Twitter on #GunControl

It’s no secret that gun control has been an on going conversation via social media. In fact, the controversial topic is no stranger to the spotlight on Twitter. According to Ritetag.com, in the past 24 hours, #GunControl has 71.59k potential views per hour  on Twitter. However, as far as engagements are concerned, both supporters and haters of gun control have used the Twitter hashtag.

Recent events, including the mass shootings in Chicago and the Planned Parenthood shooting, have influenced conversations about #GunControl. Twitter has served as a platform that has further distinguished advocates of harsher gun laws from people with views that oppose gun laws all together.

Those in favor of gun laws may post tweets and retweet articles that encourage Obama to take action towards passing stricter gun laws.

 

Some argue the laws are not the roots of the problem and instead the culture surrounding gun laws needs to change first. Some blame other issues such as mental health for recent acts of violence.

 

 

 

It is important to note that not everyone is as engaged in this conversation and/or do not favor any opinion in particular. The number of engagements on Twitter fluctuates and some are simply tired of hearing about it, especially during the holidays.

 

Violence has never been an acceptable response but many rule in favor of guns as a means of protection and some have gone as far as reporting stats from countries that have strict control policies. Their frustration can be seen in the language and sarcasm of their tweets. Examples can be found below.

 

Some just believe it’s their constitutional right to bear arms, as stated in the second amendment.

Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the current status of gun control in this country, Twitter seems to be an outlet for people to express themselves. Many go to Twitter to share their feelings of devastation from mass shootings to blaming the situation on poor gun control laws. Either way, I expect current events to change the discussion that is had using #Guncontrol.

 

#LetitRainn

[pin_widget url=”https://www.pinterest.com/pin/83668505554995938/”]

 

Objective:

My objective is to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses by creating content that could potentially go viral. I want to create an evergreen space for sexual assault related content to live. Hopefully, these stories will also raise awareness on the severity of the issue.

Content Strategy:

The power of social media is unsurpassable given campaigns have the potential to significantly alter societal views more than any other medium. While mass media are intended to reach a large audience, not all content reaches the same amount of people. In fact, many wonder what factors influence a post’s level of engagement. Some theories argue that a post should elicit some kind of emotion or response from the consumer and I agree. Content plays a big role in the longevity of a post.

I wanted to create a campaign that sparked a conversation for change on a very sensitive topic, sexual assault. I found that 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college and 80% of victims are under 30 years old. I targeted my campaign to this demographic in the form of an infographic to allow viewers to visualize the statistic. I also challenge people to dwell on these sad times to make a difference by sharing the content. I think a viral campaign could only benefit the movement and assist existing players in fighting to end sexual assault.

I also did not want to exclude anyone that was affected by sexual assault, so I chose to use an image including five stick figures that have no specific gender qualities. While the campaign is geared towards women, the problem affects everyone and hopefully, being inclusive will lead to more engagement from males. In the comments section of the pin, I encourage the sharing of comments, questions, and/or stories in a picture or video using the hashtag #LetitRainn.

R.A.I.N.N. is an acronym for Rape Abuse & Incest National Network, the largest sexual assault organization in the nation. I thought it would be a good idea to start a campaign supporting a pressing issue and great organization that people might already be familiar with. Their following will allow the campaign to compete with the #ItsOnUs campaign that’s trending on campus. I also thought that if they endorsed the hashtag, the chances of the content going viral would increase simultaneously with its shelf life.

I incorporated the idea of rain into the image by inserting a raindrop over the white figure. Rain often provides relief in extreme weather conditions and the campaign is intended to do something similar. In addition, I’ve seen numerous infograms but I’m hoping that the subtle difference will catch people’s eye and encourage more engagement. The creativity of the campaign could attract consumers.

In the past, campaigns that had a similar strategy were successful. For example, the Ice Bucket Challenge that raised awareness about ALS, a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, reached millions of people. The originators at the ALS Association marketed their message as a challenge for participants to record themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their head and nominating others to do the same. The campaign was effective because it asked people to do something unusual for a good cause. It urged viewers to participate in a creative way during the warmer months of the year. I think it is safe to say they would not have gotten the same response if they introduced the campaign in the winter. I hope that society will respond just as well to my campaign, given both campaigns prompt a call to action in support of a good cause.

Extra, Extra! Read All About It

Have you ever heard the saying, “There’s three sides to every story: your side, my side, and the truth”? Well I’m here to tell my side of the story by sharing tips I’ve learned that will make readers feel more inclined to finish reading your story. I think there’s a method to every successful writer’s madness and while every writer may add a personal spin to it, there’s a replicable template for writing a good story.

Writers come in a variety of capacities but their overall goal is the same, to write a good story. A common misconception is that content is the only factor that goes into writing a good story, but that’s only half the battle. For example, a good story can be written on any genre and still leave an affect on a reader that has no interest in the topic. But if no one decides to indulge in your piece, how can they think it’s a good story? A challenge writers face when they release their story to the public is creating something people want to read at first glance. In order to write a good story, one must develop the presentation, in addition to, the content of the message.

Starting With The Title

Everyone judges a book by the cover so the title should be short and sweet. You’ve got a few seconds to grab the attention of a reader that’s scrolling through their news feed or strolling through the bookstore. It is important to remember your masterpiece is competing with ads, other promotions, and essentially everyone else’s masterpiece. You also want a title that’s easy to remember for people that want to learn more about your piece. Also, incorporating colors that complement the theme won’t hurt either. Any detail that readers can associate with the story creates an opportunity for publicity and any press is good press for an aspiring writer. An example can be found below:

Blossom. From The Inside Out

A wise person once said “time is money” and who ever he/she is couldn’t be more accurate. No one wants to waste time or money, so make every word count. Be concise, assertive, and efficient.

Start by making an outline. Readers can tell when there is no coherent thought pattern. It is natural for ideas to initially be scattered but regardless of the quality of your writing, it maybe frustrating for readers to keep up. No one likes to be confused. Furthermore, it is beneficial for writers to gain trust from the reader and if you seem like you know your stuff, you’ll automatically be more persuasive and credible. The reader shouldn’t be able to foresee the end but writers should already have a plan in order to affective execute it.

Religiously Break the Rules

Innovative ideas are the first ones to be recognized. A reader is more likely to be interested in something they haven’t seen a million times before. Traditional formats and styles can make a reader lose interest.

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Throw a Curve Ball, They’ll Catch It

One way to keep readers interested is by adding a plot twist or something that readers did not see coming. In fact, when writers think outside the box and write about things that are controversial or rarely spoken about, readers love it! The suspense could be incentive enough for her/him to keep reading until the end. Lastly, in the event the reader gets to the end, make sure its a good one. Make them cry, make them laugh, make them remember.

Ultimately, once you’ve implemented all of the strategies I suggested, pay attention to the response you get. In this generation, we have access to so many media channels and to ignore that resource would be asinine. Social media can quickly relay one’s work to a mass audience. It also provides a platform for people to respond and tell you the reasons your work doesn’t go viral, useful information for future reference.

 

 

 

 

When ‘Real Strength’ Meets ‘Real Beauty’

Dove, Unilever’s personal care brand, is no stranger to starting conversations about social issues. In fact, this past year, Dove launched their “Real Strength” campaign around the 2015 Super Bowl, releasing several ads that ignited change in the way the media portrays masculinity. The Dove+ Men Care campaign piggy-backed off of the company’s “Real Beauty” campaign that turned 10 years old in 2014, which increased revenues from 2.5 billion to 4 billions according to Ad Age and still has an influence on society today. I knew that the ‘Real Strength’ campaign was making waves once it reached me, a less frequent user of social media in comparison to my fellow millennials and someone that rarely watches television. I think it’s fair to say that is it very difficult to escape the media in this day and age and Dove’s campaign’s can make women and men of all ages attest to that given the huge impact their brand has made. So, I think it’s worth discussing how Dove has gotten everyone talking.

When the “Real Beauty” campaign was starting it was intended to revamp the brand and prevent them from being overshadowed by competitors. However, once Dove identified a huge problem regarding female body image, they wanted to help and profits were a secondary concern. Now, ten years later, Unilever’s new business plan is being developed to grow both their company and community. They aspire to make a positive social impact while increasing their sales and lowering their environmental footprint. In this case, Dove has set out to eventually eliminate the discrepancy between the media’s view of masculinity and how men around the world perceive it. According to PR Newswire, studies show that 86% of men think traditional stereotypes surrounding masculinity have evolved but that is not properly represented in the media. Dove uses #RealStrength to celebrate men but also raises awareness about this issue and makes a profit.

First, for those that did not get the opportunity to view one of the videos from the campaign, here you go: #RealStrength

Timing is Everything

There are so many reasons why Dove’s campaign was influential but I think a few had the biggest impact. Choosing to make a video versus only placing print ads definitely benefitted them. The ad’s content elicited an emotional response from the audience, something a picture alone could not do.

Also, the location and release date gave the brand a strategic advantage. Releasing a video celebrating caring fathers on Father’s Day subtly promoted their brand and associated positive connotations such as strength to embracing that role, which I thought was very appropriate. The nature of the holiday invites people to post on social media in honor of male figures in their lives; the video shares real life moments and reactions between father’s that many can resonate with and that allowed the company to maximize it’s impact by catapulting their message into a conversation that was already trending on social media.

In addition, a shorter 30-second commercial was aired during the Super Bowl, an event that has record-breaking viewers each year. I know some people that never watch football and still tune in for the halftime show and the commercials. But I also know a lot of men that do not usually watch football but still make an assertive effort to watch the Super Bowl. Securing a spot during the Super Bowl was an efficient way to reach a large audience, specifically men and sports fans.

Dove Gets to Know Its Consumers

Overall, I think one of the challenges Dove faced was identifying the problems in society and assessing their severity. Prior to the ‘Real Beauty’ campaign, Dove hired a company to learn more about what women care about. The study showed that only 2% of the women they interviewed considered themselves beautiful. Body image was clearly something that needed to be addressed and shortly after, Dove found a way to do just that. It started with posting similar ads to the one below to billboards. http://www.wpp.com/wppedcream/2007/images/thumbs/media_0019.jpg

Although Dove got some negative feedback at first, they were still the only mainstream advertiser having this conversation at the time. Their dedication to the project showed through their partnerships and on going studies. Once they gained the trust of many women, their videos went viral, sales increased rapidly, and change was in effect.

The ‘Real Strength’ campaign took a similar approach to identifying the problem. Dove partnered with expert Dr. Michael Kimmel to conduct global studies to get a better understanding of the discrepancies between the views of the media and the views of real people. They found that:

– 86% of men say that the idea of masculinity has changed versus their father’s generation

– 9 out of 10 men today see their caring side as a sign of strength.

– Only 7% of men around the world can relate to the way the media depicts masculinity.

– According to the new Dove Men+Care ‘Care Makes a Man Stronger’ study, 91% of men feel that they need to take care of themselves in order to be able to take care of others.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dove-mencare-launches-real-strength-campaign-on-sports-biggest-stage-to-celebrate-the-caring-side-of-modern-men-300022814.html

 

These findings led Dove to create the Dove+Men Care line and the ‘Real Strength’ campaign. Conducting research allowed Dove to identify opportunities for growth in their products and start initiatives to compete with other brands.

Social Media, with a twist

Another strategy that attributed to the campaign’s widespread response was the use of social media. At the end of the ‘Real Strength’ ad, Dove tagged the hashtag #RealStrength to encourage conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Dove’s presence on social media encouraged consumer involvement on various platforms and channels that never had to end. It’s also a place to continue to promote positivity like in the tweet below:

Take that as a lesson learned:

Through their campaigns, Unilever recognizes they have established a huge fan base because people support brands that want to help. Now, it is becoming more common for brands to make campaigns that focus on social change.

I could not find any backlash from the ‘Real Strength’ campaign and it was very nice to see so much positivity on their twitter page. Also, sales increased for the company but it is unclear if they are reducing their environmental footprint. I think it’s important to have conversations about controversial issues; it’s the most direct way to address the elephant in the room.

 

 

 

Catch Me If You Can!

If you’re from a big city like I am, you’ve seen it all when it comes to advertisements. I’ve seen ads above the door and windows while riding the Subway, in between turnstiles on the subway, plastered across the walls in the subway stations, and on the outside of the train cars…on the subway. Needless to say, I’m from Brooklyn, New York, where ads are plastered anywhere they can fit. Even coming above ground, one may notice that a telephone booth’s sole purpose has evolved to communicate between advertisers and consumers via advertisements.

NHere’s an example of Times Square 42nd street in New York City, where the ads can look like decorations if you don’t pay close attention to who sponsored them. There are a few ads that catch my attention here like the Polo ad and the Coco Cola ad but that’s definitely not coincidental.

While many people do not usually see these many ads at one time throughout their day, they definitely see a comparable amount. It doesn’t help that as of 2015, the average attention span of a human is .75 seconds shorter than that of a gold fish, making it that much harder for advertisers to catch our attention. As a result, the advertising industry has grown increasingly competitive to the extent that advertisers would go through great lengths to capture the attention of their audience. The obvious answer to make a product more memorable would be to run or post the ad more frequently. However, most advertisers try to capture the audience’s attention both quickly and efficiently. Based on my experiences and research here are some important qualities an ad must have to do so:

1. Make it memorable. Companies want the consumer to not only remember their ad but to remember their product as well. Research shows that consumer decisions are based on memory and you are more likely to purchase the product if you remember their ad. Therefore, advertisers try to capitalize on social identity by using characters or slogans that resonate with the largest audience possible. Often celebrities become the face of a brand because if your favorite athlete uses the company’s product then maybe you will want to as well. Identity linked promotions are another ploy to target an audience and reinforce a concept to make it more memorable. For example, Babies R Us might advertise a promotion where “New Moms get 10% off”. New moms would be more inclined to remember the deal and buy something. The more a consumer sees the ad, the more likely they will remember; targeting a demographic is a more cost effective method that running the commercial more times.
2. Be innovative. Trying something that no one has done before is another way to interest potential clients. This method can easily go hand-in-hand with the “make it memorable” technique and is useful to companies regardless of the lifespan of their product or company. For example, Old Spice is a 75-year-old company and in an attempt to refurbish the brand, they released the “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign in 2010, which featured a former NFL wide receiver. To jog your memory, this screenshot is from the ad:

They also filmed 180 response videos and posted them to social media cites, including Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. The video went viral and Old Spice became the number one selling brand of body wash for men in the U.S. Their social media presence formed a bond between the brand and their customers and created customer loyalty. Their innovative idea was to encourage participation on social media channels and their results left the brand back on top.

3. Make sure your point is clear and concise. I know that if I see an ad with too much writing, I won’t even give it a second look. Usually catchy slogans or sales pitches are used to grasp the reader’s attention. Advertisers have to be cautious about which slogan they use because a catchy slogan can stick with a brand and impact their reputation. I remember when subway came out with the “5 dollar foot-long” commercial, everyone was singing it and shortly after I had my first subway sandwich, a foot-long. Coming up with the next catchy jingle could bring the company a lot of new business.

4. Color vs. black and white. Personally, a colorful ad is more likely to catch my attention than one that is black and white. But according to a study conducted at Ohio State University, color can also distract consumers from thinking about price and functionality and more on the details of the ad or immediate details like the physical product packaging. Also, using darker colors as opposed to bright colors has an emotional effect on the consumer as well. Typically, brighter colors are associated with happiness and joy while darker colors are coupled with pessimistic feelings. If you attribute positive feelings to a product, you’d probably get it over a product that made you feel sad. Scientifically, the rods in our eyes out number the cones by 20 to 1 and when the cones don’t get enough light like at night, they rely on our rods to see what’s happening, which see in black and white. Therefore, it is harder for people to distinguish shapes in black and white. So, visuals are just as important as content.

5. Small details can make a big difference. I will always appreciate a humorous ad but I think the little details could have the same effect. A new new study conducted by a University of Delaware marketing professor Stewart Shapiro in the Journal of Consumer Research proves that advertisers do not need to come up with a catchy slogan and a company does not need to invest in filming a new commercial with the hopes that goes viral to spark the interest of consumers. Instead, the study argues that by slightly changing an ad that appears many times, the brain has to use more energy to process it, increasing the probability that the consumer will remember it. This change can be as subtle as switching a logo from one corner of the ad to the other. Small detail alterations can capture consumers’ attention while saving the company resources.
Tag: NHsmc Blog Post 1

Sources:
[1] http://blog.crazyegg.com/2014/03/04/attention-grabbers/
[2] http://phys.org/news/2012-12-attention-small-ads.html
[3] http://phys.org/news/2015-03-shiny-images-consumers.html
[4] http://www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics/
[5] http://www.inc.com/joshua-conran/how-to-grab-your-target-s-attention-in-8-seconds-or-less.html
[6] Dalton, Amy N., and Li Huang. 2013. Motivated forgetting in response to social
identity threat. J. Consumer Research. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/674198