Hype Topics and the New Ethic

Hype Topics and the New Ethic

What is the "new ethic"?

The term "new ethics" is ambiguous. Some include anti-discrimination, social inequality, and violence. Others say it includes rules for social networking: Is it okay to send voice messages and messenger messages for work? Others include attitudes toward the environment and consumption of goods. I suggest that the new ethics is a conditional vector for the development of modern society. Here is just some of what the concept includes:

  1. Fighting discrimination (racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, etc.)
  2.  advocating for social justice; 
  3. fighting violence;  
  4. rules of conduct online;
  5. rules of working remotely;
  6. attitude to ecology;
  7. The trend of conscious consumption;
  8. launching socially significant projects.

Obviously, each of these items is a potential high-profile topic for brands to hype with. How are companies using this?

Controlled and uncontrolled hype

Before we look at actual examples, let's understand what a "hype" is. Although the word has become overgrown with unsightly associations, a HYIP is not necessarily something embarrassing and horrible. If you hype properly and intelligently, you can take your brand to a new level of recognition without losing your reputation.

For example, restaurateur and founder of Black Star Burger Yuri Levitas divides hype into three groups:

  • manageable;
  • embedded;
  • uncontrollable.

The first is the coolest. This is the one that you organized yourself. It brings the most benefits to the company. It can be an event around your brand, such as the opening of long-awaited new outlets or the launch of a new product. For example, the same Black Star Burger opens its outlets so that for at least a week you just can't get into a burger joint.

Embedded hype is a little less under your control. It's a hype around the most pressing topics that are now relevant in society. An example of this is the case of S7, when the company reverted to its original name, "Siberia," in order to draw the attention of the public and the authorities to the forest fires in Siberia. Credit should go to S7: their team has found the golden mean between wanting to be loud and making a real contribution to solving the problem. The airline did a very competent job in this regard, launching a fundraiser for the restoration of the burnt-out forests.

Uncontrollable is a hype when things happened without your desire or when a deliberate strategy went wrong. 

Provocation as an accident

There are cases where brands did not want to get into the middle of a hype, but unexpectedly they did. Surprisingly, among the examples is Burger King, a fan of scandalous advertising. This year, on March 8, the British branch of the restaurant chain wanted to draw attention to the issue of male dominance in the foodservice industry. To do so, they planned to publish a spread:

"A woman's place is in the kitchen. Unless, of course, they want it. Only 20 percent of chefs are women. Our goal is to change the gender ratio in the restaurant industry by helping women with their culinary careers."

However, after publishing the first tweet, "A woman's place is in the kitchen," the company received a flurry of negative comments about itself. After that, no one was interested in any explanations or even the announcement of a scholarship program for female chefs.

Green use of edgy themes

However, there are examples of brands that make very eco-friendly use of edgy topics. For example, Dove, together with the singer Manizha, released a video manifesto about the problem of imposed beauty ideals. The video shows women without retouching or processing. Everything is perfect here: both the choice of the media face, as Manizha has been working on the "Beauty Trauma" project about the problem of the imposed social media ideals of appearance, and the execution - it's an incredibly beautiful video.

Also an example of a company that knows how to make beautiful yet hip projects is IKEA. Recently the brand showed the design of apartments, where people with disabilities live. For example the IKEA designers made the curtains shorter so that the wheelchair could not get caught in the curtains. The door handles were placed at a height accessible to everyone. The idea and execution are very good. Although even here there were users who condemned the brand for too high cabinets in the kitchen. For any, even the best idea, there will be haters.

Six rules of hype to keep in mind in these times of new ethics:

  1. Define the limits of what's acceptable for your brand and prescribe a tone of voice. All of your marketers and SMM people need to know what's good for the brand and what's too much. So don't be lazy and be sure to take the time to draw up the ground rules for external communication. And consider what rules of the new ethic your target audience is reverent about.
  2. Build up the "muscle" of the hype. That is, keep trying. Create your own reasons for the hype, and fit into the high-profile infomercials. But remember that any HYIP can go from controlled to the category of uncontrolled.
  3. Do research with your target group before launching a product or advertising campaign. Some things may seem neutral and irrelevant to you, but be triggers for members of your target audience. So, for example, you might jokingly decide to show some harmless dog incident and hit pet owners' biggest fear.
  4. Track the effect of the hype. Monitor the results in real time. Monitoring programs that collect all brand mentions on social networks, media, blogs and other platforms in one place will help you do this. This gives you the ability to react quickly if the hype goes the wrong way.
  5. Try to find a solution. Hype for the sake of hype in the era of the new ethics is increasingly becoming mauvais ton. So try to make high-profile projects useful. Then you will definitely be noticed and appreciated.
  6.  Be prepared to be on the defensive. If a HYIP goes the wrong way and crosses the boundaries of the new ethics, you will be required to respond quickly and thoughtfully. Be prepared for this and don't be discouraged. After all, any HYIP is temporary.