Should Companies Participate In Controversial Conversations For The Sake Of Marketing?

Should Companies Participate In Controversial Conversations For The Sake Of Marketing?

Should companies participate in controversial conversations?


There has been a wide range of responses to Nike's new campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick.

Some people are angry over the company featuring the controversial football player, and others are delighted in the companies support of Kaepernick and his movement.

Controversial activism has become a trend in current day society, to the point that there is societal pressure to participate in an activist movement. But is it a good idea, from a marketing standpoint, to contribute to the conversation? In a society full of political tension, division, sensitivity and overall unrest, is it really such a smart idea for companies to be jumping on the "controversial activism" bandwagon?

Through my own study of advertising and marketing, I would personally say that it is not a good idea for a brand or a company to wave its political affiliation in the open.

Many argue it's our rights as Americans to voice our opinion, which it definitely is, but from a purely business standpoint, it's a poor business plan in hindsight.

America is made up of a plethora of opinions and ideas. As a company, presenting one idea as the "good" idea and another as the "bad" is alienating half of your consumer base. Many companies have suffered from vocalizing their political opinions, such as Yeti and Target.

Kaepernick, as a "brand," became a business risk in the NFL, and therefore, he was unable to be signed once he chose to become a free agent and opted out of another year on the 49ers. Although we have freedom of speech laws in place to protect us from governmental scrutiny, those same freedom of speech laws do not carry over into businesses. Although standing up for something you believe in is a good thing, mixing business and controversial activism is not. Unless a business is centered around making an impact on a community, keeping business free of personal feeling and biased is the best decision.

There are other reasons I believe businesses are foolish for participating in controversy.

First of all, a lot of current day activist movements are baseless upon further research. A recent trend is banning plastic straws to help lessen the build-up of trash in the oceans. People are encouraging businesses and restaurants to offer paper alternatives or no straws at all.

The issue with this movement is that plastic straws make up less than 1% of the ocean's trash, especially plastic straws from the US.

The US is responsible for less than 5% of the trash in the oceans. If America stopped using plastic straws, there would still be the same amount of plastic in the ocean. On the contrary, those with disabilities need plastic straws to properly drink their beverages, and almost every substitute does not suffice. So when companies, such as Starbucks, pledge to stop using plastic straws to appeal to the anti-straw movement, they are doing nothing to actually save the oceans while inconveniencing a lot of their customers.

Some companies have even created solutions that harm the environment in more ways, such as the Starbucks' new cup covers. They hopped on a new activist trend without extensive and critical research in an attempt to improve their business' reputation, but instead inconvenienced a percentage of their customers and had no actual positive impact on the community.

Let's also not allow out naivety to get the better of ourselves; these companies use controversial movements as a mechanism to create more business.

Although Nike may possibly agree with Kaepernick's movement, their main objective is to generate more sales. Every "activist" decision a corporate company makes is in an attempt to improve their sales.

No big corporate business would make a decision that didn't live to serve their overall success. Their first thoughts are on money, not impact. When a company makes a public spectacle of their activism, they're doing so to improve their situation, not anyone else's.

In my opinion, this cheapens activism and the fight for a better society.

Is Nike donating any of their profit made from Kaepernick's campaign to improve inner-city schools and communities? Is Nike or Kaepernick meeting with government officials to create better laws that protect citizens from police brutality and support citizens in cases of police brutality? Are they working with law enforcement divisions to improve training programs, to ensure only the best, most well-trained and most professional policemen are being produced from these programs? Does Kaepernick condone Nike using sweatshops in foreign countries to produce their products, despite his entire movement being based around fighting for the oppressed?

There is a certain level to which brands are exploiting very serious movements in the name of turning a profit. Real support of issues would be to work with law officials, work with those who need help, donate to charities, create charities in support of lesser-known issues and more.

Finally, I disagree with companies participating in controversy simply because of the lack of creativity in the whole practice.

Perhaps years ago stating a controversial opinion was fresh and exciting, but so many companies have used this method of marketing that it's become white noise. In an attempt to be exciting and edgy, corporate companies announcing support for controversial movements, or even just using any activist movement to improve their reputation and sales, has become stale and boring.

The company that learns how to make a positive difference in the community and manages to connect all groups of people in support of their brand will be the company that has truly made a creative, edgy, interesting and shocking campaign.

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.

The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.

2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.

3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.

4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).

5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.

6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.

7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.

8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.

9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.

10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.

11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.

12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.

13. Goblin Shark

This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.

14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.

15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.

16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.

17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.

18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.

19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.

And finally....

20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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I Will Always Call Myself A Dreamer

The new thing you should practice: reading the vibrations that surround you.


In "The Science That Will Change Your Future", Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about how everything in life communicates through vibrations. We can simplify everything, even to the atomic level, to good and bad vibes. Before you snort at the person who says you're giving off bad vibes, maybe consider this first. Dr. Lipton talks about how the gazelle doesn't go up to the lion and asks, "Are you my friend?", instead the gazelle can feel its bad vibes. How can the gazelle do this?

Vibrations do one of two things when they interfere with each other: mesh or clash. Good vibes are vibrations that mesh together. Bad vibes are vibrations that clash. The gazelle can sense its energy clashing with the energy of the lion (he terms this as destructive interference).

Dr. Lipton talks about how we are trained to not sense these vibrations. We see animals do it! Some people will tell you that cats just don't like them, for whatever reason. I have had many friends who said that if their dog didn't like you, then you probably aren't a good person.

Animals base everything off of their intuition to these vibrations; it is their key to survival. Everyone knows that dogs and cats can't see color. But have you ever really watched your pet? How their eyes dart around the room, or they growl at nothing? They are seeing things we aren't able to see. They are sensing vibrations in the room that we are not capable to sense.

What does any of this have to do with classifying yourself as a dreamer?

Those who are classified as dreamers are mainly those who pursue careers dealing with their artistic abilities. Having artistic abilities means you are more in-tune with not only your emotions but the emotions in the space around you. You are more perceptive of others and your surroundings. Thus, you are more in-tune with the vibrations that your art comes from. Your brain makes a neural connection between an emotion (a vibration), and what you produce (your art).

If you are a dreamer, you are unrealistic. You are perceived as driftwood; floating on idealism. If you are stiff and follow a designated path, you are practical and considered a "realist."

But who is more real? The one who ignores the vibrations in their environment; the businessman guiding the Caterpillars? Or the dreamer, who not only recognizes the vibes, but is able to portray them in a way that others can not only comprehend, but feel in their own ways?

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