Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts

22 May 2021

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]

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Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism (Screengrab)
Zalando launches its new campaign 'Activists of Optimism' celebrating people who are igniting positivity. Following a year of global lockdowns and restrictions, the campaign aims to celebrate and spread optimism through the simple act of making people smile.
Launching on May 23rd across all Zalando markets, the 'Activists of Optimism' campaign is giving people a stage to free their feelings, embrace positivity and spread joy. It is made up of 22 videos of positive action takers, all created as 15 second social shorts, which have then been woven together into a vibrant TV commercial. 

Accompanying the campaign video are a series of still images of European creators who represent positivity in their own unique way. Individually shot by Spanish-based photographer Jorde Perez Ortiz, each image is overlaid with the bold statement: 'Activists of Optimism'. Cast on social media, 11 positive activists including Dutch influencer and model Rianne Meijer and French dancer, Salif Gueye, known for their optimistic content creation, bring the campaign to life.

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
London-based musician, CKTRL for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz
The campaign launch will be supported by a 360° marketing initiative - the 'Festival Of Optimism', which will be a series of events and pop-up moments across Europe designed to inspire people to smile, dance and sing, culminating in a virtual celebration of togetherness on June 21st, the longest day of the year.
"After a year of lockdowns, for our 2021 summer campaign, we wanted to celebrate the season of hope and optimism by making people smile and provide them with a stage to express optimism freely", Ralph Rijks, Zalando's Vice President of Global Marketing comments, "We define activist of optimism through people who bring joy to others and themselves - whether it is a song, a dance, or an innovative makeup tutorial on Tik Tok, it is these small optimistic acts that connect us and spread joy. The campaign brings to life our 2021 overarching narrative of turning optimism into positive action (for yourself and others) through the joy of living life."
Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
French artist and creative, Juliette Marsault for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz.
The casting of the 11 'Activists of Optimism' was done entirely through social media, focused on the creators' content and activities that portrayed the campaign message, with the reach and size of the creator's social media platform being secondary. The film features positive and talented creators including dancer, Salif Gueye who is renowned for his upbeat dance style performed on the streets of Paris; Dutch influencer and model, Rianne Meijer who is known for her authentic body confident images on social media; and model and author, Naomi Shimanda who embraces positivity through fashion.

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
TikTok twins, Sash and Lala for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz.
The upbeat full length TVC is shot by London-based director, Lucy Luscombe, who has recently been included in Dazed's top 100 global creatives and set to the song, Show Me Love by Robin S. The campaign will be brought to life across numerous formats: from stills photography by Jorge Perez Ortiz, DOOH, owned social channels by the diverse cast of this campaign, 'positive listening' adverts on Spotify, and wild postering and colourful murals across key markets. The 360° campaign was created in collaboration with creative agency Kolle Rebbe.

  • All images have been shot in accordance with government guidelines on COVID-19, specific to each country at the time of capture. All safety measures were put in place on all shoot locations throughout the world to ensure every single person featured was respecting COVID safety measures.

The Video:

About Zalando:

Zalando is Europe's leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle. Founded in Berlin in 2008, we bring head-to-toe fashion to about 42 million active customers in 17 markets, offering clothing, footwear, accessories, and beauty. The assortment of international brands ranges from world famous names to local labels. Our platform is a one-stop fashion destination for inspiration, innovation, and interaction. As Europe's most fashionable tech company, we work hard to find digital solutions for every aspect of the fashion journey: for our customers, partners and every valuable player in the Zalando story. Our vision is to be the Starting Point for Fashion and a sustainable platform with a net-positive impact for people and the planet.

About Kolle Rebbe:

For over 25 years, Kolle Rebbe has been one of the most creative communication agencies in Germany, where strategists, creatives and specialists from all disciplines develop integrated communication solutions across media and country borders. 280 people from 20 nations also invent original products and support start-ups in the middle of Hamburg's iconic Speicherstadt. Kolle Rebbe is part of Accenture Interactive, the largest digital agency in the world, since 2018.

About Lucy Luscombe:

Born in London, Lucy studied at Central St Martins before quickly establishing herself as one to watch. Lucy has received a number of high profile accolades including Underwire's Outstanding Talent; BFI Future Film Award, UK Music Video Award nominations for her work with John Grant, Darkstar and Tiny Carriages in addition to being included in Dazed and Confused's top 100 global creatives

About Jorde Perez Ortiz:

Spain based Jorge Perez Ortiz is a fashion photographer. His work takes inspiration from everything that surrounds him. Issues such as gender, fashion as identity of human or the contrast of tradition and fashion is reflected in his photographs which explore a new language to show fashion. His use of bright sunlight and deep blue skies match perfectly with the Zalando 2021 summer campaign.

  • Jorge's recent work includes works for Lacoste, Nike, Loewe, Bershka and Mango.
SOURCE: Zalando

13 May 2021

Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It

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Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It (image via nielsen.com)
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian American community has experienced a 145% increase in hate crimes; with incidents ranging from verbal harassment to deadly assaults. Despite widespread condemnation of these acts, Nielsen's newly published Asian American Diverse Intelligence Series report, Hope And Action, found that anti-Asian hate speech online actually increased in the beginning of this year. And while many major U.S. brands have taken action to combat racism targeting Asian Americans, some of these same companies are also unintentionally funding online hate speech through their advertising. 

  • From January - March 2021, $153 million was spent on digital ads on U.S.-based URLs that have published content with anti-Asian rhetoric. The top ad categories monetizing this hate speech included TV stations and networks ($29.7 million ad spend), department stores ($6 million), apparel ($4.1 million), miscellaneous retail ($3.9 million), travel ($629K), and arms and ammunition ($122K).
The Nielsen study, which incorporated the use of artificial intelligence, found more than 250 ad campaigns appearing on 1,280 website URLs that featured the use of racist terminology and conspiracies related to coronavirus origins, Asians and China. Once the offensive content was isolated, over 5,000 ad occurrences were identified. 

  • Ad campaigns from a dozen Fortune 500 companies and at least 66 brands were found adjacent to content that included anti-Asian hate speech.

Ad-supported anti-Asian hate speech in digital content:

From news reporting to op-eds, incendiary terms (e.g., "China virus," "Wuhan plague") and subjective language connecting blame for the pandemic to Chinese and Asian people has been pervasive across digital content. 

Nielsen also found that certain key words and phrases have actually increased this year as the U.S. approached the one year anniversary of national lockdown orders in March. News sites that published articles flagged as including anti-Asian hate speech were visited by 38.1 million people during Q1 2021.

  • Nearly one-third of the hate speech in March 2021 came from one site. This one domain collected in excess of $100,000 in digital ad revenue from three top advertising categories: department stores, miscellaneous organization and apparel, footwear and accessory stores.

What brands can do right now:

Nielsen's findings highlight an opportunity for brands to take action against funding hate speech online. Companies and their advertising partners are urged to be in constant review as language emerges that is harmful to the Asian American community — and to their brand. 

  • Additionally, ad servers must consider how changes in rhetoric can be reflected in their algorithms.
"As consumers are demanding more from brands and businesses, corporate social responsibility is now about brand safety," said Jay Dennis, Nielsen EVP, Advertisers and Industries. "Nielsen is excited to bring new products and metrics to marketers so that brands can make better decisions to support content that is inclusive and representative, and to avoid placing content adjacent to hate speech."
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It (image via nielsen.com)

About the Asian American community:

With a population of 18.9 million, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the United States. Since 2000, the Asian American population has increased in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of anti-Asian hate crimes has surged 145% nationally (2020 vs. 2019), according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism

  • These incidents have also risen to alarming rates in such cities as: New York (833%), Philadelphia (200%), Cleveland (200%), San Jose (150%), Boston (133%) and Los Angeles (114%).
"In this evolving digital media landscape and as consumers demand more accountability, brands need to be increasingly diligent about the kinds of platforms their ads appear on and the types of content they support; whether it's directly or inadvertently," stated Patricia Ratulangi, Nielsen VP, Global Communications, Diversity Equity & Inclusion. "Companies need to ensure their advertising dollars aren't fueling anti-Asian sentiment online, which puts Asian American communities at risk."
"Corporate accountability is more essential than ever to Asian Americans," said Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. "While it's certainly not easy, brands will need to take a more conscientious approach towards their digital advertising spending if they want to truly stand with this community. The connection between online hate speech and hate crimes in real life is undeniable."
SOURCE: Nielsen

5 May 2021

P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]

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P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]
P&G and Lazada Empowers Women To Feel More Confident Together in their #RealDeal campaign
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) has launched a new #RealDeal campaign with Lazada, Southeast Asia's leading e-commerce platform to raise awareness around Imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome
is the feeling of inadequacy despite's one capabilities. According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, up to 82% of the general population experiences imposter syndrome in different periods of their lives. 

Statistics from the 2019 Imposter Syndrome Study (Josa, 2019. Ditching Imposter Syndrome. Beyond Alchemy Publishing, United Kingdom), also shared that 1 out of 2 women experience imposter syndrome on a daily or regular basis, attesting to the fact that women often doubt their own abilities through feelings of fraud and belittlement of their own experiences and expertise.

P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]
P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada (Screengrab)
Dr Lim Boon Leng, Psychiatrist from Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness shared that, "Imposter Syndrome should be taken seriously. Women who experience imposter syndrome need to come to the realization that people value their expertise, and they can focus on growing through the process. Additionally, they can speak to someone they trust to help them realise that their fears are unfounded."
  • Although imposter syndrome is prevalent in our society, it is less talked about in Asia. This campaign aims to shed light on this through a short film  telling the real life story of Singaporean entrepreneur, Ms Yeo Wan Qing, founder of social enterprise Hatch, who overcame imposter syndrome by being open to those around her about the struggles she was facing.
Alexandra Vogler, P&G e-commerce Senior Director, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said, "P&G is deeply committed to equality and inclusion. Through this campaign, we want to bring to light the inner struggles that go unnoticed among women experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Through this short film, we hope to inspire people to start conversations about Imposter Syndrome, and support one another in overcoming it."
  • Beyond the film, the campaign will also come to life on Lazada across five Southeast Asian markets including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam in May and June, with a wide range of exclusive offers on P&G products such as Olay, Pantene and Oral-B celebrating female shoppers

9 April 2021

Finding Her Voice: New Documentary Sees Danielle (Nolli) Waterman Speak out on Gender Equality in Sport and Her Experience of Online Abuse [Video Included]

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Finding Her Voice: New Documentary Sees Danielle (Nolli) Waterman Speak out on Gender Equality in Sport and Her Experience of Online Abuse [Video Included]
HSBC, title partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, releases its latest sports documentary, Finding Her Voice, with Danielle Waterman
HSBC, title partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, releases its latest sports documentary, Finding Her Voice. This film captures the reality of being a female in the sports industry. Danielle 'Nolli' Waterman is arguably one of rugby's greatest ever fullbacks, a former world champion and a pioneer of the women's game.
  • In the documentary, Nolli speaks about her experience of swapping a rugby ball for a microphone to forge a new career in the world of sports commentary. Nolli takes us on an emotional journey, sharing the highs and lows of being a woman working in sports media.
Nolli said: "When HSBC first asked me if they could share my story in a documentary, I never imagined that they would invest so much time and energy in creating something so awesome. It was quite emotional watching the final edit for the first time and although it was a little overwhelming, it has been a real privilege to tell my story and be open about the highs and lows I have experienced along the way.

When people ask what should be done to improve the opportunities for women in sport, for me it's things like this documentary. It provides the opportunity to help bust myths and begin to change the narrative of what is possible
."
Finding Her Voice: New Documentary Sees Danielle (Nolli) Waterman Speak out on Gender Equality in Sport and Her Experience of Online Abuse [Video Included]
HSBC, title partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, releases its latest sports documentary, Finding Her Voice, with Danielle Waterman
HSBC has been a partner of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series for over 10 years and in that time, has been committed to driving meaningful change across the series, playing a crucial role in the coming together of the men's and women's series to position rugby sevens as a leader in gender equality in sport. The global rugby grassroots programme has opened up opportunities for tens of thousands of girls to pick up a rugby ball and play the game, often for the very first time.
Jonathan Castleman, Group Head of HSBC Brand and Brand Partnerships commented: "Opportunities should be available to everyone, regardless of gender, race or background. This remains at the very heart of our business and we're proud to be able to help Nolli tell her story. Like Nolli, our ambition through our partnerships is to inspire the next generation of girls and women to believe they can follow in her footsteps, and we remain committed to supporting a greater voice for women in sport to help drive positive change."
The documentary was produced by female sports journalist and producer Laura-Jane (LJ) Jones, CEO of Blonde Ambition Media. LJ commented: "I truly believe the themes and topics in the documentary will resonate with so many women, and the balance with which Nolli delivers it will only help to educate as well."

Finding Her Voice - The Video:

The film was produced for HSBC by the Sports department at H+K Strategies, one of the UK's leading Public Relations agencies and Blonde Ambition Media.
  • To learn more, follow @HSBC_Sport on Twitter and Instagram and HSBC Sport on Facebook.
SOURCE: HSBC

15 March 2021

It's Official: Katy Perry and NCT Dream Will Headline Lazada's 9th Birthday Celebrations!

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It's Official: Katy Perry and NCT Dream Will Headline Lazada's 9th Birthday Celebrations!
Tune in to LazLive on 26 March to catch Katy Perry and many more celebrity guests from across Asia during Lazada’s 9th Birthday Super Party!
Southeast Asia's leading eCommerce platform Lazada today unveiled a star-studded lineup for its Lazada Super Party, a virtual concert slated to be simulcast across six countries on 26 March to kick off its ninth anniversary celebrations.
Global award-winning singer-songwriter Katy Perry and NCT Dream, Korea's number one youth boy band, are set to headline this year's Shoppertainment-packed Lazada Super Party concert, sharing the stage with top celebrities in Southeast Asia. 

It's Official: Katy Perry and NCT Dream Will Headline Lazada's 9th Birthday Celebrations!
Tune in to LazLive on 26 March to catch NCT Dream and many more celebrity guests from across Asia during Lazada’s 9th Birthday Super Party!
  • These fun and exciting performances will accompany consumers as they countdown to Lazada's Surprise Birthday Sale event that starts at midnight on 27 March. Consumers across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam can tune in to the exclusive Lazada Super Party concert via Lazada's in-app livestream channel LazLive, as well as local broadcasting networks and social media platforms.
Themed around celebrating 'Everyday Superheroes', this year's concert not only pays tribute to frontline essential workers that have been working tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but also shines the spotlight on individuals in our community who have in their own ways touched the lives of people around them.
Chun Li, Chief Executive Officer of Lazada Group said, "Lazada has grown into the robust eCommerce platform that it is thanks to the strong support and trust that our sellers, brands, customers and partners have given us over the years. As we celebrate Lazada's ninth anniversary, we also want to recognise the positive impacts made by every individual in our community. We are excited to continue setting the benchmark for the eCommerce industry, by propelling entrepreneurs and brands forward in their digital transformation journey, and serving consumers through a safe, convenient and experiential shopping journey."
"I'm delighted for global superstars like Katy Perry and NCT Dream, as well as Southeast Asia's biggest names, join us in this year's celebrations dedicated in honour of individuals and communities who have stood strong and resilient in the past year. I look forward to the opportunity for Lazada to bring joy to consumers in Southeast Asia through our annual signature Lazada Super Party concert and Birthday shopping event, and that our community will remain hopeful for the future," said Mary Zhou, Chief Marketing Officer of Lazada Group.
Sharing words of positivity and hope to her fans in Southeast Asia, top-selling global singer-songwriter popular for chart-topping hits like "Roar", "Dark Horse" and her latest studio album Smile Katy Perry said, "Thank you for supporting and loving me all this time. I am excited to meet you soon at the Lazada Super Party, to hopefully spread a little light, love and joy and have everyone sing along with me, even if we are physically apart. I wish for Lazada to help all of their customers as they need, and for everyone to always look on the bright side of life."
  • Also part of the concert's exciting line-up of performers are Agnez Mo, Raisa and 3 Diva from Indonesia, Haqiem Rusli and Ismail Izzani from Malaysia, Mimiyuuuh and Alden Richards from the Philippines, Jasmine Sokko and Nathan Hartono from Singapore, "Bella" Ranee Campen and Da Endorphine from Thailand, as well as Ha Anh Tuan, Tran Thanh and Den from Vietnam
Consumers can get a sneak peek into the anticipated lineup of performances by Katy Perry, NCT Dream and other top Southeast Asian artistes highlighting the concert by checking out the exclusive Lazada 9th Birthday Super Party playlist on Spotify.

  • The concert will include Lazada's signature Shoppertainment segments like Voucher Rain, as well as Guess It! and Shake It! in different countries where viewers can win vouchers and exclusive giveaways, as a prelude to Lazada's Surprise Birthday Sale that can be utilised on 27 March.
As part of this month's festivities, Lazada lauded six outstanding woman sellers at its inaugural Lazada Forward Women Awards, held recently during International Women's Day on 8 March. These women trailblazers in the eCommerce space had showcased resilience and innovation in their journeys as entrepreneurs, and were recognised for their range of accomplishments such as launching homegrown local businesses that have contributed to their families' livelihood, uplifting and forging new paths for local communities, or the pursuit of personal growth through innovation and enterprise.

It's Official: Katy Perry and NCT Dream Will Headline Lazada's 9th Birthday Celebrations!
It's Official: Katy Perry and NCT Dream Will Headline Lazada's 9th Birthday Celebrations!

About Lazada Group:

Founded in 2012, Lazada Group is the leading eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia. We are accelerating progress in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam through commerce and technology. With the largest logistics and payments networks in the region, Lazada is a part of our consumers' daily lives in the region and we aim to serve 300 million shoppers by 2030. Since 2016, Lazada is the Southeast Asia flagship platform of the Alibaba Group powered by its cutting-edge technology infrastructure.

Related Video:


SOURCE: Lazada Group

10 March 2021

85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit

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85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit
85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit (PRNewsfoto/The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU))
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released a new study supported by Jigsaw, a unit within Google that forecasts and confronts emerging digital threats, delving into the prevalence and impact of online violence against women on a global scale. "Measuring the prevalence of online violence against women" reveals that nearly 40% of women surveyed have been harassed online whilst the vast majority (85%) have witnessed harassment or other forms of online violence.
Undertaken to enable informed decision-making on the issue of online violence, to better understand women's experiences online, and to measure the tactics and trends of online violence, the research also demonstrates the impact of online violence in silencing female voices. 

  • Half of women surveyed said that the internet is not a safe place for them to express their thoughts and opinions. 32% of women reconsidered posting a comment online, 30% reduced their online presence, and 20% stopped using that online platform entirely.
"Measuring the prevalence of online violence against women" further found that online violence against women should be seen on the same continuum as offline violence, with more than half of women (54%) knowing their online attackers, and nearly three-quarters (74%) expressing particular concern about online abuse escalating to offline threats.

According to the results, underreporting likely hides the real numbers with only 1 in 4 women reporting abuse to the platform(s) on which it occurred and only 14% reporting it to an offline protective agency. 78% are often unaware that options exist to report harmful online behaviors. This trend is underpinned by the fact that 6 in 10 women surveyed indicated a sense of helplessness, as little is done to combat the issue. The evidence base supports this, in 64 of 86 countries studied in The Web Index, law enforcement agencies and courts appear to be failing to take appropriate corrective actions to address online violence against women.

Key highlights:

  • 38% reported personal experiences with online harassment
  • 65% reported knowing women in their network who had been targeted online
  • 85% have witnessed online violence against other women (including from outside their networks)
  • Younger women are more likely to have experienced online violence: 45% Generation Z and Millennials versus 31% for Generation X and Baby Boomers
  • Only 1 in 4 women reported online abuse to the platform(s) on which it occurred, and only 14% reported it to an offline protective agency
  • 54% of women who experienced online abuse knew their attackers, and nearly 74% expressed particular concern about online abuse escalating to offline threats
  • 6 in 10 women surveyed indicated a sense of helplessness as little is done to combat the issue
  • 35% of women reported mental health issues as a result of experiencing online violence
  • 92% of women reported that online violence harms their sense of wellbeing
"The internet can provide a vital space for women seeking expression and opportunity but this report shows that the high prevalence of online violence against women is forcing self-censorship, and limiting women's representation in societal, political and economic discussions and decisions. The covid-19 pandemic has led to significant increases in internet use, further exacerbating the situation. Through this granular measurement of the prevalence of online violence against women, we aim to enable timely, synchronised multi-stakeholder action on the issue" said Vaibhav Sahgal, senior manager, The Economist Intelligence Unit.
85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit
85% Of Women Have Witnessed Harassment & Online Violence, Finds New Research From The Economist Intelligence Unit
The results were compiled from a survey undertaken by The EIU in the year between May 2019 to May 2020. It included 4,561 women, across 51 countries, using an innovative prevalence-estimation modelling methodology. The complete methodology can be downloaded here. The study assessed prevalence across nine threat tactics often used in combination by online attackers: misinformation and defamation, cyber-harassment, hate speech, impersonation, hacking and stalking, video- and image-based abuse, doxing, violent threats, and astroturfing. The prevalence of each tactic was measured at three levels: personal, community and witnessed.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU):

The Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU) is the world's leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organisations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. The EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 199 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. 

SOURCE: The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

19 January 2021

How Anti-Vax Memes Replicate Through Satire And Irony

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How Anti-Vax Memes Replicate Through Satire And Irony
How Anti-Vax Memes Replicate Through Satire And Irony (image via Don/KnowYourMeme)

For most of us, memes are the harmless fodder of an “extremely online” internet culture, floating benignly between different social media platforms — and, on the whole, making us laugh. But in the shadier corners of the internet, like on the forum 4chan, memes can quickly mutate from jokes into more ambiguous, shocking and potentially harmful viral content.

That’s especially true of memes that call into question the efficacy and safety of vaccines — often termed “anti-vax” content. Anti-vaccination sentiment is not a new phenomenon, but is increasingly fuelled by online misinformation. Unfounded claims proliferate online, linking vaccines to disease development, or presenting COVID-19 as a hoax.

When they go viral, such conspiracy theories present a major obstacle to the success of any immunisation campaign, as they may contribute to vaccine hesitancy. In the UK, more than a quarter of the population signals reluctance or suspicion about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Globally, willingness to be vaccinated varies widely.

To combat the spread of anti-vaccination rumours, platforms are currently using a dual strategy of censorship and fact checking. Both practices have their pitfalls. Censorship may actually stimulate curiosity, while people who distrust mainstream media are not likely to trust fact checkers.

And much online content — like viral memes — is not primarily meant to inform, and is therefore hard to evaluate in terms of whether it’s information, misinformation, or simply a joke.

Imageboard dissidence

Internet memes are a defining feature of online communication. The term can refer to any widely shared and replicated piece of online content in a variety of styles and formats. While mostly humorous or relatable, some memes have come to be associated with hateful beliefs through their occurrence on influential websites such as the imageboard 4chan.

4chan boasts over 20 million unique visitors a month, and is highly influential in meme culture. On 4chan’s “Politically Incorrect” board (/pol/), people anonymously discuss world news and political events from perspectives that run counter to the public consensus. Views expressed on /pol/ can be shocking and unpleasant.

Conspiracy theories such as QAnon flourished on /pol/, and the forum has been linked to the recent Capitol riots.

How Anti-Vax Memes Replicate Through Satire And Irony
4chan is an imageboard from which many famous memes have originated (II.studio/Shutterstock)

Presumed malicious intent behind vaccination programmes is a commonly voiced concern on the board. In a recent study, I showed that anti-vaccination posts encountered on /pol/ (and found across social media) display a number of recurring elements, such as revulsion to vaccine ingredients and selective appeals to authority. With vaccine hesitancy becoming an increasingly pressing concern, the role of such memetic patterns in the spread of misinformation deserves careful attention.

Renegade quotes

Anti-vaccination posts regularly contain a visual component. For instance, a reference to authority can be expressed through a vaccine-critical quote next to the face of the person who supposedly uttered it. Surprisingly often, quotes included in anti-vaccination discussions are attributed incorrectly.

Online, incorrect attribution does not just happen by accident. Fake quotes are a very popular meme format, often intended to satirise and amuse. Today’s internet users are likely to encounter the face of historic figures such as Lincoln, Einstein or Gandhi, paired with an absurdly out-of-place statement.

Such memes creatively critique the popular practice of sharing inspirational messages. They also ridicule received sources of wisdom and authority. But as a result, it is often unclear whether anti-vaccination statements voiced through the face-and-quote format are shared and received in earnest, or through an ironic lens.

This image of Bill Gates with a vaccine has been repurposed hundreds of times online. (Jean-Marc Ferr├ę/UN Photo, CC BY-NC-ND)

Accustomed to online irony, a proportion of internet users on 4chan and beyond may not intend their multi-layered jokes to contribute to vaccine hesitancy. The influence of ironic meme culture may also mitigate the impact of misinformation by priming the browsing crowd for absurdity rather than accuracy. However, diverse audiences make for diverse reactions. While quotes supposedly exposing the evil intentions of figures such as Bill Gates – a common target of conspiratorial beliefs – can easily be read in jest, they can also influence internet users to distrust vaccines.

Vaccine revolt

A second common feature of anti-vaccination discourse is revulsion to vaccine ingredients. This sentiment tends to be communicated by means of lists combining chemical and bestial elements. When taken out of context, a compilation of vaccine components — mentioning mercury, formaldehyde, and cow’s blood — can indeed inspire fear and disgust. When presented to shock, the ingredients of any complex product may come to look like an alchemist’s concoction or a sinister witch’s brew.

Feelings of aversion may be exacerbated by the image of a syringe, which in anti-vax posts is often presented together with ingredients deemed harmful. Most children fear needles, and a large proportion of adults do, too. In many contexts, sharp objects are associated with harm, not health.

It is surprising, then, that ironic replications of the syringe-plus-ingredients template circulate online, mocking the anti-vaxxer’s fears and supposed scientific illiteracy. Such memetic efforts may aim to comically combat misinformation, but nonetheless spread visual prompts that reinforce suspicion. From this perspective, you may even wonder whether popular newspapers contribute to vaccine hesitancy by repeatedly using pictures of a needle breaching the skin.

Attitudes to vaccination are communicated not just through what is written, but also through particular representational patterns. Meme formats and visual outlines can spread misinformation, even when created and shared with humorous intent.

After all, “Poe’s Law” dictates that there’s a wafer-thin line between satirical and fanatical content. In the context of COVID-19, that line is all too easily crossed.

About Today's Contributor:

Jan Buts, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Translation Studies, Trinity College Dublin

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

12 November 2020

Nov 17: Next-Generation Honda Civic Prototype To Be Revealed On Twitch! [Teaser Included]

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Nov 17: Next-Generation Honda Civic Prototype To Be Revealed On Twitch!
Honda is giving gaming and automotive enthusiasts a first glimpse of what's in store for America’s best-selling car with the world debut of the all-new 11th-generation Civic, in prototype form, Tuesday, Nov. 17 live on Honda’s Head2Head Twitch channel.
Honda is giving gaming and automotive enthusiasts a first glimpse of what's in store for America's best-selling car with the world debut of the all-new 11th-generation Civic, in prototype form, Tuesday, Nov. 17 live on Honda's Head2Head Twitch channel
  • This special edition episode of Honda Head2Head on Twitch will begin live at 5 p.m. PST, with the Civic reveal set to start at 6:45 p.m. PST
  • The reveal also will feature an exclusive live performance by Grammy-nominated ART@WAR/Atlantic Records recording artist, Cordae.
Honda's iconic Civic, the No. 1 vehicle for young, first-time and multicultural consumers, will undergo a full redesign that once again raises the bar for style, performance, safety and advanced technology in the compact car market. 

Nov 17: Next-Generation Honda Civic Prototype To Be Revealed On Twitch!
Nov 17: Next-Generation Honda Civic Prototype To Be Revealed On Twitch! (screengrab)
A teaser image and video released today give viewers a glimpse of the all-new Honda Civic through a geometric looking glass, which will all take shape to fully reveal the new Civic on Nov. 17.

Since it was first introduced in America in 1973, Civic has brought nearly 12 million U.S. customers into the Honda family. The all-new Civic Sedan will launch in late Spring 2021 as a 2022 model-year vehicle.

Honda and Esports:

Honda has a significant presence in gaming and esports, as the exclusive automotive partner of Team Liquid and the Riot Games League of Legends Championship Series. In addition, Honda's gaming strategy includes a partnership with Twitch, where the Honda Head2Head gaming channel, now in its third season, is the exclusive auto-branded channel on the platform.

With Twitch's average daily visitors reaching 17.5 million, Honda aims to grab the attention of the audience behind the explosive growth of esports. These deeply enthusiastic fans share a similar passion for Civic, making the nameplate America's most popular among all vehicles with Millennial, Gen Z and multicultural consumers. Honda's integration of the all-new Civic on its Head2Head Twitch channel one-ups the brand's commitment in the gaming space.

The Civic reveal on Honda's Head2Head Twitch channel will be hosted by Rachel Seltzer and MonsterDface. The hosts will be joined by eight participants: Four top Fortnite players and four top Twitch streamers, including Benjyfishy, SypherPK, Jordan Fisher, Dakotaz, and more. The two teams will battle it out in Fortnite, the world's most popular battle royale game, ranking second on Twitch's most streamed games. Honda also will have presence on endemic gaming communities, including Twitter and Reddit, to support the reveal of the new Civic.

The Teaser:

More Information:

Consumers can get details about the Civic reveal and sign up for additional information about the all-new Civic at honda.com/civicreveal. More information, plus photos and video will be added after the reveal..

9 November 2020

#WeWillHugAgain: Zalando Champions Positivity And Optimism With Their New Holiday Campaign [Video Included]

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#WeWillHugAgain: Zalando Champions Positivity And Optimism With Their New Holiday Campaign
A selection of 'Hug Portraits' captured by photographer Sarah Blais in Berlin as part of the Zalando "We Will Hug Again" Holiday Campaign.
This holiday season, Zalando, Europe's leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle, is celebrating the ultimate expression of human connection and solidarity: the hug. Against the backdrop of a challenging year of uncertainty and separation, human connection has never felt more important and the new Holiday Campaign, "We Will Hug Again", seeks to convey the feeling of optimism and hope across Europe.
The campaign is brought to life through a series of Hug Portraits, intimate and emotive images captured by documentary and portrait photographer Sarah Blais. Complementing this is a heart-warming film, "100 Years of Hugs", overseen and directed by globally renowned visual storyteller, Vincent Haycock, and set to the track 'Godspeed' by legendary singer-songwriter, Frank Ocean.

The simplicity and emotional impact of the hug can be felt throughout the campaign. Whether it's friends walking arm in arm, a daughter hugging her elderly father, or couples of all ages, genders and orientations embracing – the protagonists throughout are real and relatable people, taking the focus away from staging, models and fashion and placing it on the message of hope for the future when we will be able to hug our loved ones again.

#WeWillHugAgain: Zalando Champions Positivity And Optimism With Their New Holiday Campaign
Sisters, Coleen and Bene for Zalando’s ‘Hug Portraits’ series, part of the brand’s “We Will Hug Again” Holiday Campaign, captured by photographer Sarah Blais in Berlin.
"The central idea of our holiday campaign, human connection, is echoed in the way we engage with our customers. Our strategy is to be social first, allowing us to connect and engage with consumers through relevant and relatable stories." Barbara Daliri, Zalando's Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, comments, "It was important for us to address the exceptional circumstances and uncertainty of this holiday season and at the same time share with our community the feeling of hope for the time when we will be able to reconnect with our loved ones." 
The campaign launched on 1st November and takes place across two months. It kicked off with an initial tease phase designed to drive intrigue and conversation. This first phase featured the Hug Portraits appearing as huge unbranded murals in highly visible urban locations across Europe. They show two figures in an embrace, where the second person is missing and the question "Will We Hug Again?" is posed.

From 8th November, Zalando reveals ownership and releases the campaign's core optimistic message: "We Will Hug Again". This message of hope will be depicted across numerous formats: from the completion of the murals with the second figure through all advertising, digital and social channels, including the moving film "100 Years of Hugs" shot by Haycock, still photography by Blais, OOH, DOOH and owned social channels by the large and diverse cast of this campaign. The 360°campaign was created in collaboration with creative agency, Anomaly Berlin and will be rolled out across Europe, in all 17 of Zalando's markets.
Veit Moeller, Anomaly Berlin Executive Creative Director, adds: "This simple but powerful campaign is a promise for our future. The goal was to peel off all those outer layers associated with the Holiday season and identify the rawest and most iconic symbol of human connection: the hug. Shooting a campaign around the globe, totally remotely, during a global pandemic has been a beautiful challenge and we are excited to bring Zalando's message to the world."
The film was shot across Nigeria, Vietnam, Italy, Mexico, Sweden and Germany by four directors, beautifully curated by Haycock. Each film tells the story of one hug, united by a central look and feel, enabling all films to be cut individually or together. Further adding to its moving nature, Frank Ocean's 'Godspeed' is a track that epitomises the feeling of human connection and togetherness. 

The Video:


  • :All images and video content have been shot in accordance with government guidelines on COVID-19, specific to each country at the time of capture. All safety measures were put in place on all shoot locations throughout the world to ensure every single person featured was respecting COVID safety measures. All models are real family members, couples or friends who live together and are permitted to hug and be in close proximity.
SOURCE: Zalando

5 November 2020

Improve Customer Experience Online in 3 Steps

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Improve Customer Experience Online in 3 Steps
Man with headphones facing computer monitor (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)
The Coronavirus has led to significant changes for the entire world. For many businesses, the epidemic has created a climate of uncertainty and a battle for survival. During these tough times holding onto customers is even more of a challenge than ever before. Consumers are likely to be extra cautious in their spending, and their loyalty to particular brands will be over-ridden by their desire to save money. Operating a business in this climate requires increased sensitivity to the needs of customers. 

Limited face to face customer contact and your employees working from home, can make it particularly challenging to deliver a high standard of customer service. It is crucial to address this issue and to find a way to provide high-quality customer service remotely. Without a robust customer service offering, your business may struggle to compete in these testing times. 

So, how do you deliver high-quality customer service remotely? Here are some tips to help:

1. Introduce a Live Chat Function

While delivering customer service face to face may not be possible, technology has the next best solution. Implementing Live Video Chat into your customer service offering will enhance the customer experience and set your business apart from your competitors. Live video chat has many benefits, but one of the most significant is the ability to offer your customers a personalised online experience tailored to their needs. Live video chat is an excellent way to bridge the gap between customers and your support team and deliver the best customer experience possible.

Many live video chat services are available, so it is best to do some research to find the best live video chat software. Choosing the best chat software will minimize the chances of glitches, which could harm your customer’s experience when using the service.

2. Focus on Response Times

Have you ever tried to get in contact with a company via their contact form and then waited for days, weeks, and months with getting a reply? If so, you will know how frustrating it is for customers to reach out to a company only to be ignored. Not receiving a response to a message via a contact form can leave customers feeling under-valued and unfairly treated.
Dealing with customer queries is a task that should be carried out promptly to show that you are competent and that you value your customers.

Setting an agreed response time with your staff and making it part of the daily workflow to check for customer messages should mean that they never get overlooked.

3. Offer Seamless Customer Service

Customers that become frustrated with your service could quickly begin to look to your competitors to receive the level of customer service that they expect. To address many frustrations experienced by customers, it is necessary to find ways to make your customer service offering seamless. As well as incorporating the live chat function into your customer service offering, you may want to introduce a customer relationship management (CRM) system into your business for a fully joined-up approach.

Improve Customer Experience Online in 3 Steps
Young woman browsing laptop in living room (Photo by Ketut Subiyanto)

27 October 2020

#TeamZander or #TeamTakedown? - Interactive Film Releases Across Social Media Alongside A Universe of "Real" Characters [Video Included]

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#TeamZander or #TeamTakedown? - Interactive Film Releases Across Social Media Alongside A Universe of "Real" Characters
"Dared My Best Friend To Ruin My Life" (PRNewsfoto/DefinitelyReal.com)
Alternate Reality Cinema company This Is Definitely Real debuts the world's first alternate reality cinema project. 
Built around an extended-release movie in the style of Scott Pilgrim meets Fight Club, the story "Dared My Best Friend To Ruin My Life" extends through over a dozen narratives, interactive experiences, and fictional characters who respond to the 9 episodes with their own content and interact with the audience. 

  • In a world that feels increasingly like an alternate reality game, this first-of-its-kind asks its young adult audience to question what is real, play with their own online personas, and participate in the storytelling.
Based on a viral Reddit story of the same name, the experience begins when Team Takedown, an anarchist hacker group, bent on canceling everyone in power, hacks influencers. The protagonist Zander Jones hacks them back, sending a plea to the internet to help them find his kidnapped sister. 

  • As Zander's team grows, the audience can view the episodes or go down the rabbit hole, pick a side, and search for the truth.
"If you look at the comments on YouTube, people keep asking whether this is real. It looks fake, but is it real? The line has become so blurred that it's hard to define real any more. And we're getting people to ask those questions," said Michael Morgenstern the film's producer.
The story universe is populated with characters (all from the town of Emet's Crossing) with real social handles, websites, video series, and interactive experiences of their own, creating an explosion of content and a web to explore. 
Participants can message the characters and receive replies and watch videos from the local news show, alien puppet invaders, a beauty queen named Miss Information, a brutally satirical revenge-based fitness influencer, and Zander's mom, a technically illiterate boomer who drops her phone number [406-284-0565] all over the comments and will text back.
"Our fictional story is put together the way some news events are put together; the way conspiracy theories are put together. Social media is a place where stories are being told — some designed to manipulate us, and our audience is delighting in exploring these themes," says Morgenstern.
  • The audience is invited to take sides in the feud between two friends, becoming live participants in the internet-based thriller, or watch and enjoy as a fly on the wall..
"It's inevitable that stories will move out of movie theaters and into the world we live in, with the audience being invited to join in. It's just taken a few years for movies to catch up and really use the medium of the internet," says Morgenstern.
"The project is built exactly like QAnon, except we tell you we're fictional," Morgenstern said. Who hopes that the story leads to experiential understanding about how controversies and stories are incepted into the public consciousness.
 "This type of storytelling is used already politically, but this is the first time it's been used to tell a stylized, overtly fictional story at this scale.".
  • An independent team of over 400 immersive theater artists, marketers, technologists, and filmmakers have built the narrative machine that powers the experience.
On the eve of a polarized election, in a world where disinformation spreads rampant, the story's audience is engaging deeply with the story's questions: when is it right to cancel someone? Who really controls the stories we tell? Is there a good and a bad team, and which one am I on?

The Video:

Follow the story here: 


SOURCE: DefinitelyReal.com

19 October 2020

#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections

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#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
The Trusted Journalism Partnership, a coalition of nonpartisan academic and media organizations, today launched a public information campaign focusing on people aged 65 and over, encouraging them to take a reflective pause and consider whether a news story is true or not before sharing it on social media.

The campaign is based on research at Princeton and New York universities analyzing people's online behaviors in the final weeks of the 2016 elections:

  • One quarter of all Americans visited a website masquerading as a legitimate news organization, but was in fact peddling false claims.
  • The largest source of this internet traffic came from Facebook.
  • While most people did not share the misleading information, Facebook users 65-and-over posted seven times as many articles from such websites, compared with adults under 29.
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
"We want to help people sort fact from fiction at a time when they are bombarded with disinformation," said Dan Shelley, executive director and COO at the Radio Television Digital News Association, one of the participating organizations. "Our campaign is a critical reminder that fact-based journalism is different from other types of media. Legitimate news organizations hold themselves to high standards of transparency and accuracy. "
The PSA campaign, which provides 15-, 30- and 90-second videos, highlights the Trust Project's 8 Trust Indicators to help people evaluate the source of a news story and determine its validity.
"Our 8 Trust Indicators provide an easy checklist for making decisions about what news comes from reputable news organizations and what might be intentionally misleading or just plain wrong," said Sally Lehrman, Trust Project founder and CEO, and a member of the Trusted Journalism Partnership.
To reach older Americans with its message, the Trusted Journalism Partnership is advertising on Facebook, the most popular social media platform among seniors.
"Technology has dramatically altered the way we consume information. But one thing has not changed: the difference between the truth and a lie," said Akhtar Badshah, distinguished practitioner, University of Washington Evans School and founder of Accelerating Social Transformation. "We are giving people the tools to help them discern the difference."

The campaign invites people to take three simple steps to support a healthy democracy: 

  1. Share the campaign
  2. Learn the Trust Indicators 
  3. Sign a pledge to share only trusted journalism and curtail the spread of disinformation. 
The campaign includes a social media toolkit and a collection of resources.


The  8 Trust Indicator Cards:

#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #1
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #2
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #3
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #4
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #5
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #6
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #7
#TrustedJournalism Campaign Launched to Help Slow Spread of Disinformation on Social Media Among Older Adults Ahead of US Elections
Trust Indicator #8

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