Looks so Real it must be Photoshopped

The contradictory title speaks volumes in France where they have recently enforced a law that requires photos that have been photoshopped, edited or retouched in any way MUST be labelled so. It would also require models to received a note from their doctors, saying that they are not dangerously thin before even being considered for a job. They enacted the law back in 2015, as an effort to combat anorexia and other forms of body dysmorphia; which became an increasingly prevalent issue in today’s society.

As of October 2nd this year, any company or brand that do not comply with these laws will be fined $44,100 or 30% of the cost of the advertising. Some would say it is a fitting price to pay for not complying with the law but I would argue that it is not enough, given the multitude of edited images we are bombarded with every day. Our obsession with looking perfect and seeming perfect has now affected how we interact on social media, where 57% of Australian women surveyed by the Syndey Morning Herald admit they have retouched their photos.

Good Effort

Australia has only tried but not in the same way France’s health minister has. Australia, back in 2010, had only suggested a voluntary “code of conduct” in the fashion industry to refrain from retouching photos. A far cry from the achievement that France can boast about today. How shameful it is that a progressive country like ours, compels 75% of women to feel ‘unattractive’, ‘ugly’ or ‘too fat’. Not only are we behind in technological advances and educational-revamping but we are now, falling behind in being socially responsible. It is not enough Australia, and guess who is paying for the short-comings of our health minister; you guessed it – every single one of us.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17j5QzF3kqE
Body Evolution: Model Before and After Photoshop

Here is a hypothetical scenario:

What would happen if Australia also enforced a law like this?

We would soon then see that all advertisement campaigns, celebrity social media accounts and digital media to be covered with red flags labelled “retouched photo”. I wonder how much liberation there will be when that happens. We are already living a post-body mindset era, where plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Iskra are seen on runways that originally saw 0 sized models. It is time that Australia caught up.

The pinnacle Question

But again we are here to discuss the effects of such legislation on our practices as digital marketers. Which industries would be heavily affected by this change besides the fashion industry and what kind of marketing implications would we need to consider before posting a photo of our products online?

One of my many answers to this question: FOOD. The number of times I have gone to buy food from somewhere and it looks nothing like the advertisement or menu item that I saw. Looking at you McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC.

DISNEY MOVIES CHANGED FOREVER?

Welcome back to part two of the emotional marketing series. I kicked it off last week with an exploration into why emotional marketing is important and the increasing use of VR within marketing campaigns, which you can read here. 

This week we will be exploring AEI…

Artificial.

Emotional.

Intelligence.

Artificial emotional intelligence or as it’s known among IT scholars, affective computing, will revolutionise the way we live. Why?

Because if Disney can change the way Beauty and The Beast concludes in real time then perhaps, for some of us, the story ends with Bell’s father forever trapped by the Beast and Gaston marrying Bell instead.

Imagine a world where Woody stays with Al (creepy toy collector) in Toy Story 2 and never goes back to Andy.

Goodbye childhood.

According to Josh Walker, more brands are increasingly taking note of this new technology that can scan our faces, read our emotions and predict our behaviour by our moods.

So while I talked about Google and Snapchat using social media to recreate George Orwell’s nineteen-eighty-four (coincidentally in the decade of remakes) out of sarcasm, it turns out we probably already are living in a surveillance society.

And with AEI tech being patented within the algorithms of Facebook and used for research within Disney movies; brands such as Audi, BMW and Heineken are also using AEI to their advantage.

Realeyes an emotion-tracking software allows companies to scan our faces as we watch those brand’s advertisements, particularly online, to effectively determine which advertisement generated the most amount of sales.

All well and good for future marketers like us to be able to use emotion-tracking software to create better content.

But how far is too far? 

In May 2017, Facebook was granted access for a patent that allows them to scan our typing behaviour so that they can analyse how we feel and then line our news feeds with advertisements that are associated with these emotions.

I personally don’t want Facebook to detect that I am angry with my boyfriend and bombard me with ads about Tim Tams and Sara Lee rocky-road ice cream. Because yes I will get fat and it’s all Facebook’s fault.

I’m upset okay, can’t you tell by the way I’m typing?

But, let’s be real for a second.

I loved the way AEI has been used to capture the emotions of audiences while watching The Revenant, allowing marketers to see which parts the audience enjoyed and strategically market those points.

HOWEVER, I do not love some creepy dude watching me on the other side of my laptop camera to see if I’m enjoying that rocky-road ice cream.

(here’s a spoiler: I definitely am)

My question to you this week is how do you see the future of emotion-tracking software/AEI being applied to our daily lives and whether you would be comfortable with this change?

Let me know in the comments below! And thank you for staying tuned for another week of emotional marketing. 

Snapchat’s UnSnapped Potential

I know in the past two weeks everyone has been talking about Snapchat and the ways in which they are trying to introduce new ways to advertise on their platform. What interests me, however, is why Snapchat is fast-becoming the gold rush of the millennial age.

Yes. It is true that Snapchat, in terms of growth, are not doing so well. In fact, they missed their Q1 financial target by $158 million and took a net loss of more than $2.2 million. After the release of their Q2 financial report, you can see Snapchat has had another $2.6 million loss due to the failing of their shares. However, what was also interesting was that Snapchat reported an increase of 21% (173 million) in daily active users of their app, which is more than what Instagram can boast.

So the question is, if Snapchat users are increasing every quarter why are they dropping money like it’s hot?

Well, the answer is that Snapchat holds too much control over what advertisers and companies can do on their app – talk about Kim Jung Un. Snapchat is a great platform full of untapped potential and great in many ways to reach into the mindsets of users under 25. Since we spend more time on Snapchat than we do sitting on the toilet, this is the platform worth a lot of time and effort to the right company.

We are so easily influenced by what we see our friends doing, buying, eating, drinking that Snapchatters are 55% more likely to buy things we don’t actually need than non-Snapchatters (those who don’t snap on the daily). It is also where the “early-adopters” are highly concentrated, as the platform compromises of millennials who actively try new things for the sake of it.

When you take all these things into consideration, from a marketer’s perspective this is where the gold is. While Snapchat shouldn’t free up their control to let advertisers do whatever they want (#YOLO, is that still a thing?), they should, however, allow more freedom for content creation to companies. This young audience Snapchat possesses, marketers just can’t reach through TV advertising, Facebook ads and Instagram altogether.

If Snapchat is where it’s at, then shouldn’t we let the rest get in on it too? Or from a consumer point of view, are you done with ads altogether? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

featured image source:
Dynamic Snapchat Logo/Icon

The Long Tail vs. Streaming

This week I researched about the Long Tail phenomenon and found some interesting dilemmas between Streaming algorithms and the long tail categories.

The Long Tail was a concept that came into fruition in 2004 (I know, its ancient!), written by Chris Anderson who was Editor-in-Chief for Wired magazine at the time of publish. It basically said, there is more entertainment out there in terms of niche and non-mainstream content than there is mainstream, or “popular hits”. Chris asserts that businesses like Amazon and iTunes (in 2004) were making just as much money off ‘Black-Eyed Peas’ albums as 100 non-mainstream bands because there was an audience for everything.

 A hit and a miss are on equal economic footing…Suddenly, popularity no longer has a monopoly on profitability. – Chris Anderson, Wired, 2004

Connecting marketing to the digital

Well, all amazon or iTunes had to do was track a consumer’s latest search or purchase which can help any business suggest products that are similar – creating more traffic within their business, and helping their consumers stay longer. In the eyes of the customer, Amazon looks pretty helpful in suggesting ‘No Doubt’ if you liked ‘Black-Eyed Peas’.

The Age of Streaming

However, 2004 was a millennium ago, and I doubt Chris could see the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and recently Jay-Z’s curated TIDAL. This has affected the way musicians market themselves now, especially those who are in the niche music categories. Music has seen the decline of physical CDs, records and digital downloads, as more and more consumers are switching to streaming services which derive their profit from subscriptions. This has seen the likes of Ed Sheeran making $400,000 from Spotify streams and Beyoncé making her partner millions as her full album Lemonade can only be exclusively streamed on TIDAL.

But what happens to the little guys?

Bands like The Orwells and other alternatives of the music industry are now relying heavily on licensing their music to companies, movie productions and Netflix shows just to make enough money to keep going. Streaming has made it impossibly hard for small musicians to get streaming time, since the algorithm loops through all the popular songs before getting to the depths of the long tail. As small artists struggle to make a living, big artists gain LOTS of money from the algorithm of Spotify and Apple Music.
How can we help the little guys get a piece of the pie too?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

featured image source:
https://www.photojoiner.net/v/m2iLJStU

 

Who am I? – Digital Marketing

“Stay Woke” is not a catchphrase. It’s a lifestyle.

So, who am I?
I am a university student channelling the inner marketer inside of me as I write about the new technologies and digital trends that marketing is now coinciding with every day. This is one segment of my blog, and I encourage you to visit this corner if you are interested in all things marketing, digital and futuristic! 

The 21st century has seen all kinds of technology come into play with the marketing medium and there is nothing better than to use such technology to boost our abilities. We can now use technology such as AR, VR and facial recognition software to reach a whole new digitally savvy audience and create more meaningful, interactive experiences for consumers. And so we begin…

Is it nineteen-eighty four?

I want to bring us back to the mind of George Orwell, who brought us the dystopian society of over surveillance and punishment to those who don’t conform. While this is not our society (as of yet), there are many digital innovations out there infringing on our privacy rights.

You want me to give you an example of a corporate giant who WAS spying on our personal lives? Sure.

They go by the name of Google. Until recently Google has been scanning our emails, looking through our personal memes, and ASOS newsletters to determine what kind of product advertisements would appeal to us. Then they would lace the sides of our mailboxes with ads that we see, but don’t really buy into.

Let’s take a moment to applaud Google for no longer scanning our emails… even though they never disclosed this information to us in the first place. Is this a win or a lose? Don’t worry you’re not the only one confused.

Snapchat has launched their SnapMaps this year and while this looks like a cool gimmick, one that advertisers should look out for, it is a massive invasion of our privacy. But it is delineated from Google’s actions, in the fact that Snapchat asks it’s consumers if we want them to track our locations. Therefore because we voluntarily accept this in their contracts, we are then accountable for the consequences that happen afterwards.

How are these related to digital marketing?

Well, Google scanning our emails as a technique to target audiences more efficiently is an example of digital marketing in the process. However, now that they are not doing that, I guess they will use other methods of lining our mailboxes with advertisements. And Snapchat’s SnapMaps is a great way to use geo-tagging to boost your social media following and engage with millennials to get your business on the map.

So in a generation where our personal devices have consumed our lives, where does the line of privacy start or end? Are there any scary thoughts you have about such digital marketing tactics?