Continued from Flux Trends’ 6 Trends for 2019…
The era of brand activism is evolving. Fast. Brands are no longer showing their socio-political stance as a reaction to an event or crisis. Instead brand value and reputation are now being built via a very different customer experience. Last year, UK football club Chelsea FC began reprimanding fans for bad behaviour. The club announced that any fan found guilty of anti-Semitic abuse would be given “the opportunity” to visit a concentration camp for an educational rehabilitation course or face being banned from attending matches for three years.
After his much-publicised kneeling protests during the national anthem at US football games, Nike anticipated its Colin Kaepernick campaign would unleash a social media storm. The reactions were unsurprisingly extreme, with applause on the one hand and condemnation on the other. In a humorous response, the brand released a safety guide for people who wanted to protest by burning their Nike merchandise.
These responses show how brands are becoming unapologetic about their social stance regardless of the backlash. It’s no longer a case of sticking one’s neck out, but rather a moral anchor in a world with complex and ever-changing undercurrents. Move over Brand Activism, and say hello to #MoralityMarketing.
Above: Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Campaign
By: Dion Chang and Khumo Theko
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