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Following Brexit and the US presidential election, many brands have responded to the polarized times by choosing to weigh in on political and social issues.
But brands face numerous challenges in trying to do this successfully. Chief among them: how do brands connect with consumers at a time when so many of them don't see eye-to-eye on some of the most important issues of our time?
Starbucks is one of the brands that isn't afraid to get political in an increasingly polarized world.
Its most recent political statement: it announced plans to hire 10,000 refugees following US President Donald Trump's enactment of a temporary travel ban targeting individuals from a number of predominantly Muslim countries.
From Brexit to the US presidential election, it would seem that we are living in one of the most politically-focused and politically-polarized times in recent memory.
Increasingly, the political discourse is finding its way into the brand world. Or, to be more accurate, brands are joining the political discourse.
Digital news this week is as rich as French cuisine.
Acquisitions, hacking controversies, ecommerce records, Trump policies, product launches and more.
Here's what you missed...
Whatever apathy, excitement, rage or despair you might feel about the main candidates for Mayor of London, there’s no doubting that the vote on May 5th was a big deal.
The winner will enjoy the third-biggest direct personal mandate of any politician in Europe. That’s a lot of people power.
So how did the main candidates use people power in the run up to the election?
The 2016 Presidential primaries are well under way, and not surprisingly, all of the candidates are actively using social media to rally support.
Here's how the two candidates for the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, are using social media.
Thanks to the use of social media by Obama's team in 2008 and 2012, the role of digital marketing in politics has been a hot topic.
Online was a key battleground in the recent general election, and this trend will only increase in the years to come.
I've been talking to Craig Elder, Digital Director at the Conservative Party, about the role digital played in a Conservative victory.
Politics and social media go hand in hand. There's even a social network with political consciousness an implicit demand of its users (Volkalize).
Social media is mature enough now that in America the senate is currently deciding on whether employers should have the right to demand disclosure of social network user names from its employees.
Essentially, we see our free social media activity as a right, as much as we do our vote.
With Alastair Campbell the opening speaker on day two of our Festival of Marketing, and British and American elections in 2015 and 2016 respectively, it seems appropriate to ask 'what can political parties expect from social media?'
Many of the challenges being discussed at the Campaign Tech 2012 conference today in Washington DC will be familiar to Econsultancy readers in the brand world.
How do you reach influencers? What can you do with “big data?” What’s going on with mobile? Where are viewers headed?
And above all else, how do you get your message in front of them?
It's an election year in the United States and by all accounts, it will be an interesting one.
President Barack Obama, doesn't yet know who his opponent will be, but when it came to website traffic in January, the Democratic incumbent handily beat all of the Republican contenders.
The last UK election was touted by many as the first ‘truly social’ vote. There’s some truth to this, given the huge growth in uptake of social networks from 2005 to 2010, improvements to internet access and consumer awareness of these channels.
Plus, there was influence from the party leaders themselves as most of them tried to emulate the success of Obama’s 2008 campaign.
Now in the US, just a day ahead of the Iowa caucuses (widely accepted as the first major electoral event in the run-up to the presidential election) the same prediction is being wheeled out again. Where Obama blazed a trail, others now seek to follow.
Last week the author Malcolm Gladwell poured cold water on the idea that revolution could be instigated by social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
He centres his argument around the American civil rights movement, claiming that the strong bonds forged offline were required to spark action in the streets, where millions ultimately gathered in the 60s to protest against segregation and oppression. Social media, by contrast, forges only “weak ties”, says Gladwell. Not the kind of bonds required to make a difference where it really counts.
I think he’s completely missing the point. Martin Luther King’s status updates and tweets would have helped to spread awareness quickly, encouraging activism, had Facebook and Twitter been available in his day. You can bet your life he'd have used them to spread word.
A connected world cannot be a bad thing for change, in whatever form it takes.