This video from the BBC’s “Ideas” project caught our attention this week. The ‘IMHO’ film challenges us to consider how social media influences our response to the world around us – requiring us to flick from happy to sad at the swipe of a finger as we scroll through news feeds and streams, without having the time to properly absorb and appreciate the impact of that emotional pendulum.
A lot has been written about the impact of social media on our wellbeing, and features exhorting us to delete the apps or switch off the alerts that have come to dominate our lives are common. As an industry, Communications is complicit in their proliferation, and the promotion of an idea that life is somehow diminished without them.
Has nuance been outflanked by absolutes? Are the binary positions of social media discourse, that assume that if you don’t love something then you must be a hater (a dynamic as applicable to Bieber fans as it is to Corbyn or Trump die-hards), a result of an online emotional reductionism that limits the range of human emotional response to ‘thumbs up’ or ‘angry face’ emoji?
It’s an issue that as a society we are only starting to recognise and grapple with, but it got us thinking, which can only be good.
Once upon a time… One of our water-based clients, MBNA Thames Clippers, was looking for ways to drive passenger footfall in the off-peak, Monday to Friday between rush hour periods.
The brand, if you’re unfamiliar, offers not only one of the most incredible ways to get to and from work (just ask Stacey) but a wonderful opportunity to see the city from the unique perspective of the river.
Hooking onto the annual media frenzy that is World Book Day, we teamed up with Walker Books – producers of such children’s classics as ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and ‘Maisy’s Boat’ – to create a series of ‘Tales on the Thames’ storytelling sailings.
Targeting the mums and dads with pre-school nippers, the sailings took place mid-morning over four Fridays in March. Boarding anywhere between London Bridge and Battersea Power Station parents could look forward to enjoying a cuppa from the on-board bar and taking in the iconic landmarks along the river while the little ones were engrossed in classic stories.
Now, there’s rarely a plan that goes off without a hitch and as luck would have it, the first sailing coincided with #Snowmageddon but by the end of the campaign the Tales on the Thames sailings were seeing footfall increases of more than 235 per cent.
As a Water Rat once said, “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats” and here at Siren Comms we certainly second that!