While the term 'cancel culture' is transitioning to 'conversation culture,' we believe these terms don't quite capture it. We should be aiming for accountability.
In the past, brand messaging focused mainly on product benefits. Today, brands need to focus on more than the 'what you get' in their advertising. They need to tell a story that consumers can get behind and support—morally, politically, and more. Consumers want to feel good about the products they're wearing, using, or recommending.
As the expectations of consumers rise, so does public outcry. With the power to express themselves and share their opinions across multiple global platforms, the power of voice that was once held by few is now held by many.
1/3 of Americans have used social media to complain about a brand or its customer service. / Microsoft
In today's social media culture it may feel like public shaming is about as endless as Olive Garden's breadsticks. The birth of the internet has stoked the fire of cancel or callout culture. Yet at the heart of the cultural phenomenon, consumers (and the general public) recognize that actions speak louder than words, and brands need to step up.
You could label Ellen DeGeneres as canceled, or, you could say she was held accountable for her actions. Ellen DeGeneres' brand messaging was 'Be Kind to Each Other,' but rightly so, was called out for its inauthenticity.
Today, consumers have the ability to put brands in the hot seat. Companies need to center their marketing in honesty and authenticity.
The future of marketing is not about the story you tell, it's about the one your consumers do.
In our webinar ‘The End of the Advertising World as We Know It,’ we approach three massive shifts happening in the advertising landscape, why the power dynamics are shifting, and more importantly, what you can do about it.