Culture Shift

Thought i would write a note about something, maybe for future reference, may not go anywhere, may do, you never know. Me and a friend was talking and we have both noticed a slight shift in recent culture;

how things are perceived

what we expect

what we want

what information people look for and

how they want it delivered.

That may sound complicated so let me try and break it down (well TRY to) i watched a show a while ago (like a three parter) about how culture and attitudes shifted in the ‘naughties’ and i have always debated with friends how will the culture change and shift in the next decade.

We have both noticed changes in certain things like how people want their information and what they expect from it. The conversation stared about how Ray William Johnson had got a bit boring and a bit slack over the last couple months and that KassemG was probably better now. We started to analyse this and notice the things that we liked before about RWJ annoyed us, and that the things that we disliked about KassemG we dint mind so much. For example, RWJ has always been a bit ‘I’m doing this for my fans’ ‘I don’t advertise’ basically ‘I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE MONEY, I love you guys’ now KassemG has always done shameless promotion, promoting the attitude of ‘I don’t really care’ ‘i will say what i mean to get the laughs’ ‘all meat no veg’ type of thing, this attitude was annoying at first but now, kind of refreshing, honestly is refreshing.

This moved onto noticing that’s more apparent in life now, people using the internet more and more learning things that before would know and generally, becoming a jack of all trades and know a little about everything (how many people you know that has a camera and thinks there a photographer or own a copy of photoshop and thinks there a designer) what is happening now, is that this is translating into the fact that more and more people can see through the smoke screen and see what is really going on, because they are more skilled in detecting it. For example with RWJ and KassemG. RWJ promoting the ethos of ‘i care about you’ is annoying now because we can see through it, where as KassemG’s ethos is more ‘i don’t care, ill say whatever because its all about results, the laughs’ now i prefer this attitude because it seems, i don’t care if I’m liked as long as i get what i came here for, fast. my friend then coined it, saying ‘ i bet you tube will start charging us next, i would maybe pay for KassemG but not RWJ’ this tells more ‘we don’t care about if you like us, or if your nice to us, as long as you get us the goods i.e. ‘the laughs’ this is a shift in society, i feel.

Why does society love Ricky Gervais considering hes so arrogant and self absorbed, because  its all about the results, the laughs first, and doesn’t try and be your friend by portraying a smoke screen, if your fat, he’ll say your fat, the truth, we seem like the cold hard truth now because, he does deliver, we get what we come for, we don’t care if were liked in getting them. When he can make us laugh no more, society will discard him, but hes probably good with that because he done what he set out to do. Provide a service, get the money.

But Ben how does this translate into business and the real world, i see it like this. How many business did you see in the last five or ten years with the strap line, ‘we care about your business’ or ‘Your marketing solutions solved’ or ‘Growing your business together’ basically using emotive friendly worlds like helping, together, achieving blah blah blah, then throw in some supporting words like, marketing, solutions, innovative, dynamic, sustainable, proactive blah blah blah and you got yourself a perfect little ‘naughties’ strapline, that just don’t cut it now.

I even googled some of them words, backing up what i previously said, jack of all trades, and hang on the second link down in goggle, brilliant didn’t have to look far did i to find evidence of this, and notice the date?

– – – – – – – –

New Marketing Strapline Launch
19 February 2010

The main Marketing strapline used to promote the University in advertising for the last four years – ‘Safe, friendly and supportive’ – is to be replaced. A new strapline of ‘Your life, your future, your university’ will be officially unveiled at a Marketing launch event. . .

– – – – – – – –

So reading that list i wrote before, zone out? because they don’t mean anything, this words are ‘fillers’ and now people see through them, they DEMAND us to ‘get to the point’ because they can see thought the smoke screen. I feel, and i could be the only one, that I’m not going with a strapline like ‘building your business together’ (evoking emotion and caring) i would more like to see something that has more balls to it because i haven’t got the time for FAFFING around. You see this link within popular culture and business today.

Where we would pay to see something good even knowing that they don’t care about us and want our money (KassemG) than something where they care about us but is crap (RWJ – sorry RAY). On this note how many ads are on Youtube now. laugh or die has a ad before every clip that’s roughly 30 seconds!, if i haven’t finished what else I’m looking at before the ads over, i move on,  i demand better faster quality now, Results driven no time for faffing, and i don’t think I’m the only one.

Why is this happening? i think (again could only be me but…) think of the government and the natural force to repel against authority. when labour was in power they we abit more results driven, they may have not got them, but Gorden did do a few things good and bad but he dint try and be your best mate. So when people saw this cold results driven nature, and saw it going wrong, businesses were looking toward the opposite to get their success, a bit more caring, compassionate about their business and this, then, gave them results.

Not now, Now we have David Cameron trying to be everyone’s friend. Jason Mansford once said ‘David Cameron is that teacher you had at school that was sat on the end of your desk saying ‘Call me Dave, call me Dave’ – so true.  He tries to be your friend, lays a smoke screen, says work together, pull together,  tries to be your best mate. . . then raises taxes. He wonders why we are not friends because of what i said before that ‘we can see through the smoke screen’ at stage one, back when he was trying to befriend us and wonder why no one liked that, we saw what was coming. We don’t want to be your friend, give us the results.

This is the same as businesses today, we can see through the ‘we want to help you’ lines, when you said them at stage one, we can see it actually means ‘we want your money’ and were annoyed you tried to pull that one on us. But now i am finding this would be OK to say ‘we want your money’ if they also said ‘and you will get the results for it’ that second past is what makes this shift slightly unique, people now see how it is and don’t care. For example remember when pop idol came on TV and everyone was up in arms saying ‘now your manufacturing bands? publicly!’ when it was only rumors before. This then caused the shift to make it widely accepted and popular. remember honestly is refreshing.  If your going to do something tell us straight don’t try and ‘trick us’ and try to be friend, as i said , no time for it. Obama was voted in in the era that we were craving ‘lets be your friend’ phase and was very popular due to this, but now culture has shifting into ‘getting results’ he’s not coming up so good, this is maybe why the world is more ‘cold hearted results’ driven now, because were sick of trusting people, things and businesses that try to ‘befriend’ us, NO i want results now, go away and get it done.

I’m finding this is translating into popular culture and businessess, because now we are craving more ‘to the point’ marketing saying, in effect  ‘We get results, no mess, we have done it before, you don’t want this, your loss’ but said in a more snappy way. People are generally expecting more and more intelligence that other people give them credit for, what do you want ‘we can double your business’ or ‘let us be your friend’ market approach, who would you opt for?

How many people have i heard say ‘i would rather watch a good TV episode than a film with a crap ending’ even if its got big action and massive budget or ‘i would rather13 episodes of quality than 24 mediocre ones’ or even ‘I’m glad they ended it because its now a classic’ people don’t want more, as long as its got the quality, the results.

If results was alcoholic content,  a beer would be what we did accept (more sociable, but watered down) now we demand a shot of spirit (less sociable, gets the job done)

Now im not saying this is a good or bad thing, just what i have been noticing.


Ben x

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6 thoughts on “Culture Shift

  1. cbx33 says:

    Hi Ben,

    I think I agree with you one some points, but I also think there is another aspect to this which I will get to in a minute. First and foremost, you mentioned the government as a reason for this cultural shift. Whilst I can not disagree that the government will ultimately have an impact, simply because they affect many aspects of our lives, I believe that the shift may also be due to the increasingly feeling of immediacy.

    We want things now! And one of the reasons for this I feel is because we know we _can_ have them now. It is technically and physically possible. Why are you telling Mr Customer Support, that you can’t get access to those details? I know you could. I know the system could allow it. We are more angry at the decisions people make at restricting things like this because they limit our ability to get things done.

    But why should we care? Because when it comes down to it, we are constantly pressured to get more and more done in our daily lives. We are forced more and more just to ‘make do’. Is perfection even an option any more? I say that because previously I would never ever have started a sentence with the words ‘but’ or ‘because’. Why have I? Well because I simply don’t have the time to go back and fix them 🙂 Seriously though, technology and the media is littered with examples of advertising that entice us with the opportunity to get more done quicker. ‘Instant results’, they tell us. Really?

    Talking about the financial aspect of things, the value for money, which, even if you only briefly touched on, got me thinking a great deal on the way home. The world has gone through a global recession during the last 5 years or so, and I believe that this, coupled with the increasing exposure we have to consumer watchdog events, are forcing us to consider value, value, value. People are shrewder than ever with their money.

    Far more interestingly though, is the priorities to which people assign things. Clothes, smart phones, home cinema. All of these items are now pedalled as fashion accessories. People seemingly would prefer not to eat, but instead shell out their hard earned, credit induced, cash on items which they believe will somehow enhance their lives.

    I digress and apologise. You talked about seeing through smoke screens. I totally agree with you on this one. People are better informed today than they have ever been. People can research something for hours on end, drawing from other peoples experiences and opinions in a way that has previously been totally unrealised. If you wanted to buy something ten years ago, you would ask around and see if a friend, or a friend of a friend had heard of something similar. Or you’d look in a magazine, often flicking through the pages in the store, reluctant to spend out £4.99 for one interesting review or article.

    Now, we have the power of the internet at our fingertips. We can read hundreds if not thousands of views on a topic. We can visit wikipedia and read up on the technology behind it. We can visit the manufacturers website and hear the propaganda from the horses mouth. We can even compare prices at tens of online shops. This better informed world is interesting, but at the same time rather scary. Why?

    Kids. The younger generation. I spent, as many of you will know, three years working at a school as an IT manager. During that time, I have never heard young people manipulate their superiors through threats of legal action in my life. They knew about laws, guidelines, you name it. I’m sure at that age, I had no idea about my rights as a human being.

    So, I’ve gone off topic slightly, but I think that both of these are factors that have contributed also the the culture shift you mention. It’s both scary and interesting and we’ll see how this develops over the next ten years I guess!

    • bensmind says:

      Thanks Pete 🙂 Amazingly valid points, i totally agree. I cant help think when i read your part on ‘Fashion accessories’ i think ‘apple’ products haha. Don’t worry i like digressing and tangents, that’s where the best ideas come from 🙂 i was probably digressing in some my parts to try and get my main point across (hard to explain in words sometimes when I’m normally so visual, but i like to try 🙂 haha) I think you nailed it when you say, ‘I believe that the shift may also be due to the increasingly feeling of immediacy.’ That kind of coined it all really, technology is fueled but this and we love it, get more done faster only to try and get more done the next day. Also i think you cover on the point that we are very choosy now with what we spend our money on we, as society, can see through many bad products now, making us buy the good ones, making the bad ones die out, and the best ‘brands’ prevail, Technological evolution i suppose, and this is perpetuating with the help of technology.

      Had another thought today that i could ‘latch’ onto this one, computers and technology, in terms of how dependent and crucial they are now in society, i wonder over the long term how this will impact physical human evolution. Will we lose our ability to use legs because we are doing everything online? and gain some other aspects that help us integrate within technology, then a friend said they tackled that aspect in the film ‘Wall-e’ and now thinking about it ‘Matrix’ but bit crazy and scary, although i will not be around to see it.

      I may add more notes when i think of them, and i apologise for unstructured, tangent writing 🙂

      Ben x

  2. cbx33 says:

    Tangent writing is awesome 🙂

    This kinda of too and fro reminds me of slate magazine when the guys used to write to each other about the latest episode of LOST.

    It’s funny when you mentioned Apple products, I was thinking the exact same thing. They are in essence just that, fashion accessories. I have lost track of the number of stories I have heard from people working in the retails industry who are infuriated by consumers only wanting an Apple product because it is exactly that, an Apple product. I guess this is where too much “information” can be a bad thing.

    Technological evolution is a very interesting topic. Very interesting indeed. I think I can see you point about the eventual evolution of technology as a whole, the bad products being dropped out, and the good ones getting better. The problem is, at the moment this doesn’t appear to be happening. Though we have lost a generation of what I would call “poor” consumer products, there are others still springing up to take their place.

    It’s because of things like the global recession that I think some of these are still flourishing. They have found a niche market because some people are still not willing to pay high street prices. Take a look at some of these ultra low cost cheap import items like USB sticks. I for one would never purchase them because I know they are too good to be true. Yet they still fly off the shelves on places like Ebay. Why? Cost people still want to try to get something for nothing, or as close to as possible.

    Just another few thoughts.

  3. cisco logo says:

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  4. bensmind says:

    Thanks 🙂 im pretty new at this too but i wanted a place to put all my design work out and some of my ramblings haha, glad it helped you out, come back soon, thanks for the comment 🙂

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