care brands worldwide 2017 | Statistic


This statistic depicts the brand value of the leading personal care brands worldwide in 2017. In that year, the value of the Crest (Procter & Gamble) brand amounted to about 3.34 billion U.S. dollars.



Unilever UK & Ireland

Making a genuine difference

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.

Why Dove’s new Real Beauty bottle designs are a brand value lost in translation

Why Dove’s new Real Beauty bottle designs are a brand value lost in translation

The Drum

When Dove’s Real Beauty campaign first launched, it wrapped women everywhere in the feel-good factor and inspired them in a whole new way. We felt closer to the brand. We liked and trusted it for knowing us.

The Brands That Make Customers Feel Respected

The Brands That Make Customers Feel Respected

Harvard Business Review

REI leads the pack.

DOVE’s Brand Equity

DOVE’s Brand Equity

----Matt Brown----

A key part of DOVE’s success and where it differentiated itself from other personal care brands, increasing its brand equity, is the use of a different marketing approach when introducing the…

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.

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.

Dove Consumer Insights and Demographics |

Dove Consumer Insights and Demographics |

Dove consumers are generally very low income, African American, and adolescent age. Dove consumers are more likely to purchase Dove during larger pantry stocking trips. Brands such as TRESemme, Listerine, and Crest also tend to be purchased in the same trip. Sample consumer insights data below.

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.



Hindustan Unilever Limited website

Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.

Know Your Corporate Values—And Live Them | Appboy

Know Your Corporate Values—And Live Them | Appboy


Your brand's values are at the core of your success as a business. Learn how to use those principles to attract and retain customers.

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

Examining Gender Roles in the Context of Brand - Views - 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 marketers are stepping up to take control of media

by Thomas Hobbs @ Marketing Week

Media transparency has become a major issue, but brands including Pernod Ricard, O2 and B&Q are taking steps to ensure they have more control and a better understanding of where their spend is going.

The post How marketers are stepping up to take control of media appeared first on Marketing Week.

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.

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.



Unilever Australasia

In a world of stereotypes, Dove Skin, Hair and Deodorant products, recognise that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

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.



Unilever USA

Discover the dove® difference

The top 10 most meaningful brands in the world - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice

The top 10 most meaningful brands in the world - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice

Smart Insights

Making your brand promises matter"Move from differentiation to actually making a difference" Umair Haque, the director of the Havas Media Labs and Harvard. Marketing topic(s):Brand positioning, Campaign creative. Advice by Danyl Bosomworth.

Mark Di Somma: 5 Big Questions to Determine Your Brand’s Purpose

Mark Di Somma: 5 Big Questions to Determine Your Brand’s Purpose

Small Business Trends

It's an issue every entrepreneur faces at one point or another.Here’s the problem. You’re tr...



Unilever Singapore

Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.

Mission Minded Wins National Marketing Awards

by Rod Lemaire @ Mission Minded

Mission Minded won Gold and Silver Brilliance Awards this week for our work on Marin Academy’s Website and Drew School’s Admissions Video in a national competition hosted by InspirED School Marketers. We feel so lucky to have had the chance to lead the rebranding efforts for these two extraordinary schools. Each project was a joy […]

The post Mission Minded Wins National Marketing Awards appeared first on Mission Minded.

Unspreadable Media (Part Five): Back and Forth

Unspreadable Media (Part Five): Back and Forth

by Henry Jenkins @ Henry Jenkins


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

How Your Brand Can Deliver ‘The Good Life’ to Consumers in 2017

by Simon Mainwaring @ SIMON MAINWARING

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The post How Your Brand Can Deliver ‘The Good Life’ to Consumers in 2017 appeared first on SIMON MAINWARING.

Is the way you track conversions damaging your campaigns?

by Tina Desai @ Marketing Week

One of the biggest challenges in marketing over recent years has been tracking the value and efficacy of campaigns. Focusing on last-click conversions could be significantly damaging our marketing - but not in the way you think.

The post Is the way you track conversions damaging your campaigns? appeared first on Marketing Week.

Real Beauty? Measuring the Dove Marketing Program's Success

Real Beauty? Measuring the Dove Marketing Program's Success


More than 10 years after its debut, the Dove Real Beauty program remains a marketing icon and a source of controversy. What did it accomplish?

How beauty giant Dove went from empowering to patronising

How beauty giant Dove went from empowering to patronising

the Guardian

The £3bn toiletries brand was one of the first brands to embrace ‘femvertising’, but its body-shaped bottles have been roundly ridiculed. Can it repair the damage?

Disney shifts focus to put digital content at the heart of its brand partnerships

by Leonie Roderick @ Marketing Week

Disney is launching its own digital ad network as it looks to “monetise content that hasn’t been monetised in the past”.

The post Disney shifts focus to put digital content at the heart of its brand partnerships appeared first on Marketing Week.

CMO Today: Snap Map Location Ad Opportunities; Dove Pulls Breastfeeding Ad; Burger King’s ‘Edgy’ Strategy

CMO Today: Snap Map Location Ad Opportunities; Dove Pulls Breastfeeding Ad; Burger King’s ‘Edgy’ Strategy


Here's your morning roundup of the biggest marketing, advertising and media industry news and happenings.

Do Your Organization’s Values and Brand Intersect?

by Jennie Winton @ Mission Minded

Does your brand reflect your values? To be effective, it must. Though brand can be a confounding subject, in its simplest definition, brand is just another word for reputation. Your logo is not your brand. Your mission statement is not your brand, and neither is your name. Your brand is the set of ideas people […]

The post Do Your Organization’s Values and Brand Intersect? appeared first on Mission Minded.



Unilever Philippines

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

Lesson’s from Charlottesville on The Role of Brands In Cultural Leadership

by Simon Mainwaring @ SIMON MAINWARING

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The post Lesson’s from Charlottesville on The Role of Brands In Cultural Leadership appeared first on SIMON MAINWARING.

Science Fiction and the Civic Imagination: Whose Future Does Science Fiction Foretell (Part 3)

by Henry Jenkins @ Henry Jenkins

Samantha Close: So, thank you all so much for coming. This is really interesting. So, we’ve talked a lot about what we may call it primary texts and primary authors and originators. But one of the things that’s always interested me a lot about the science fiction and fantasy genres is the fandoms and the way that readers become writers and start to interact. And there’s been a lot of conversation in fandom recently about, you know, issues of what does it mean if you take a character and change their race, what does it mean, you know, to reimagine worlds this way, why is this something that hasn’t been done. If we can imagine alien biology, why not a character of a different skin color? And so, I was wondering about the fandoms around these kinds of works. Nalo: And what specifically about the fandoms are you wondering?

Sam: I guess, we talked a certain amount about this being kind of more underground and more, you know, artistically focused. And so, is that kind of more the mode of fandom where people are reading text and analyzing them or are people kind of transforming, is there interchange between the artists and with the writers and the readers?

Nalo: Some of them, some of them not. They’re not, as far as I have found a lot of people in fandom doing fan writing based in my work. I have found people doing illustrations. And that’s always cool to see how somebody else imagines your work. But it’s also a bit of a shock. What I like about fandom in the science fiction is the ways that it can -- they don’t have to have breaks. So, saying earlier that they can imagine stories into places that we might feel we might not want to or might not be able to get published or -- and when I first discovered what the term slash came from, which was a fan writing Kirk/Spock fiction where Kirk and Spock were lovers. It made so much sense, I almost stopped breathing. It was, oh my God, of course, I’ve never seen it that way. Of course, that’s what’s going on.

So, I value that. I have to say for myself there is also the reaction of often there isn’t the type of craft I would -- that I prefer.

I like the energy of the discussion that happens because they don’t have to deal with the kinds of considerations a published author does. I remember when the last Bordertown anthology came out, it’s a shared world anthology. The world is established and writers are invited to write stories in it. The creative board of talents specifically says, you can write fan fiction, listen, I have no problem with that, you’re not allowed to publish it. And finding a fan discussion board where they’re saying, well, why not, what’s the difference. The writers we’ve invited are writing fan fiction. And they’re getting paid for it.

William: I think the indigenous film and literature sci-fi genre is already so marginal that there’s not a lot, I think, that might be categorized exactly as fan fiction. But I think going back to the idea of imagining and the image, there’s a lot of parody through art. So, if anyone knows Bunky Echo-Hawk, he’s an incredible artist and he’s got a lot of takes on Star Wars. He has this image of Yoda which is titled “If Yoda was an Indian he’d be chief.”

He also engages Darth Vader as Custer, and the mustache works right with his mask. The imperials are the Americans, are the Europeans. So, he plays on that imagery to take it one step further than metaphor. And Walking the Clouds is just great compendium of lots of indigenous science fiction literature. It’s not fan fiction, it’s the canon.

And then there are some things that are parodies, like we watched earlier, the Star Blaks which is from the show Black Comedy in Australia, which is a parody of Star Trek. I think you have more fandom when there is a center to be marginal from.

Muhammad: There’s a lot of re-imaging of familiar western sci-fi. Many things like that are going on in the Muslim world. So, one that I would highly recommend is -- there’s a series of paintings by this Turkish artist, Murat Palta. He reimages a lot of western movies like Star Wars, Scarface, Inception, but done in the style of Persian or Ottoman miniature paintings. And those are really amazing. You should -- I highly recommend checking them out.

And also in Turkey, I’m not sure if that was intentional, but Turkey -- in the 1970s and 1980s, Turkey has this tradition of -- reimaging is, I guess reimaging not necessarily the right word, but they re-made some of the western movies like Star Trek and Star Trek, and they have this quality of it’s so bad that it’s good. Those are really interesting to watch.

More recently, there’s a -- they just came out just a few months ago. There’s a British-Pakistani artist who reimages Superman but the difference is that his pod lands in Pakistan instead of Kansas. And he actually takes, one could argue that Superman closer to his original looks as compared to what we have been seeing in Superman lately. So, for example, the one thing that -- it becomes a political commentary on the Pakistani society as a whole.

So, one thing that Superman -- this version of Superman does is that -- he does not actively use violence, for example. But during the drone attacks on Afgan-Pakistani border, he actively destroys those bombs which are going to hit civilians, for example. So, it becomes interesting commentary in its own right.

Audience 2: Yeah. I had a question actually for William. And it kind of jumps off a little with Professor Jenkins’ asking regarding the colonizing of genres. And it has to do with whether you could talk a little bit about the circulation of skills like production skills in one of your book that you’re working. And I was wondering about kind of the emergence not only of stories or scripts for the films that people are making but whether they are also envisioning kind of aesthetically a different way of telling them or whether they’re kind of like quality and patterns and it’s like western aesthetics or -- basically whether the idea of creating science fiction is also -- does it come with kind of like a visual kind of reimagining also of how to tell the stories or is it just --

William: Yeah. It’s a good question. This gets into my dissertations, which followed the social life of film projects in indigenous organizations in Australia. There were two outlets, one outwardly focused on production values and end products, and one by, for, and about remote Aboriginal communities.

And so, there’s a long answer. But to quickly answer, when people are making sci-fi films, they’re high budget productions. They usually come out of a Sundance or an imagineNATIVE initiative. But these are unsual and sleek productions. And so it’s not necessarily that people are making anything they want. It has to be discernibly science fiction, perhaps as utopian, dystopian, alien—recognizably in that genre even if it’s radically departing from it as well. So, in the sort of world of indigenous media, these are anomalies in that they’re highly funded and that’s a reason that most of them are very short.

These programs have been very successful in general. People who made these shorts tend to go on to make features, and not necessarily more sci-fi films. At the very least it’s a great career launch pad because people love sci-fi. And I think that they end up having the more freedom after they do these projects to make other media. I can’t think of anyone whose career hasn’t been significantly furthered after producing one of these sci-fi films.

Audience 3: I’m a film director. I just finished a feature-length animated film called Birds Like Us. And it’s inspired by a 11th century Persian poet Farid al-Din Mohammad 'Attar -- and the book that it’s based on is called Conference of the Birds. And I come from Bosnia, from Sarajevo. And I’m raised as a Muslim. I was also growing up in a multicultural society, multi-religious place. I actually had been exposed to all kinds of religions. And my actually first comic books was a comic version of The Bible.

And for me, growing up in a religious environment, I always have felt that the ultimate science fiction actually comes from the holy books where you have a creature who is reaching out to you and saying here I am, your all-seeing, omnipotent creator of everything, every living thing and you can be like me and this is how. And then, in these books, there are set examples of King Solomon who ruled everywhere and there are -- where I’m going with this, there is so much of inspiring fiction, and beyond physical evidence of ideas in the holy books, in religious writings.

But somehow we have the communities, the human mankind actually colonized the race color that -- and created actually these smaller parts while the higher idea is actually a very inspiring and moving form from -- between asking yourself what is actually science fiction and what’s the difference between the fiction, science fiction and the fantasy and all that. Well, it’s purpose is to inspire and move forward and explain, provide a better living inside of your senses, with your perception of the world.

And do you think that your role as writers and contributors to this vision, is it possible to set yourself free from the boundaries of being Islamic science fiction or Jamaican or native Aboriginal or -- can you maybe, I don’t know --

Nalo: I do have an answer and that’s that it does -- whatever we identify -- whatever particular cultural, ethnic or racial version of science which we’re interested in has no boundaries. It’s talking to things that we all care about. So, I don’t feel like I’m boundaried. I mean, I can write whatever I want and do. But I think it’s not as boundaried as you’re fearing that there’s -- I want so -- Sherman Alexie was at a literary event and somebody in the audience asked him if he ever felt limited. The wrong thing to ask Sherman Alexie. He blasted her. But his basic answer was any great story you can imagine is happening in my community, I can write it.

And that’s been useful for me to think about. So, no, I don’t feel that there is a boundary. I feel that there is this particular set of interest in philosophies and aesthetics, but it’s all over.

Muhammad: Right. And then to that I’ll add that -- continuing on same line of thought that there are certain modes of thoughts, philosophies, aspirations, fears that all human cultures and religions throughout space and time that they share. It’s just that in the concept one must include who indigenous people, are Muslims, are Christians, are atheists. It’s through their life experiences, their histories that that’s the metaphors that they use on their cultures to describe those ideas. So, that’s not necessarily the limiting factor. It just shows where they come from.

So, just may we take the example of Farid al-Din 'Attar’s Conference of the Birds. Although at one level it’s the cultural product of newly Islamized Persia, and the method to express was using metaphors. But that’s a product of its times but at the same time, it also speaks to universal human feelings of, for example, longing for the divine, for example, which regardless of whatever culture we are in, we can share and appreciate.

William: I think that radical assumptions provides a good definition for science fiction in this realm. I’m thinking of my own family not that many generations back, subjected to genocide in German gas chambers—radical assumptions are sometimes as simple as making it to the next year. It’s very relative and science fiction helps you define what radical is by giving the filmmaker the power to normalize things strategically.

But also, driving from the airport and seeing those Hollywood signs was exciting to me. It made me think about how there’s all of this money in Hollywood. There’s endless money and more that I can imagine. And while I like being on production teams with large projects, the biggest film anyone I ever worked on had a $100,000 budget, and that’s just a rounding error in Hollywood.

Yet, despite the endless money in Hollywood, somehow that can’t find a good script. They’re making the same movie a thousand times, with some notable exceptions. But in Aboriginal communities like the one I was working in, there are endless incredible stories to tell, though there’s very little funding.

It’s interesting just how different what the limited resource is in different places. And I think in a lot of Indigenous communities around the world, people have such complicated histories, and very difficult but incredible lives that it is no surprising just how many stories there are to tell. The problem is that there are not enough hours in the day because there’s so much. And while at the genre level there are sybolic boundaries, when people are making things on the ground, I don’t think that many worry about those boundaries and just follow the story.

Nalo: One more thing to add to that in that as somebody creating it, one of the things that science fiction fantasy teach you is if that place that you’re thinking you don’t dare to go, that’s where you should be going. So, if you think there’s a boundary there, what happens if you break it? And see what happens.

Henry: That’s a perfect note to end this session on. So, go on and break some boundaries.

Brand over-reach: Dove's 'Real Beauty' bottle shapes - Velocity Partners

Brand over-reach: Dove's 'Real Beauty' bottle shapes - Velocity Partners

Velocity Partners

The Internet has slammed the latest Dove Real Beauty idea: bottles with different 'body shapes'. But did they really get it so wrong? Or is branding changing?

Why Your Company Needs a Unique Value Proposition

by Justyna Polaczyk @ LiveChat

In the age of a tough online competition, one thing is sure: unless you stand out with an awesome offer or strong brand personality, you will blend in. To stand out, you need to give your customers reason to buy from you instead of a competitor.

Easier said than done, you might say.

Don’t worry, though. I’m going to tell you about one of the most important conversion factors that will help you to increase sales. That’s the one and only unique value proposition.

The post Why Your Company Needs a Unique Value Proposition appeared first on LiveChat.

5 Winning Spots from Cannes Lions 2017 That Master Purposeful Brand Storytelling

by Simon Mainwaring @ SIMON MAINWARING

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The post 5 Winning Spots from Cannes Lions 2017 That Master Purposeful Brand Storytelling appeared first on SIMON MAINWARING.

How Red Bull, Amex, and Dove Win by Proudly Branding Their Content — The Content Strategist

How Red Bull, Amex, and Dove Win by Proudly Branding Their Content — The Content Strategist

The Content Strategist

If Beyoncé worked in content marketing, she might sing, "If you liked it then you should have put your brand on it." As investment in content marketing grows rapidly, many brands are grappling with the question of how strongly they should brand their content.



Unilever Middle East

In a world of hype and stereotypes, Dove empowers women's esteem recognising that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and it's simply about how you feel.

Most Valuble Cosmetics Brands In The World

Most Valuble Cosmetics Brands In The World


Women have always been judged by their looks since time immemorial. The most beautiful women ended up marrying the most powerful men in ancient society i.e. Kings. Fast forward today, looks still take

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.



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. …

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.

Bringing Fan Fiction Into the Classroom: An Interview with Francesca Coppa (Part Two)

by Henry Jenkins @ Henry Jenkins

HJ: Your book is organized around specific fandoms but also around distinctive genres of fan fiction writing which cut across fandoms. The status of genres in fan fiction always interest me, since some would argue that genres are commercial categories and sometimes depicted as constraints on the creative process. What insights do you get into how and why genres persist in fandom as a result of your process of mapping the territory to be covered in this book?


FC:  Genres are fascinating, I agree! In the case of fandom, I think that genres are a way of naming the things we like and giving new fanfiction writers a structure for reproducing them. So a fan says, I like slash, I like het, I like long, plotty gen; I like bodyswaps; this story is an mpreg crackfic. That naming also helps us sort through the huge wash of fanfiction that’s produced. That said, the AO3’s tagging system has really put all this labelling onto a new level, moving beyond fannish genres to a really granular listing of storytelling ingredients. I’ve talked about AO3’s curated folksonomy with professional librarians and archivists, and Casey Fiesler did a fantastic paper on the AO3as “A Case Study of Feminist HCI and Values in Design,” which describes how our tagging prioritizes inclusivity and user control. In this era of triggers and warnings, fandom is again ahead of the curve: fans don’t just categorize by genre but also create elaborate content labels for fic both as a way of both attracting the readers who’ll want what’s on offer and warning away the ones who don’t (and the AO3 also provides options to conceal this information from those whose first preference is to be surprised.) Most of the genres in the book are well established: crossovers and 5 Things and racebending and a very meta Mary Sue. That said, I had a definite bias toward stories that incorporated multiple interpretations within themselves, so a teacher could draw out that contrast. If I got to do a Fanfiction Reader: Volume II, I’d love to do two or three long stories that have a lot of elaborate worldbuilding: those kinds of stories are sadly absent from this book.


HJ:You define fan fiction, in part, as “fiction produced outside the literary marketplace.” How is this aspect of the definition changing as more and more fan fiction writing women are going pro or at least being courted as potential Pro writers following the success of 50 Shades of Grey? Does the commercial interest have implications long term for fan fiction regardless of whether any particular writer does or does not want to stay outside the marketplace?


FC: Well, fans have always gone pro, and some fans have always already been pro. What’s new is that more people are willing to admit writing in both worlds. And what we’ve seen is that many working writers also write fic precisely because they want to keep making things outside the marketplace - because it’s fun!  Another new thing is the publication of original work that shares some of fanfiction’s literary values and aims to produce a similar range of emotions: I’m thinking about, say, C.S. Pacat’s Captive Prince trilogy (which are much better books than the 50 Shades books, IMO!) While Kindle Worlds was a scam that fans were rightfully wary of, Amazon’s self-publishing arm has let some fans sell their queer science fiction or werewolf erotica. Literary agents (many themselves fans) are soliciting work from their favorite fan writers. I think that’s all great; I’m 100 percent down with fans also writing for the marketplace if they want to, though realistically most things aren’t going to sell because most things just don’t sell.  


That said, I am not in favor of commercializing fanwork itself, whether through Kickstarter or Patreon or whatever; that’s the edge I fear, to be honest. I’m not against it for legal reasons - I think transformative works can be sold in certain contexts; witness this book! - but just because I think it’s bad for fannish art and bad for our culture. Money changes things and people make different things for money. Fandom is a place where people work together for love--but it’s different if at the end one person is cashing a check. It can poison relationships. Just to say: it was important to me with The Fanfiction Reader that all the stories remain online as they’ve always been, free to read. The authors didn’t get paid other than a trib copy; I didn’t get paid, either, and I’m donating the book’s royalties to OTW. So it’s a labor of love all around.


HJ: The term, “transformative use,” has really taken roots in fandom over the last decade or so, thanks in part to your work at the Organization for Transformative Works. There are some differences between the legal, academic, and grassroots understanding of this concept. But, at a core level, there’s some interesting friction between long-standing traditions within fandom which measure the value of a story based on how firmly grounded it is in the source text and a newer definition that stress what it changes or transforms as evidence of its creative contribution. How are fan writers today working through these competing pulls on their work?


FC:  Well, some fidelity to canon is important because that’s why we care: we read fanfiction because we have a pre-existing relationship to a story and its characters. But transformation is important because that’s the intervention that makes a fanfiction story worth reading: that’s how you fix things in the universe: alter and tailor and extend the story for your needs and those of your readers. So if you don’t recognize the characters, then it’s what slash fans call an “any two guys” story (which is the worst insult!) There’s no investment in the characters. But if you don’t transform the characters and the story, then you’re not satisfying your readers’ needs. You might as well just watch the original movie again, or go read a tie-in novel that colors within clear lines. Remarkably little fic actually replicates the source in terms of style or genre: like, go check out some Sherlock. Almost none of it has Sherlock solving mysteries! Captain America almost never fights supervillains or alien invaders. If you want that, go read a comic book: there’s plenty of that story out there already. We want to see Cap talk to Kim Kardashian at a party. Or  fight for workers’ rights.


HJ:  I have struggled a bit with your suggestion that “fan fiction is speculative fiction about characters rather than about the world.” For me, characters are part of how we define worlds, and conversely, for many fan writers, characters are defined in part by how they were shaped by the worlds they inhabit. Sure, we can write AU stories which move characters into different worlds, but these are as often as not about how these character’s lives and personalities would take different forms under different circumstances. Reactions?


FC:  Yes, I see what you mean; in some ways it’s a false distinction, in that worlds produce characters and characters produce worlds. For me, though, it’s like what happens in theatre, how a character becomes richer for being embodied by many different actors in different productions. We see something analogous with transmedia characters like Sherlock Holmes, who has been played by so many different people in so many settings. He’s been in World War II, contemporary London, Brooklyn, Harlem, he’s a mouse, he’s in the 22nd century, he’s a Muppet, he’s House--and yet he must still be Sherlock Holmes. The different worlds are typically interesting only to the extent to which they showcase and complicate the character; they’re not typically interesting in themselves, or innovative the way that speculative fiction worlds so often are. Sometimes fandom does invent interesting worlds, which often become tropes: I’m thinking of something like the A/B/O (Alpha/Beta/Omega) stories which invented an entirely new system of gender.  But then the fun is putting your favorite characters into that world and seeing who they are: so if it’s a Supernatural story, who’s the alpha, who’s the beta, who’s the omega?  But the characterization in fanfiction is almost always innovative; say what you like, you typically don’t see fanfiction characters outside of fanfiction. They’re still too unusual for prime time: queer or ace or pregnant or elves or socialists or winged or telepathic or werewolves or into bondage or what have you, even though in life, of course, real people are--all right, fine, not telepathic or winged or werewolves (mostly), but a lot more than the mass media lets us see.  (Even if you want to say that fanfiction characters are feminized, girly - in some undefinable way like girls - well, half the damn world is girls, so I say: bring it. It’s not the same old thing anyway.) And in fanfiction, our characters get even more interesting as we get deeper inside them, which we do because it’s prose and not a more external medium like film, television or theatre. We’re interested not just in a character’s actions and dialogue, but in their innermost thoughts and desires. That’s different than traditional speculative fiction, which tends to focus on confronting the external rules of a world rather than the endless internal landscape of the self. But fans are interested in subtle shadings of character and also in suggesting multiplicities and possibilities within the self. So there’s more than one kind of transformative work going on here, I think!


HJ: Real Person Slash was once one of the major taboos within fandom. Many had asked me not to mention the genre in Textual Poachers and I kept that trust. But now, it has become widespread and you even include an example in your collection. How do we account for this change? Are there any remaining taboos amongst fan fiction writers?


FC:  Yeah, the boat on Real Person Fic has pretty much sailed, at least for overtly performative celebrities: those who seem to be obviously telling a story about themselves through the entertainment media. It’s still not done to show that kind of work to the celebrities in question, though, and fans resent it when non-fans do it on talk shows to have a bit of a laugh at the celebrity’s (or fandom’s) expense. Right now we’re also having a flare up about darkfic, rapefic, and other genres that depict behaviors that everyone agrees are wrong in real life. Some fans tend to feel that any representation of rape, violence, child abuse etc. is wrong; others feel that writing (and even enjoying) these “problematic” genres can be a way of working through personal traumas; still others feel like you shouldn’t have to profess a history of abuse before writing or enjoying what are clearly fantasy scenarios. I’m anti-censorship and pro caveat lector, but I lived through Tipper Gore and the ‘80s and I don’t think sane people do terrible things because of Judas Priest or the Hydra Trash Party. The AO3 provides tools that help responsible people avoid seeing content that disturbs them. That said, this is an argument that probably has to come up in feminist circles at least once every couple of years, and it’s not a bad thing to have it, I guess, just as a moment of community reflection about speech and art and power and responsibility.

Francesca Coppa is Professor of English at Muhlenberg College and a founding member of the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), the nonprofit which built and runs the Archive of Our Own. She writes in the fields of dramatic literature, performance studies, and fan studies, and is currently writing a book about fan music video. She is a passionate advocate of fair use.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Lean Into Their Values

by Sarah Moore @ Mission Minded

In a time when so many nonprofits feel threatened, many companies and nonprofit organizations are doing an excellent job of putting their values at the forefront of their work. This type of brand behavior endears you to your stakeholders. It’s important to live your values when things are good. When the beliefs you hold dear […]

The post When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Lean Into Their Values appeared first on Mission Minded.

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.

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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.

Corona, Innocent and AEG on what it takes to launch a music festival

by Thomas Hobbs @ Marketing Week

As the Summer festival season comes to a close, Marketing Week asks marketers whether it’s worth the risk trying to create the next Glastonbury.

The post Corona, Innocent and AEG on what it takes to launch a music festival appeared first on Marketing Week.

How Brand Powers Your Employee Retention & Acquisition Prowess

by Sarah Moore @ Mission Minded

We’re fortunate to be working in a time of low unemployment. The challenge of this encouraging news is that employee retention and acquisition is on the minds of many nonprofits. We want to find – and keep – great employees. Have you thought about the role brand plays in this challenge? Smart nonprofits do. Employee Acquisition […]

The post How Brand Powers Your Employee Retention & Acquisition Prowess appeared first on Mission Minded.



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Make Your Brand Values Active!

by Julie Malmberg Grawe @ Mission Minded

Lukewarm, generic, uninspiring—these words should never describe your brand values. Yet, many nonprofit organizations continue to use solitary words as their values. It’s tempting to follow suit because, by definition, words like respect, transparent, and honest provide a solid foundation for your organization. Yet, solitary words as brand values often lack individuality and impact. They […]

The post Make Your Brand Values Active! appeared first on Mission Minded.

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Dove Go Fresh Pomegranate & Lemon Verbena Deodorant Spray 150 ml / 5 oz (6-Pack)
Dove Go Fresh Body Wash, Revitalize, Mandarin & Tiare Flower Scent, 16.9 Ounce / 500 Ml (Pack of 3)
Dove Weightless Moisturizers Smooth and Soft Anti-Frizz Cream, 4 Ounce (113g)
Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant, Original Clean, 1.7 Oz (Pack of 3)
Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant, Cool Essentials 1.7 Ounce, (Pack of 2)
6 Pack Dove Cotton Dry Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Spray 48 Hour Protection 150 Ml
Dove Go Fresh Restore Beauty Bars, Blue Fig and Orange Blossom Scent, 4.75 Oz (Pack of 12)
Dove Invs Sold Pwd Size 2.6z Dove Powder Invisible Solid Antiperspirant Deodorant
Dove Men + Care Antiperspirant & Deodorant, Cool Silver 2.70 oz (Pack of 4)
Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant, Clear Finish 2.6 oz, 4 Count
Dove Ultimate go fresh Cool Essentials Anti-perspirant/Deodorant, 2.6 Ounce (Pack of 4)
Dove Advanced Care Anti-Perspirant Deodorant, Revive 2.6 Oz (Pack of 3)
DVO2979401 - Moisturizing Gentle Hand Cleaner
Dove Original Spray Deodorant Anti Perspirant 150 Ml 5.07oz (Pack of 3)
Dove Men+Care Antiperspirant Deodorant, Sensitive Shield, 2.7 Ounce (Pack of 4)
Dove Hair Therapy Daily Moisture Conditioner, 40 Fl Oz
Dove Go Fresh Beauty Bar Soap, Cool Moisture, 6 Count
Dove Go Fresh Cucumber & Green Tea Deodorant 48h Spray 150 ml / 5 fl oz (6-Pack)
Dove go fresh Beauty Bar, Cucumber and Green Tea 4 oz, 6 Bar
Dove Deodorant 2.6 Ounce Adv Care Anti-Perspirant Sensitive (76ml) (3 Pack)
DOVE Winter Care Nourishing Body Wash 24-Ounce - 3-Pack
Dove Invisible Dry Anti White Marks Antiperspirant Deodorant, 150 Ml / 5 Oz (Pack of 6)
Dove Winter Care Beauty Bars - 14/4oz
Dove Men + Care Dry Spray Antiperspirant, Clean Comfort (Pack of 4)
Dove® Beauty Bath Shower Gel Indulging Cream 16.9 Oz / 500 Ml
Dove Men + Care Body + Face Bars Aqua Impact - 6 ct
Dove Go Fresh Cool Moisture Body Wash, Cucumber and Green Tea Pump 34 Ounce (Pack of 2)
3 Dove Nourishing and Restore Body Wash 500ml/19.9oz (3X 500ml/16.9oz, Purely pampering-Almond cream with hibiscus)
Dove Advanced Care Deodorants, Cool Essentials (2.6 oz., 3 pk.)
Dove Nutritive Solutions Daily Moisture, Shampoo and Conditioner Duo Set, 40 Ounce Pump Bottles
Dove Men + Care Body & Face Wash, Sensitive Shield 13.50 oz (Pack of 3)
Dove Go Fresh Revive Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Stick for Unisex, 2.6 Ounce
Dove Men + Care Extra Fresh Non-irritant Antiperspiration 5 Pack
Dove Invisible Dry Anti White Marks Anti-Perspirant Deoderant
(Duo Set) Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair, Shampoo & Conditioner, 12 Oz. bottles
Dove Men+Care Body and Face Wash, Clean Comfort 18 oz
Dove Damage Therapy Daily Moisture Shampoo, 2.8 Pound
Dove Men Care Non-Irritant Antiperspirant Deodorant, Extra Fresh - 2.7 Ounce (5 in Pack)
Dove Nutritive Therapy, Nourishing Oil Care, DUO Set Shampoo + Conditioner, 12 Ounce, 1 Each
Dove Men+Care Post Shave Balm, Hydrate+ 3.4 oz (Pack of 2)
Dove Beauty Bar, Pink 4 oz, 14 Bar
Dove Original Beauty Cream Bar White Soap 100 G / 3.5 Oz Bars (Pack of 12) by Dove
Dove Shave Gel Sensitive 7 oz. (Pack of 3)
Dove Cotton Soft Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Spray Dry 48 Hour Protection (Pack of 6) 150 Ml by Dove
Dove Clinical Protection Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Solid, Revive 1.70 oz(Pack of 2)
Dove Shampoo, Dryness & Itch Relief 12 oz
Dove Body Wash Deep Moisture 24 oz, Pack of 3
Dove Purely Pampering Body Wash, Coconut Milk (24 fl. oz., 3 pk.)
Dove go sleeveless Antiperspirant, Beauty Finish 2.6 oz, 2 Pack
Dove Beauty Bar, White 4 oz, 2 Bar
Dove Men + Care Revitalize Face Cream Lotion 1.69oz (Quantity 1)
Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner Set 12 Ounce
Sensitive Skin Unscented Moisturizing Cream Beauty Bar By Dove, 12 Count 4 Oz Each
Dove Beauty Bar, Sensitive Skin 4 oz, 6 bar
Dove Regenerative Nourishment Shampoo and Conditioner Set, 8.45 FL OZ each
Dove Purely Pampering Shea Butter Beauty Bar with Vanilla Scent Soap 3.5 Oz / 100 Gr (Pack of 12 Bars)
Dove Antiperspirant Deodorant, Powder 2.6 Ounce, (Pack of 6)
Dove Body Wash Deep Moisture 24 oz, Pack of 3
6 Cans of Dove Men+Care Invisible Dry 150ml Anti-Perspirant Anti-Transpirant Spray
Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant, Cool Essentials 1.7 oz
Dove Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash, 12 Ounce (2 Pack)
Dove Men+Care Body Wash, Extra Fresh 23.5 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Dove Men + Care Face Wash, Hydrate, 5 Oz (Pack of 3)
Dove Men+Care Body Wash, Extra Fresh 13.5 oz, Twin Pack
Dove Hs Srength/Shine Xho Size 7z Dove Hs Srength/Shine Xhold 7z
Dove Dry Shampoo Refresh and Care Volume and Fullness, 5 Ounces, 3 Pack
Dove Men+Care 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, Fresh and Clean 25.4 oz
Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Hypo-Allergenic Beauty Bar 4 oz, 2 ea (Pack of 2)
Dove Men + Care Body & Face Wash, Clean Comfort 13.50 oz ( Pack of 3)
Dove Men + Care Fortfying Shampoo+conditioner 2 in 1 32fl Oz
Dove Go Fresh Cucumber & Green Tea Scent, Antiperspirant & Deodorant Stick, 1.4 Oz / 40 Ml (Pack of 4)
Dove Body Wash, Sensitive Skin Pump, 34 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Dove Body Lotion, Cream Oil Intensive, 13.5 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Dove Damage Therapy Cool Moisture Shampoo (12 oz) and Conditioner (12 oz)
Dove Go Fresh Antiperspirant & Deodorant, Cool Essentials - 2.6 oz - 2 pk
Dove Go Fresh Antiperspirant Deodorant, Restore, 2.6 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Dove Men+Care Body and Face Bar, Deep Clean 4 oz, 6 Bar
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