Strategist

Thoughts

An Exploration of Branding, Design and Cultural Trends

Faith In Humanity Restored: Cheerios

As a stark contrast to my last post, I thought I'd end the week with something a bit more positive. I'm sure you've all seen this by now. It's an interview with kids - about 6 to 13 years old, regarding their thoughts on the controversial Cheerios commercial that was aired with a mixed race couple. Spoiler: the kids had absolutely no idea that people could be against mixed race couples. Once they were made aware of the negative comments via the YouTube video, they were completely outraged and thought anyone who would spend their time spewing racial hate, was a loser and should be banned from YouTube.

I love when interviews of a random sampling brings more color to a quantitative study that's already been done. Back in April 2012, JWT published a report, Gen Z: Digital In Their DNA. While the report focused on the digital habits of Gen Z, it's findings show that their digital habits might explain their worldview. I've always found fault with separating digital strategy with account planning. As planners, we have an obligation to understand how digital technology effects our very being and we should use digital tools to gain these insights. Thanks to the ubiquity of experiencing life through Instagram, we now all have constant FOMO - a term coined in the mid-80's but only now coming into common use. Parents are cautioned against giving their children too much iPad screen time for fear it will effect their cognitive abilities and make them more prone to ADD. And on the more positive side, children can now use digital to gain a more personal view of their counterparts from around the world through social media - way more revealing than the hand written pen-pal letters of the past. Without barriers such as geography or even social exclusion, children have learned that the kid on the other side of the world might have a different reality, but at their core, they are dealing with some of the same set of problems. They can no longer be taught to fear "the other." In fact, JWT found that:

"One consequence of this hyper-connectedness will be Gen Z’s multicultural and globally oriented mindset—much like Millennials but further amplified. Kids are Skyping with peers on the other side of the globe, and they’re taking part in initiatives like the Face to Faith program (part of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation), which uses technology to connect students of different religions and cultures. Expect even more linguistic and cultural borrowings and consistencies across distant nations and regions."

So as us New Yorkers deal with the extreme heat, still reeling from some of the sadder and maddening news that started off the week, we can find comfort in the knowledge that there's reason to be optimistic about our global future.