Look at us. We do not sit and talk anymore. Our conversations are restricted by media formats or by the distance between our connected screens. Brands can easily lead us to longer conversations. But do they? They give us short jabs of superfical warm and fuzzy potions that are not honest.
Recently I was at a party with old friends. We drank beer, shared food and had long conversations on art, divisive politics, food and parenthood. I realised how much I missed these dialogues. In this era they are personal challenges to clarify your own stance. It keeps you open, responsive and sharper. Not like advertisements – vials of ‘feel good’ dished out as instant gratification (‘Awwww!’) for their misunderstood cohort. Watch the ones that made me think.
When short-term goal is more important than brand purpose
When a brand wants to earn responses quickly without anchoring itself to their larger purpose you get a Kendall Jenner + Pepsi TV Commercial. It has stereotype minorities rising up with no specific cause indicated, in plastic settings. This ad faced flak and was banned. Some may argue that it did well as it gained views.
When riding the response is better than thinking new
We have seen video activation experiments by brands where strangers kiss on camera, take DNA tests that make them cousins and other bizarre acts that suitably expose their humanity over race, religion, creed or sexual preferences. This is yet another ideologically divided strangers meet cute video. For those who do not know a meet cute, it is a fictional scene, typically in film or television, in which a couple meets for the first time in a way that is considered adorable, entertaining, or amusing. But can this idea work with any beverage brand? Does this create conversations or gets more likes over Pepsi?
When authenticity questions the purpose
I can easily dismiss this advertisement as media pimping images of human misery for their gain. But are we not addicted to news and events around the World. Whether it is Arnab’s argumentative dog pound flavour or Caravan’s narrative style we crave to know the truth, reported well. As a TV commercial, this one confuses me. How important is truth for the media today? How undoctored and authentic is the news that we get? Or is this just a stance against Trump’s policies when his 100th-day approval ratings are the lowest in modern history?
If you did notice, I have avoided the term millennials as this seems to be a misleading generalisation to a much-evolved cohort. While I do not qualify as a millennial, as a connected citizen of this planet I also am troubled by this divisive World and seek authentic brands. I wish that brands stay responsible and do not trivialise issues that affect humanity.