While on my personal social media sites (when I’m not managing social sites for my company and clients) I tend to see a lot of negativity and hatred lately. This may explain why I stray away from social media in my free time. Negativity not only puts a damper on our moods, but it also has an impact on our mental health and behavior ; especially on the young groups of people who are around the age of 10-16. The negativity posted on social media influences the younger generation and it imprints in their mind so next time they have a bad experience or doesn’t agree with someone they too will lash out on Facebook or make an unnecessary negative post about another person.
Negativity through media channels has significantly increased over the years and it is visually noticeable. We see commercials or ads trying to promote their product or service, but instead they are attacking their competition through media resources (for the public to see). Most companies have strayed away from trying to make their product/service more appealing through the media and using the creative strategy (mentioned in my last post “Get Creative!”).
My advice to companies is…
- Stop attacking the competition. Plan and simple. Not only does “attacking the competition” make you look lazy because you aren’t “thinking outside of the box” to create media worthy advertisements and campaigns, but it brings negative energy to your audience and hurts your brand image.
- Start to dig into the REALLY framework (more info can be found in my blog post “Really?”) to revamp or even start a new campaign in order to maintain a positive brand image!
- The key is to focus on your audience, build a positive brand image, have a unique and effective strategy and surpass the competition! None of this can be accomplished when a company is simply spending thousands of dollars just to put their competition on the spot.
Here’s an example!
In 2006, SanDisk launched their “iDon’t” campaign, which was a campaign that revolved around being “anti-ipod“. The campaign reads: “Calling all free thinkers, contrarians, and malcontents. The time has come to rise up against the iTatorship. To resist the monotony of white earbuds and reject the oppressive forces of cultural conformity. Now is the time to break free from restrictive formats and a single source for music. Its time for choice, for freedom, for self expression—and for independent spirits to stand up and say ‘iDon’t’. You don’t need to follow. There is now an alternative.”
If you ask me, this is a relatively nicer way to go about “attacking the competition”, however they depicted users of the iPod as conformist drones and labeled them “iSheep” and “iChimps” throughout their campaign (name calling is never the answer). This type of negativity can be shown as anger through media, and can potentially stress the audience out.
Overall, the campaign failed because SanDisk did not assess the situation (should’ve used the REALLY framework) and create a well thought out strategy (this includes a creative strategy)!
Negativity should be stomped into the ground
which is what we should NOT be doing to our peers or competition (in a company). We should be sending positive vibes to our peers; we are all human and we do not need to waste our energy on pointless things such as negativity through the media.
Planet Fitness is a great example of a successful and positive campaign… they advertise their cheap monthly rate and have a “judgement free zone”. in their campaigns they do not mention the competition and it is shown that they have followed some steps from the REALLY framework, where they did their research, set a target audience, they engage with their followers through media platforms and they also have a pretty unique/creative strategy that has been very effective for the corporation!
From a business perspective, we should not be taking the easy way out, by “attacking the competition” we should be utilizing our resources such as the REALLY framework to assess the situation and gather information to create a plan, thus companies should take what they learned and apply it in order to develop a creative strategy and finally put all of that hard work into a fully functional campaign (just like Planet Fitness)!
Doing such will create positive results (for you/company and audience), and remember to always think before posting on social media or consult with others before launching a campaign because it can have negative results such as SanDisk experienced and more recently Pepsi with their controversial commercial that was “accused of trivializing Black Lives Matter”.
Please keep these tips in mind next time you’re about to post on media platforms!