Looks so Real it must be Photoshopped

The contradictory title speaks volumes in France where they have recently enforced a law that requires photos that have been photoshopped, edited or retouched in any way MUST be labelled so. It would also require models to received a note from their doctors, saying that they are not dangerously thin before even being considered for a job. They enacted the law back in 2015, as an effort to combat anorexia and other forms of body dysmorphia; which became an increasingly prevalent issue in today’s society.

As of October 2nd this year, any company or brand that do not comply with these laws will be fined $44,100 or 30% of the cost of the advertising. Some would say it is a fitting price to pay for not complying with the law but I would argue that it is not enough, given the multitude of edited images we are bombarded with every day. Our obsession with looking perfect and seeming perfect has now affected how we interact on social media, where 57% of Australian women surveyed by the Syndey Morning Herald admit they have retouched their photos.

Good Effort

Australia has only tried but not in the same way France’s health minister has. Australia, back in 2010, had only suggested a voluntary “code of conduct” in the fashion industry to refrain from retouching photos. A far cry from the achievement that France can boast about today. How shameful it is that a progressive country like ours, compels 75% of women to feel ‘unattractive’, ‘ugly’ or ‘too fat’. Not only are we behind in technological advances and educational-revamping but we are now, falling behind in being socially responsible. It is not enough Australia, and guess who is paying for the short-comings of our health minister; you guessed it – every single one of us.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17j5QzF3kqE
Body Evolution: Model Before and After Photoshop

Here is a hypothetical scenario:

What would happen if Australia also enforced a law like this?

We would soon then see that all advertisement campaigns, celebrity social media accounts and digital media to be covered with red flags labelled “retouched photo”. I wonder how much liberation there will be when that happens. We are already living a post-body mindset era, where plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Iskra are seen on runways that originally saw 0 sized models. It is time that Australia caught up.

The pinnacle Question

But again we are here to discuss the effects of such legislation on our practices as digital marketers. Which industries would be heavily affected by this change besides the fashion industry and what kind of marketing implications would we need to consider before posting a photo of our products online?

One of my many answers to this question: FOOD. The number of times I have gone to buy food from somewhere and it looks nothing like the advertisement or menu item that I saw. Looking at you McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC.

The perfect album for wherever you go

What if you could go to a certain place in Melbourne, perhaps the Shrine of Remembrance, and there would be an album particularly dedicated to this location?

An album or playlist specifically made for St.Kilda Beach, Dandenong ranges or The twelve apostles?

Well, it is possible and in fact, Swedish band “John Moose” have done this themselves. John Moose describes their music to be a constant war between civilisation and nature, thus no better place to release their new album than in the woods. But how do you release music in the woods?


Geo-tagging, we know, is a tool used to locate where consumers are and perhaps give them a reward for being in this location – i.e. Pokemon Go. Or it can be seen most commonly used to promote a business’ location. Geo-tagging is not a fancy new innovation coming up in 2017, but it still has the potential to create meaningful content for your consumers.

Snapchat has recently released an AR (augmented reality) art exhibitions on their new World Len’s feature. It features nine different locations around the world and at each location, there is an art installation by Jeff Koons.  It encourages consumers to visit the Sydney Opera House to find a cool 3D, AR art sculpture of Popeye.

Other innovations with Geo-tagging have been covered before, for example using geo-tagging to create location-based stories (everywhere you go becomes a museum of history) to opening numerous virtual pop up stores in the middle of the forest, or the beach. What the band John Moose did was create an app, that could geo-tag where the consumer was and once you were tagged to be within some type of forest, the music starts playing automatically!

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQxaxhTkhl8&w=560&h=315

With Geo-tagging there are a plethora of opportunities to be discovered that perhaps will become even more prevalent with the emerging innovations of augmented reality. With the release of the iPhone X and it’s new platform which supports AR will set a new standard of mobile phones expected to in the next five years. As digital marketers, we need to continue to look to the future and find ways on how to effectively utilise new technologies to create meaningful content for our consumers to keep coming back to us.

How do you think Geo-tagging could be used to add to a brand’s marketing campaign? Maybe you have seen a campaign yourself but could be further improved through geo-tagging, let me know in the comments below! Would love to hear your ideas of using this digital tactic!





Monitoring Your EVERY Mood

We are now at the end of the emotional marketing series and it has been a pleasure to be able to share with you all the cool digital and technological enhancements that are being used to emotionally connect with consumers.

If you missed out on the past Emotional Marketing posts, it is not too late to join in on the discussion! I have previously explored VR and AEI being used in marketing.

Now onto the last topic on the agenda…


Mood marketing is a specific new trend emerging in Europe and has the potential to become a big digital marketing opportunity.

Essentially mood marketing is engaging with consumers through how they are feeling and customising products to suit their emotional needs. I talked about how AEI is, potentially, going to be used within Facebook’s algorithm to determine and analyse our mood. Imagine what it would be like if Apple and Samsung were allowed to do this too?!?

It is seeing a customer shift towards products that are an extension of themselves. Holistic marketing is not a relatively new phenomenon but it is how marketers are now utilising this technique, to see how effective their campaigns and promotions are.

What we are dealing with is Emotional Big Data… but how we do measure something we feel with numbers and graphs?

Companies such as LightWave and Realeyes, specialise in analysing consumer emotions when being exposed to stimuli. Recently, Realeyes used this big data and compared it against the sales data of Audi, and they found that emotion-tracking was 75% accurate in analysing the impact their ads have on consumers.

This technology would be useful to digital marketers wanting to determine consumer reaction and relate sales according to the most successfully emotional advertisement; then exploit it.

One example of this is a new technology is being brought to Melbourne at the UNIQLO, Emporium Store. They are asking customers to put on a headset that analyses their mood by asking questions to the customer. At the end of the experience, the consumer is given an outfit based on their mood. I will be trying it out when it drops next month so the emotional marketing series is not over just yet.

While we learnt this week that mobile marketing is “any marketing activity conducted through a ubiquitous network to which consumers are constantly connected using a personal mobile device”; I would like to know how you guys would expect to see mood marketing and emotional big data used in this type of digital marketing medium?

Do you think that, once Facebook starts analysing our mood through keyboard strokes and facial scanning, that Apple’s iTunes store will soon follow with their iPhone 8’s new facial scanning feature?

As always, let me know in the comments below!






Welcome back to part two of the emotional marketing series. I kicked it off last week with an exploration into why emotional marketing is important and the increasing use of VR within marketing campaigns, which you can read here. 

This week we will be exploring AEI…




Artificial emotional intelligence or as it’s known among IT scholars, affective computing, will revolutionise the way we live. Why?

Because if Disney can change the way Beauty and The Beast concludes in real time then perhaps, for some of us, the story ends with Bell’s father forever trapped by the Beast and Gaston marrying Bell instead.

Imagine a world where Woody stays with Al (creepy toy collector) in Toy Story 2 and never goes back to Andy.

Goodbye childhood.

According to Josh Walker, more brands are increasingly taking note of this new technology that can scan our faces, read our emotions and predict our behaviour by our moods.

So while I talked about Google and Snapchat using social media to recreate George Orwell’s nineteen-eighty-four (coincidentally in the decade of remakes) out of sarcasm, it turns out we probably already are living in a surveillance society.

And with AEI tech being patented within the algorithms of Facebook and used for research within Disney movies; brands such as Audi, BMW and Heineken are also using AEI to their advantage.

Realeyes an emotion-tracking software allows companies to scan our faces as we watch those brand’s advertisements, particularly online, to effectively determine which advertisement generated the most amount of sales.

All well and good for future marketers like us to be able to use emotion-tracking software to create better content.

But how far is too far? 

In May 2017, Facebook was granted access for a patent that allows them to scan our typing behaviour so that they can analyse how we feel and then line our news feeds with advertisements that are associated with these emotions.

I personally don’t want Facebook to detect that I am angry with my boyfriend and bombard me with ads about Tim Tams and Sara Lee rocky-road ice cream. Because yes I will get fat and it’s all Facebook’s fault.

I’m upset okay, can’t you tell by the way I’m typing?

But, let’s be real for a second.

I loved the way AEI has been used to capture the emotions of audiences while watching The Revenant, allowing marketers to see which parts the audience enjoyed and strategically market those points.

HOWEVER, I do not love some creepy dude watching me on the other side of my laptop camera to see if I’m enjoying that rocky-road ice cream.

(here’s a spoiler: I definitely am)

My question to you this week is how do you see the future of emotion-tracking software/AEI being applied to our daily lives and whether you would be comfortable with this change?

Let me know in the comments below! And thank you for staying tuned for another week of emotional marketing. 

Being Emo is Cool. Again.

Emotional Marketing, is a new trend emerging within advertisements and product development. There is no definite definition but this article clearly outlines the use of emotional marketing.

Emotional Marketing and It’s Importance:

Let’s be honest, advertisements don’t have much affect these days with ad blockers, options to skip ads after 5 seconds and catch-up TV. We have less time to cook and even lesser time to watch an advertisement play when we want to watch Jamie Oliver preform his magic.

But emo-marketing aims to connect with the consumer rather than shoving products in our face. Through recent technological advancements in AEI (artificial emotional intelligence) this may well be the future of marketing.

In a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review it found that customers who have a strong emotional connection (‘fully connected consumers’) to a brand, are 52% more valuable and profitable to the brand than compared to those who are just ‘highly satisfied’.

Lets take Apple for example. A highly-satisfied consumer probably buys a Macbook Air and loves it.

A fully-connected consumer, is someone who is addicted to Apple and buys an i-phone, apple watch, Macbook Air, Mac Desktop, Apple accessories and so on.

They are personally invested in the Apple brand. Therefore moving consumers from being highly satisfied to emotionally invested in your brand, is a far better long- term goal.

Now that we have established the importance of emotional intelligence and connectivity, let us look at Part One of the Emo-marketing series.

PART 1-  VR (Virtual Reality) Technology and Empathy

While VR isn’t relatively new, the ways in which it is being used to evoke strong human emotions from viewers has shown to be a really powerful tool. In this instance, New York times has used VR in their article ‘The Displaced’ which tells the stories of three children affected by the refugee crises and the fall out of war.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecavbpCuvkI

This is an incredibly sad and heart-wrenching story that left me crying by the end. But in amidst all this emotion, the inner marketer inside of me thought this was a GENIUS application of the VR experience to promote the use of their New York Times app.

It changes the experience of reading a news article online. Optimised for a mobile experience, it is clear they had a certain target audience in mind. “Who read the paper this morning?” – said no millennial, ever.

How do you think VR can be used to emotionally engage consumers and what other emotional campaigns can be explored through VR? Do you think it would be a useful strategy for marketers?

As usual, let me know in the comments below!

This concludes part one of a three-part series, so please follow me for more emotional marketing strategies being used within the digital world.

Snapchat’s UnSnapped Potential

I know in the past two weeks everyone has been talking about Snapchat and the ways in which they are trying to introduce new ways to advertise on their platform. What interests me, however, is why Snapchat is fast-becoming the gold rush of the millennial age.

Yes. It is true that Snapchat, in terms of growth, are not doing so well. In fact, they missed their Q1 financial target by $158 million and took a net loss of more than $2.2 million. After the release of their Q2 financial report, you can see Snapchat has had another $2.6 million loss due to the failing of their shares. However, what was also interesting was that Snapchat reported an increase of 21% (173 million) in daily active users of their app, which is more than what Instagram can boast.

So the question is, if Snapchat users are increasing every quarter why are they dropping money like it’s hot?

Well, the answer is that Snapchat holds too much control over what advertisers and companies can do on their app – talk about Kim Jung Un. Snapchat is a great platform full of untapped potential and great in many ways to reach into the mindsets of users under 25. Since we spend more time on Snapchat than we do sitting on the toilet, this is the platform worth a lot of time and effort to the right company.

We are so easily influenced by what we see our friends doing, buying, eating, drinking that Snapchatters are 55% more likely to buy things we don’t actually need than non-Snapchatters (those who don’t snap on the daily). It is also where the “early-adopters” are highly concentrated, as the platform compromises of millennials who actively try new things for the sake of it.

When you take all these things into consideration, from a marketer’s perspective this is where the gold is. While Snapchat shouldn’t free up their control to let advertisers do whatever they want (#YOLO, is that still a thing?), they should, however, allow more freedom for content creation to companies. This young audience Snapchat possesses, marketers just can’t reach through TV advertising, Facebook ads and Instagram altogether.

If Snapchat is where it’s at, then shouldn’t we let the rest get in on it too? Or from a consumer point of view, are you done with ads altogether? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


featured image source:
Dynamic Snapchat Logo/Icon

The Long Tail vs. Streaming

This week I researched about the Long Tail phenomenon and found some interesting dilemmas between Streaming algorithms and the long tail categories.

The Long Tail was a concept that came into fruition in 2004 (I know, its ancient!), written by Chris Anderson who was Editor-in-Chief for Wired magazine at the time of publish. It basically said, there is more entertainment out there in terms of niche and non-mainstream content than there is mainstream, or “popular hits”. Chris asserts that businesses like Amazon and iTunes (in 2004) were making just as much money off ‘Black-Eyed Peas’ albums as 100 non-mainstream bands because there was an audience for everything.

 A hit and a miss are on equal economic footing…Suddenly, popularity no longer has a monopoly on profitability. – Chris Anderson, Wired, 2004

Connecting marketing to the digital

Well, all amazon or iTunes had to do was track a consumer’s latest search or purchase which can help any business suggest products that are similar – creating more traffic within their business, and helping their consumers stay longer. In the eyes of the customer, Amazon looks pretty helpful in suggesting ‘No Doubt’ if you liked ‘Black-Eyed Peas’.

The Age of Streaming

However, 2004 was a millennium ago, and I doubt Chris could see the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and recently Jay-Z’s curated TIDAL. This has affected the way musicians market themselves now, especially those who are in the niche music categories. Music has seen the decline of physical CDs, records and digital downloads, as more and more consumers are switching to streaming services which derive their profit from subscriptions. This has seen the likes of Ed Sheeran making $400,000 from Spotify streams and Beyoncé making her partner millions as her full album Lemonade can only be exclusively streamed on TIDAL.

But what happens to the little guys?

Bands like The Orwells and other alternatives of the music industry are now relying heavily on licensing their music to companies, movie productions and Netflix shows just to make enough money to keep going. Streaming has made it impossibly hard for small musicians to get streaming time, since the algorithm loops through all the popular songs before getting to the depths of the long tail. As small artists struggle to make a living, big artists gain LOTS of money from the algorithm of Spotify and Apple Music.
How can we help the little guys get a piece of the pie too?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

featured image source: