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October 2018

Lightbox Loves

Lightbox Loves: Battle of the Dancing Queens

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Theresa May vs Cher: Battle of the Dancing Queens

Dancing Queens

On September 28th Cher released an album of back to back ABBA classics. On Wednesday 3rd Oct Theresa May opened her party conference speech in Birmingham, dancing onto the stage to ABBA classic Dancing Queen. But which Dancing Queen did the nation prefer?

We’re currently in a time when Brits feel least confident in the Government (-55%) and political parties (-64%) than ever. In Birmingham this lack of confidence in Government is even higher at -65%. [1] During a time of clear political tension are the Prime Minister’s dance steps a move to make herself more personable, or a much-misguided joke with worse timing than her very own dance steps?

Looking at Twitter sentiment it would seem the joke didn’t quite land. Net sentiment for Theresa May and dancing on the 3rd was -10%, with 8% of tweets expressing disgust and 7% anger. Net sentiment for Theresa May on the day was even lower at -32%.[2] Not quite the strong and stable image the PM was perhaps hoping for.As the week continued, sentiment across Twitter fell for Theresa May with emotions of Sadness (36%), Disgust (24%) and Anger (7%) all expressed in the Twittersphere. Compared with just 20% of tweets that expressed Joy, it would seem that Mrs May has missed the mark.[3]

In a time when tensions are high in UK politics, and the country with no clear guide on Brexit the Prime Ministers choice of entrance feels off key. In light of Brexit, the choice of ABBA in particular is misguided, with ABBA’s very own Bjorn Ulvaeus stating that ABBA is “such a European idea”. [4]

Meanwhile, on Sept 28th Cher’s album landed with a resounding yes please – emotion on twitter on the day for Cher and ABBA was 80% Joy, with a net sentiment of 39%. [5] The contrast in sentiment between the two comes down to authenticity. While Theresa May is a politician and has no place in the realm of camp humour, Cher is a music icon who could easily take on the world of ABBA and add something to it for fans.

Brands should heed the lesson it they want to avoid negative sentiment on social media. Know your brand, tone and style and avoid following hype for the sake of hype. Or risk the backlash of the keyboard warriors.

1 QT AUG 2018
2 CRIMSON HEXAGON | Oct 1st – Oct 5th “Theresa May” and “dancing”
3 CRIMSON HEXAGON | Oct 1st – Oct 5th “Theresa May”
4 https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jul/27/bjorn-ulvaeus-abba-was-such-a-european-idea
5 CRIMSON HEXAGON | Sept 28th “Cher” and “ABBA”

Lightbox Loves

Lightbox Loves: You Are The Media You Eat

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The amount of time we’re spending with media is growing. With phones smarter, quicker and more embedded into our lives, we’re now spending 24 hours a week online… checking our phone every 12 minutes (1). But it’s not just new channels that eat up more of our day. Including SVOD services – such as Netflix – the amount of time we’re spending watching TV is now the highest it’s ever been (2). New tech developments only take up more of our time: the introduction of smart speakers, for example, leads to higher radio listening for 71% of users, as it becomes easier to do so (4).

It often feels like media is consuming us, rather than vice versa. So it’s not surprising that over a half of us want a break from the most distracting of all: the phone (3). This month, The Royal Public Health Society urged us to have a “scroll free” September, as research continues to uncover a negative relationship between amount of time online and our (mental) health.

But, we’re the ones consuming all this media – we choose to watch TV, listen to the radio or scroll through the gram. So why do we choose to do what’s apparently bad for us? And is it all bad for us?

Faris Yakob, author of Paid Attention, claims that much like a well-balanced nutritional diet, we should strive for a well-balanced media diet (5). However, just as we are tempted by candy and chocolates over fruit and vegetables, we’re easily distracted by more meaningless but “snackable content”, away from media we want to consume: the podcasts we love, the films we can’t wait to see or the journalism we admire. Brands should remember that in these contexts where audiences consume media they value, these audiences are made more valuable in turn.

And for us, while our time in media is growing, not all of it grows us – so put down that phone, and pick up that book.

1. Ofcom: Communications Market Report 2018
2. ThinkBox: Magic of TV 2018
3. the7stars: The QT: August 2018
4. RadioCentre: Getting Vocal
5. https://medium.com/@faris/you-are-what-you-eat-7881b962ed3