Fake news, echo chambers and cultural collision - what can brands do?

December 17, 2016

Fake news and echo chambers became headline issues during the recent US election. Whether it was outrageous stories fabricated by the pseudo-press to lure clicks (and ad dollars), or algorithms set up by social media to feed viewers stories that reinforced their worldview while blocking contrary thoughts, the phenomenon raised a disturbing question: are we losing our grip on the truth, and becoming a hostile, fearful world?

I believe brands can play a key role in reversing this trend. After all, they've done it in the past.

Consider Coke's I'd like to teach the world to sing commercial, which gave us a brief respite from political, racial and social tensions during the late 60's.  Or the famous United Colours of Bennetton ads that forced us to confront our racial, sexual and societal prejudices in the 80's.

There is terrific upside for brands that are brave enough today to challenge our fear and hostility towards the 'other'. Which brands will seize the opportunity?

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