Brands and the Mother’s Day dance.
Last weekend was Mother’s Day. If this is news to you, then you might be in hot water with a certain someone in your life. God speed, my friend.
How marketers handle Mother’s and Father’s Day has become quite the hot topic in recent years. A growing number of brands are offering customers the option to opt out of the holiday. This year included Levi’s, Boisson, Ancestry and Kay Jewelers. Canva’s opt out email included a simple option for customers to change their preferences before the upcoming holiday. DoorDash offered a similar option, and reported more than 80,000 consumers opted out this year. Clearly, the effort is well received.
The common hope is to spare customers who don’t want them from potentially bittersweet messages or even painful reminders. Companies are aiming to prioritize empathetic communications over potential flash sales products.
But, are they really? All cynicism aside, we all know the name of ANY marketing game is money. And while kind hearted messaging might hold some intentions of sympathy, the bottom line is… the bottom line. Brands want to keep their customers close, and this is yet another tool to do so. There’s nothing wrong with retailers over acknowledging the consumer’s feelings, but it can come off as manipulative and exploitative.
We asked our team their thoughts.
When this started a couple of years ago, I thought it was so thoughtful and kind of brands to honor someone’s space to not receive content that may be triggering given their circumstances. But now that it’s been a couple of years, should it become part of overall content opt in strategies? Telling us the type of content you want/don’t want to receive… is it doing more harm than good?
The catering of every detail of life to my own preferences so that I can avoid hard emotions or discomforts creates an environment in which emotional resilience and deep empathy is harder to grow in. When I can cherry pick all the inputs, I create my own echo chamber. Taken in a larger context, if society only cherry picks for its own comfort, society will then become so fragmented and fractured that it can’t functionally work together. I think this is part of what we’re seeing today.
Originally I thought it was thoughtful but then it turned into every company sending these out. Seems like maybe only relevant brands should participate? I would expect it for Chatbooks or maybe a jewelry brand I subscribe to but perhaps not my electric company.
In summary, we appreciate a moment of silence from Kay’s, but do we really need a hug from Carl’s Lightbulb Company? The answer is no. We’re good, Carl.
The Senate meets about AI
On Tuesday, the US Senate held a hearing concerning the future of artificial intelligence. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, called for regulations, warning that the technology could bring “significant harm to the world.” Comforting.
With New AI models being introduced at a rapid pace, Altman suggests a new federal agency is necessary to license AI companies. The latest version of OpenAI’s language model, ChatGPT, is now the fastest-growing consumer application in history. Sooo… what’s so scary about it? Well, the big focus is humans being replaced by machines. And while the technology requires direction from actual humans, there will also be concerns about which humans have input control. Is anyone else getting Dr. Evil vibes? Just me?
In summary, while the potential of the technology is exciting, the threats it poses go on and on…. and on. Fears have quickly snowballed from homework cheating, to the mass production of misinformation, violating copyright protections and upending the job market. Elon Musk has gone as far to say that AI technology is “more dangerous than a nuclear weapon.” Noted.
Twitter names a new CMO
More news from Twitter HQ. Linda Yaccarino was named the social platform’s newest CEO. Yaccarino will focus primarily on business operations, while Musk handles the product design and new technology. The two had a quick back and forth on Twitter declaring their enthusiasm for the future, both expressing confidence in a “Twitter 2.0.” Real cute, you two.
Yaccarino comes with an impressive resume, working at Turner Entertainment for 15 years before serving as the head of advertising at NBCUniversal. With her new gig, she joins the less than 10% of women at the head of Fortune 500 tech companies. Cue Beyonce.
She’ll certainly have her work cut out for her. Yaccarino will face the challenge of running a business that has historically struggled to be profitable, all while facing scrutiny over its handling of misinformation. Musk’s dreams, beyond profitability, include expanding the site’s functions to include payments, encrypted messaging and phone calls, turning it into something he called X.
Best of the Week
Follow the trends
- The head of Maserati’s marketing, and Nike’s former CMO, shares 6 pieces of marketing wisdom. I guess you could say these brands are sort of successful, so maybe worth a listen.
- More thoughts on AI from Think With Google. How the technology is shaping search Ads, and how it will be the end of the world. Just kidding about that last part. Or am I…
- Everyone’s talking about Amazon’s latest show for a reason. Jury Duty is laugh out loud funny. The downside? There’s only one season so far. Watch slowly.
- Luke Combs and Ed Sheeran team up to cover a song from Sheeran’s latest new album. A country singer and an Irishman? Yep. Sounds weird, but it sounds good.