Lego has announced it will no longer do business with British tabloid newspaper, The Daily Mail.

It was a response to a public campaign, called #StopFundingHate, which directly targeted advertisers in several major UK newspapers, urging them not to support publications that promoted “demonisation and division” during the Brexit debate.

Sarah, James and Nic take a look at what this sort of campaign means for brands and the media.

 

Here are some key take-outs:

  • Brands need to uphold the values they claim they represent. Brands that don’t are susceptible to this kind of campaign.
  • What was the honest reason behind Lego’s decision? Perhaps they wanted to walk away from their advertising arrangements with the newspaper anyway? Perhaps they had no more promotions planned.

“This has been hijacked. This is the power of social media. We’ve built up a furore around it and we’ve placed Lego on this enormous pedestal of ‘true value’ — what a fighter for the Stop Hate campaign — when the campaign had actually come to a close.” — Nic

 

  • The winner may well be The Daily Mail, because they’re getting publicity out of this. It might actually win them more readers.
  • The way the media behaves has changed. Media organisations are now partisan. The question for Lego is why it ever wanted to do a promotion with a media organisation with values that are so out of line with the values it claims to represent?

“Obviously Lego had identified that the readers of the Daily Mail were a good market for them, that there were some synergies there, and they probably didn’t take it to the next step and ask themselves ‘do we agree with the editorial?’ It was only when they got called out that they decided to address that. It’s up to individual companies to decide how much criticism they’re willing to take from their audience.” — Sarah

 

  • Social media is a powerful tool — it empowers the public and consumer. A campaign like this can snowball quickly. It is likely Lego just got caught out.
  • Brands can actually benefit from making decisions that respond to campaigns like these, if it’s done correctly. But how you respond is a business decision and simply caving in to pressure may not be the best course of action.

 

Here are the links you might need

 

Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at whether the desire to “go viral” is killing trust.

 

And here’s a discussion about “newsjacking” and the virtues of controversy.

 

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

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It’s Election Day in the United States. We made it. But at what price? The Brand Newsroom team takes a close look at negativity. How should we handle it? What’s the cost of letting it run free? The Donald Trump experience seems to teach us that going negative can get you a long way. But is there a better way to achieve your goals?

 

 

Here are some key take-outs:

 

  • Negative news sells. It’s just a part of the human condition. The media and marketers know that a bad news story is always going to sell more than a good news story.
  • Being negative got Trump out in front of the media and spoke to his base, which feels negatively about the issues he champions. It’s a cheap way to present and while it worked for Trump it won’t work for brands.

“We can be so put off by some negative comments that float around but equally we can get so much attention by drawing attention to the negative”. — James

 

  • There has been a huge backlash to Trump’s toxic way of communicating. It might have got him the attention, but can it win him the election?
  • Don’t just recognise the problem; deliver the solution.
  • You don’t have to go negative the way Trump has to talk to your base. There’s nothing more powerful than saying, “I understand the stress you’re feeling, and I can help you with that”. It’s taking that negative message but delivering it positively.

“Getting the pitchforks out, taunting the natives and inciting riot, even if it’s in the social media space… it’s a race to the bottom.” — Sarah

 

  • We stand on our reputation and if your reputation is negative, that’s not going to stand you in good stead in the long-term. Negativity has a shelf life.
  • Having love and empathy for your audience is far more powerful than negativity.
  • Negativity attracts negativity — so be careful what you wish for.

“My grandmother used to say, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” — Nic

 

Here are the links you might need

  • James Lush’s blog about negativity.

 

Have you heard the one about…

A couple of months ago Sarah did a little experiment examining the email marketing campaigns of the Trump and Clinton campaigns. Here’s what she found out.

 

And here’s a discussion with Jonathan Crossfield about avoiding social media marketing mistakes.

 

Like what you’ve heard?

 

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.

 

Award-winning Australian journalist and thought-leader Waleed Aly has warned media companies against chasing viral content, claiming it will ultimately destroy trust with their audiences.

Today the Brand Newsroom team takes a close look at ‘short-termism’. Is being hungry for likes, shares, views and follows degrading our brands and risking our relationship with our most important asset — our customer?

 

 

Here are some key take-outs:

 

  • Brands are losing focus on their business and trying to work out ‘how can we go viral; how can we get more likes?’ It’s better to focus on your business goals.
  • Audiences have got to a point where they’re ‘dumbed down’: they’re used to the “fast-food” version of content. We should still be tackling the more complicated content and creating it in a way that still appeals, and helping build the audience appetite for that.

‘Marketers are now behaving like advertisers used to behave, but without the finesse’. — Sarah

 

  • With the media collapsing there is less and less good information out there. That means now is a great opportunity to create quality, information-rich content. Brands can own a niche and become the world’s foremost authority in their area.

‘The media cycle is only going to get faster. You think it’s quick now, wait until you see it in six months from now’. — Nic

 

  • Mix in the ‘fast-food’ content with the quality content.
  • Brands don’t have to get caught up in the short-termism that’s plaguing traditional media. Keep producing quality content. Not every piece of content will be a winner with the audience, but keep creating excellent content as this will build trust with your audience when they do engage with it.
  • Long-form content is some of the most successful content that’s out there at the moment.

‘If you keep feeding them rubbish, you’re going to get rubbish at the other end’. — Nic

 

Here are the links you might need:

 

Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic spoke to Bernadette Jiwa about putting more love into your marketing.

 

And here’s a discussion about building personal brands.

 

Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.