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Favorite Five: Connecting Through Controversy

This week I’m looking into how controversial topics have shaped the way we perceive the world and the way different brands are connecting to their audiences through them.

  1. Making Sense of Nike’s Controversial Ad Campaign Decision by Bernadette Jiwa

“Believe in something. Even it it means sacrificing everything.” The decision of Nike to feature Colin Kaepernick has had a deeply divided reaction from consumers, but it’s been paying off. Their campaign teaches us that “the most successful brand stories aren’t for everyone.”

  1. How Brands Like Adidas Highlight Shared Values to Build Connections with Consumers by PSFK

Social activism is becoming increasingly important when people think about what brands they trust. Adidas teamed with Parley for the Oceans, Bonobos initiative #EvolvetheDefinition is trying to redefine what it means to be a man by becoming more inclusive of size and background, De Beers allows you to track the origin of your diamond, and Oliver Cabell is using transparent pricing on their website detailing production costs of their products. There are more issues that our audiences care about and it’s important to take that into account when crafting your message.

  1. A Tale of Two Kavanaughs by Simon Dumenco

This article juxtaposes how the same event can be interpreted in wildly different directions through voice and image choice. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read through a proposal and swapped out words like “difficulties” for “challenges”.

  1. Facebook Reportedly Debated a Ban on Political Ads by Angela Doland

Facebook is cracking down on efforts for voter suppression, including the spread of misinformation on its platform. It reportedly debated banning all political ads, which produce less than 5% of its revenue. In the end, it didn’t happen. It was argued that incumbents or wealthy campaigners would be favored because they can afford television and print ads, plus Facebook didn’t want to leave any money on the table. This is important considering 68% of American Still Get Their News on Social Media, Even If They Don’t Trust It.

  1. Three Ways To Connect With Your Audience On A Human Level by Adam Wagner

OK, this isn’t from the past month, but it’s still relevant! If you’re ready to take the next step in connecting with your audience, Adam Wagner has some great tips!

Kristie Norris


Kristie Norris is a Senior Marketing Coordinator who enjoys theatre as a both a performer and audience member, horseback riding, and occasionally lifting kettlebells. She is a contributor for the Favorite Five blog series and a member of the Communications and Education Committees.

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