Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Ali.
1. Gillette’s ad divides opinion
Gillette’s new ad on the theme of ‘toxic masculinity’ seems to have split the nation right down the middle. The brand’s usual slogan of ‘the best a man can get’ has been replaced with ‘the best men can be’, and taps in to the #MeToo movement, encouraging men to improve their collective behaviour and stand up to bullying, sexism and harassment.
The ad provoked outrage with television presenter Piers Morgan becoming embroiled in the debate and a collective call to boycott other products from owners, Procter & Gamble.
The case against the ad was fought on three fronts. Firstly, that it vilifies all men, secondly the appropriateness of a brand campaigning on such an issue, and thirdly on the execution of the ad. While individuals weren’t against an FMCG company hijacking the issue for their own benefit per se, many were undecided whether the advert was cheesy, stereotyping or just plain aggressive, in trying to communicate a worthy message.
The ad received 16.5m views on YouTube in 4 days. Only time will tell whether they sell more razors as a result.
2. Eggstatic on Instagram
An innocuous picture of an egg became a huge Instagram hit this week when it surpassed the current record for the most likes on the platform.
The speckled brown egg was posted by Egg Gang (@world_record_egg) and was accompanied by the message:
It’s an anti-establishment victory for the little guy. Social media channels, which supposedly give everyone a voice, have largely become overrun with the noise of big brands and highly paid celebrities endorsing those big brands. It’s a refreshing change to see that low key activity can still go viral.
Needless to say, many brands jumped on the bandwagon with eggscruciating puns (sorry – couldn’t resist) and in the end even Egg Gang decided to capitalise on their success and announced a range of merchandise.
3. YouTube bans harmful pranks
YouTube has announced safeguarding measures and banned any clips that depict dangerous or emotionally distressing pranks.
The Google-owned video sharing platform said that while it recognises it is the home for many beloved viral challenges and pranks, it needs to ensure that what’s funny doesn’t cross the line into also being harmful or dangerous.
It cited examples such as activity that encouraged people to eat washing machine tablets, set fire to themselves or drive blindfolded.
The banned content will also include videos that cause distress to children, even if no physical harm is done – such as being tricked into thinking their parents were dead. The channel sought help from child psychologists in defining what constitutes a traumatic experience.
4. Congresswoman AOC
At just 29, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (often referred to as AOC) is rocking social media like no other US politician has done before her. In fact, the New York Times referred to her as a ‘Twitter powerhouse’.
Not concerned about losing face on social media, the Democrat uses social media to engage with her audience in a humorous and refreshing way (as well as for quick retorts and put-down of politicians who, in her opinion, step out of line).
Earlier this month, a video of her dancing at university surfaced and the poster described her as a ‘clueless nitwit’. She responded by posting another video dancing in front of her congressional office with the caption, “I hear the GOP [The Republican Party, is also referred to as the GOP] thinks women dancing are scandalous. Wait till they find out Congresswomen dance too!”
She frequently hosts Instagram live sessions, sometimes whilst cooking at home, and seems more comfortable than most politicians in using the channel to interact with her constituents in an authentic way. So much so that she’s now leading sessions for other Democrats on how to use Twitter in a more effective way. She must be doing something right with 2.5m followers.
Whichever side you’re on, as time progresses, there must be increasing numbers of BOBs (Bored of Brexit) amongst us and in these ludicrously complex times, a little humour goes a long way.
Larry the Cat (@Number10cat), the unofficial tabby in position ‘longer than the leaders of any of the main UK political parties’ at No 10 Downing Street makes for a good read: