When the news broke in my Direct and Interactive Marketing class that I would be one of the seven students representing St. Lawrence College at The Gathering Summit in Banf, Alberta I was excited about something for the first time in many months. All of the hard work had paid off and I could not help but feel proud of myself and my team for getting this opprotunity.
As I packed my suitcase months later, it still all felt surreal. The thought that I would be in the pressence of some of the most forwarding thinking brands gave me this imense sense of joy. Arriving at the summit was a whole other feeling. The feeling of belonging.
Getting to listen to all of these leaders of brands such as IBM, The North Face, Marvel, and Porche was both the most surreal and enlightening experience of my entire young life. With each speech I somehow always had pages of notes, encapslated with peals of wisdom and humour.
Having the experience of helping run a large scale event was a huge rush to the head everyday. Being in the atmosphere of so many groundbreaking individuals was intoxicating, like a drug that you would never want to come down from.
I plan to write more deatil on my experience over the summer when I have more time to write. The Gathering was my calling card and I am so happy I picked up.
In chaos, there lies great thought. Life is extraordinarily chaotic at times and it can be difficult to find the medium that settles it all. For me, the medium that settles the chaos is blogging.
I had the pleasure of being introduced to the art of blogging this semester in Frank Armstrongs MCOM5 class. An introduction I am happy to have made. Blogging has given me a space to express my thoughts and opinions. Blogging enables me to connect my passions like philosophy and my work in marketing together to show the complete picture of my own mind to the world.
This semester blogging has taught me connectivity. When writing posts I always try to connect the starting thoughts to the finishing ones to show the full evolution of a post. Since blogs are meant to be short, this strategy really has helped me collect my thoughts. I have also used this strategy to mutter through the chaos of my other school work and life decisions.
Blogging made me realize that I need an outlet to discuss my thoughts on topics. I’ve always loved writing, often gravitating to forms that relate to my perspective. Blogging gives me the opportunity to relate my personal anecdotes to professional topics.
I plan to continue my blog both inside the classroom and outside. Over the summer I plan to write about more philosophy, music, film and marketing trends. Thank-you for enduring the chaos that is my mind and giving me your attention to explain my insights.
Last week in my Consumer Behaviour class with Laura Kittner, we had an open discussion about Sam Harris’s podcast on Persuasion and Control. Through the podcast, I was struck with a thought about our online or rather digital personas. We care so much about what we post but we don’t think twice about what we “like” on social media… why is that?
In the podcast, Sam Harris and his guest Zeynep Tufekciabout data collection in regards to our digital footprint. Everything we scroll past, every post we stay on, every “like” we give all lends to our own digital persona. It seems we never consider that marketers are using that data to read and predict our vulnerability to purchase.
Marketers have access to this data and have been reported using it to market certain products to consumers. A case discussed in the podcast highlights a company in Australia sifting through data of adolescent females. They were looking for individuals that showed possible signs of low self-esteem through their online behaviours.
Is this ethical?
As individuals, we take so much time out of our lives crafting and caring about our online persona. We take hours crafting the perfect posts and ensuring that they “fit our aesthetic” and our “personal brand”, but we forget about our more personal behaviours on social media and how they impact our image. Though the average social media doesn’t have access or care to have access to knowing what the people around them are doing online, marketers do.
Where is the line drawn?
If we took the amount of time thinking about the posts we are “liking” and seek out our purchase behaviour would be incredibly different in theory.
It seems that individuals today care immensely about how their lives look to others. With the boom of visual social media, people are sharing their lives through their own filtered lens. However, when “designing” our lives, where do we as individuals stop and take that filter off?
When considering the phrase “form follows function”, I am drawn to the opinion that form and function need to harmonize with one another to create the best outcome. This debate reigns similar to that of the whole “which came first: the chicken or the egg?” debacle. There is really no right answer here.
When considering the idea of form follows function, I immediately thought about the film Black Swan (2010). The main character in the film descends into madness while trying to embody both the white swan and the black swan. Soon discovering that she must be both in order to reach perfection.
The white swan in the ballet is innocent and perfect in every technical aspect but lacks emotional depth with her dancing. In contrast, the black swan may not be as technique driven but is rather intoxicating with her execution and intensity.
The white swan represents the function, the technique driven side. While the black swan represents the form; the visual and emotional intensity the ballet captures its audience with. When looking at this particular example it needs to be understood that both core qualities need to be present to create a humanized piece of art.
If there is no passion in the piece, is it really worth experiencing?
It seems that the goal of anything at the end of the day is to draw individuals in. In order to do so, one must let form and function support one another and intertwine to create the final result. They are one nucleus flowing together.