(Short comment written for an article about the rise of craft gin. not sure if it was ever used, so here it is)
(originally written for a piece published last year)
Recent coverage of the state of masculinity is alarming. The latest research from the advertising association research arm Credos points to the negative effect advertising can have on boys’ body image. The same effect it has had on girls for many years. That research joins mounting evidence of a crisis related to the shifting roles of men, often blaming the void created by the decline of some of their ‘traditional roles’, such as being breadwinners. Make no mistake, those roles can be oppressive, sometimes toxic, and are cultural myths in their own right.
A recent study by the Journal of Gender Studies went as far as blaming the financial crisis for the rise of the ‘Spornosexual’ – young men using their toned bodies on social media as a means of feeling valuable in society. A part of a larger trend where fitness regimes are shared with the world as a visual means of getting positive attention. Attention that hides the flip-side of body-policing and shaming. Maybe we shouldn’t strive for that specific form of gender equality.
Putting aside moral panic, where the BBC condemns porn for causing erectile dysfunction in teenagers, it’s easy to feel empathy and concern when considering how boys learn what it means to ‘be a man’. The pressures of toxic masculinity can end in anxiety, depression and violence. Harming both men and women, particularly those who are vulnerable to begin with. Continue reading
The recent launch of Google’s brand identity evolution brings back to light questions around the impact of digital environments on brand identities.
Visual design is a vibrant, ever evolving world. It always combines timeless principles with new tools and changing fashions. Contemporary design operates within a global culture. One that has been getting increasingly visual for over a century since the early days of mass media.
Brand identities, specifically, now spend a large part of their lives in digital environments. These environments offer both opportunities and challenges, but are we really seeing the amount of innovation we’d expect? The kind we’ve seen in product design or interface design. What are the key factors shaping brand identities in digital environments? Continue reading
A brief comment from me has gone live this morning [yesterday. UB] on the front page of The Drum. Here’s a fuller version of my initial thoughts about Google Alphabet. Feel free to ask me anything in the comments.
Yes, it is the brand architecture move of the decade, and the memo announcing it is one of the best pieces of corporate communications I’ve ever come across.
No, I don’t think the name’s great.
No, not because of SEO. The domain is inspired, in fact, and the importance of a .com is overrated in the era of search engines, even more so when you’re Google.
So, some thoughts focused on the branding perspective: Continue reading
I moved this blog from an independently hosted server to WordPress.com.
Despite my best intentions and frequent WordPress updates, malicious code kept making its way into the template – knocking the blog off the air and wrecking havoc on my search engine results.
Some recent comments seem to have been lost in the process. Apologies.
Other than that – we resume our normal infrequent missives. If you crave more – don’t forget the Twitter and Facebook feeds, which often point to other publications before they are cross-posted here.
Thought leadership presents a challenge to the best and brightest of organisations. It’s hard to generate and even harder to fully leverage.
Hard to generate because good content is a rare thing and because organisations tend to rely on their most senior and, therefore, busiest people to come up with the goods. Harder to leverage because once a piece of thought leadership content is created, many organisations discover that it’s not creating the impact they were hoping for. An often resource-intensive process leads to a modest bang when the content is released and ends with a whimper.
So here are some reasons why nobody reads your thought leadership: