We’re talking about sincerity this week. Authenticity is a much-valued property in social media and people have a way of sniffing out (and calling out) Ridiculous Marketing Nonsense. Sincerity is rewarded and admired with folk wanting to help out by supporting a protest or contributing their knowledge or funding. So, we see folk mobilising online against Russia’s antigay laws by protesting the Sochi Winter Games. The Pixar Theory is an example of one passionate individual incorporating feedback from similarly passionate people to create an entertainingly elaborate unifying theory for all of the Pixar movies. But we must ask if Diageo’s latest Guinness social media campaign is genuinely helping creative projects get much needed funding or a cynical marketing stunt that may turn people against the brand.
The Pixar Theory. “All of the Pixar movies actually exist within the same universe!’ is the bold claim made by Jon Negroni. Inspired by a video on Cracked.com that claims that all Pixar movies are about apocalypse, Negroni became obsessed with the idea of a grand unifying narrative that explained all of the Pixar movies since Toy Story. The main website doesn’t do the whole, meticulous and indeed crowdsourced theory justice, so read the full thing on Negroni’s blog.
Fascinating stuff, and bears a striking similarity to the rebooted Battlestar Galactica story too, no?
Sincerity in Social Media – A Tricky Business. Diageo’s latest Guinness marketing initiative in Ireland is coming under scrutiny. Diageo are making bursaries of up to €50,000 available to creative projects that garner enough votes from the public (and pass muster with judges that include The Script, Chris O’Dowd and more). The Irish Times’ Jim Carroll has major reservations about creatives effectively doing Diageo’s marketing for free by pestering their mates to vote for them through social media (the #arthurguinnessprojects hastag has been popping up in Irish folk’s Twitter and Facebook spaces quite a lot).
No-one is denying that the arts requires funds, but few seem to be asking why this sort of shizzle has become the norm. In terms of promoting great culture, art and creativity, plugging the bejaysus out of a company who flog alcohol to the masses doesn’t strike one as the right way to go about this.
But are Carroll and other critics looking at this from only one perspective? One commenter points out that ‘arts practitioners, journos etc. are in the eye of the storm – we work around these people all the time, so our feeds our packed with a multitude of asks. [H]owever when I reach out to my network outside of the arts, I’m the only ask they are ever getting. They don’t know any other artists, and actually they really want to get involved and help”.
Those Sochi Blues. I’ve tried but I can’t find the source of this striking collage of distressed LGBT people in Russia with the logos of various sponsors of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. I saw it on Facebook and then added it to a tweet which has been retweeted almost 100 times and reached thousands and thousands of eyeballs.
— Enda Guinan (@endaguinan) August 7, 2013
Those advocating a boycott or protest have also been making their feelings known on the official Facebook and Twitter accounts of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. Judging by the lack of response through these channels, the social media team are hoping all the noise will just go away.
How many of you have a photograph of the single best moment of your life? If so, what a gift. (HT: @sports_casters for thought).
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) July 9, 2013
Twitter redeemed. This blog has been highlighting some of the more unedifying behaviour magnified by Twitter recently, so it’s with great pleasure that we can also bring you some of the opposite. Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch tweeted out a request for followers to share a photograph of ‘the single best moment of your life’. The crowdsourced response is touching.
Philip Larkin vs Paradise Garage Forget ridiculous marketing nonsense for 4 mins and download some smart pop from Dubliner David Turpin. In advance of his ‘We Belong Dead’ album due in September, we get a “disco meditation on the loss of sexual innocence and the dark side of parenthood”. ‘A Warning to the Curious’ is 20 percent Philip Larkin and 80 percent Paradise Garage”. (So slinky is the track that it fits beautifully in #comicbookresurrection, a DJ mix by my alter ego Daddy or Chips?)
I’m sold. Buy it on iTunes now.
The Week in Social is on vacation until Sept 6th. Enjoy the rest of the summer!