March 9, 2018 By FTI Consulting
As many of you will have noticed, yesterday was International Women’s Day, and organisations have engaged with the event in a variety of ways. McDonalds turned their famous golden arches upside down (albeit with some criticism), while whisky maker Johnny Walker became Jane Walker for the month. One particular announcement caught our eye, for the complex reaction it generated, and the lessons it may hold for future campaigning.
Earlier in the week, UK beer producer Brewdog announced that their iconic “Punk IPA” would become “Pink IPA” to raise awareness for gender equality; Twitter unsurprisingly erupted. They described the move as an “over parody on the failed, tone-deaf campaigns that some brands have attempted in order to attract women”, and outlined that 20% of March proceeds would go to “charities that fight inequality and support women”. Those identifying as female could even pick up a beer for 20% less in any BrewDog. This relatively nuanced explanation, however, doesn’t fit on a beer bottle label…
In terms of digital and social campaigning, perhaps the lesson here is to remember that social media can be an unforgiving stage; messaging and content needs to tell its own story, without the need for an accompanying press release. Finally, a nod should go to the New York Times: they have been making up for lost time, publishing obituaries for “women we overlooked in 167 years”. Well worth a read over the weekend.
It’s full steam ahead for video at Facebook this week, as they announced two very interesting new hires with implications for the direction of the platform. Zuckerberg and team will be joined by the former head of BuzzFeed Studios and a former Pinterest executive, in moves that signal a concerted effort to reform and refresh video output on the platform.
Matthew Henick (of BuzzFeed pedigree) will head up Facebook’s global video content strategy and planning, while Mike Bidgoli (coming from Pinterest) will focus on the new Facebook Watch, a video-on-demand product.
Both hires are clear signals that Facebook is keen to develop a dominant position in a crowded and competitive video market. For companies and organisations looking to communicate to Facebook’s 2bn users despite challenges derived from the recent algorithm reshuffle, it could be that video is once again a favoured medium.
We’re looking at a slightly different final story this week, a potentially game-changing development in global internet infrastructure (bear with us; promise it’s more interesting than the word infrastructure suggests).
Last week a VC capital firm Andreessen Horowitz announced they were going into space, or at least investing $18m in a San Francisco-based startup called Astranis. What do Astranis do that would get AH and a few other funds off their feet I hear you ask? Well they make satellites the size of a mini-fridge, and these could be the way the 4bn people still without internet get hooked up to the web.
We’ve already seen attempts from the big internet players to provide full bars in those hard-to-reach parts of the world (Facebook went drones, Google thought balloons), but other serious people seem to be seriously excited about Astranis. While some complicated science-y stuff about latency, this isn’t the case for satellites like Astranis’ which orbit closer to earth. Possible solutions therefore, at a fraction of the cost of other options, means global connectivity is possibly a step closer, potentially enabling accessible, instantaneous global communication to far-flung corners of the world. And yet while science soars above our heads, I can’t get signal in my kitchen.
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