News 04.05.2023

Need to Know

Dove’s Cost of Beauty campaign addresses youth mental health crisis, messaging app Ghost makes online anonymity safer, and advertising has a long way to go to achieve parity in leadership roles.

Dove’s new Cost of Beauty campaign addresses youth mental health crisis

Cost of Beauty by Dove, UK

Sensitive content follows.

US – Hygiene and beauty brand Dove has launched a new campaign as part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project to raise awareness of young people’s precarious mental health. It addresses eating disorders, body dysmorphia, depression and self-harm, specifically looking at the impact phones and social media have on circulating toxic beauty standards.

The video starts by telling us the story of a young girl, Mary, who behaves like an innocent child until she is given a phone on her twelfth birthday. We then see a distinctive shift in Mary’s life from consuming unsolicited advice on how to get a thigh gap on TikTok to journalling self-deprecating messages and making lists of her weight goals. The video then captures Mary being treated for an eating disorder in a medical clinic before showcasing other young people sharing similar struggles.

Research from Dove’s Self-Esteem Project suggests that eight in 10 mental health specialists say social media is fuelling a mental health crisis. In an opinion piece, we previously looked at how runway models have returned to the 1990s level of thinness while demand for weight loss drugs such as Ozempic reinforces a fatphobic discourse fuelled by social media platforms – as if Millennials and Gen Z had suddenly entered their body hostility era.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses targeting Gen Z should consider how their marketing strategy can retain the attention of a group riddled with anxiety and depression. Adapt your tone of voice, branding and choose the right platforms to lift your young clients’ moods

Ghost’s new messaging app aims to make online anonymity safe for Gen Z

Ghost, UK Ghost, UK
Ghost, UK Ghost, UK

US – Created by tech entrepreneur and former GIPHY director of mobile Cem Kozinoglu, Ghost aims to be the first messaging app that combines anonymity, ChatGPT and online safety. The platform is designed to augment the group chat experience, allowing friends, classmates or members of a community to share anonymous fun, awkward or cringey messages within a closed group. Open AI’s ChatGPT will also be a group member, with users able to ask the chatbot questions and interact with it.

To ensure users’ safety, Ghost limits all group chats to a maximum of 50 participants. At the same time, their data is protected under Ghost Protocol – a system using zero-knowledge (ZK) proofs on the end user’s device. Similar to blockchain privacy protection, the app will know who can access a given group chat, but the company won’t. The life expectancy of trolls will also be limited as the app deletes any anonymous message if at least two people reported it. They could also be blocked from using the ghost messaging option and banned from the app altogether for recidivism.

Ghost joins a wave of new social media tools focusing on the core values of civility and social good we previously highlighted in Anti-provocation Platforms.

Strategic opportunity

Social media consumers seeking Anti-provocation Platforms are burnt out on online negativity and hostility. How can your business harness this to focus on healthy connection and ground your space in the values of inspiration, community and joy?

Footprint encourages safe sharenting

Global – Footprint is a new mobile application for parents to create a digital timeline of their child’s life as they grow. Developed by Nolte Media with artist and baseball coach Nate Fish, the app is designed for sharenting (parents sharing pictures, videos and information about their kids on social media platforms).

Unlike other social media platforms, however, Footprint doesn’t allow content to be viewed publicly. Once a parent has created an account, they can invite trusted friends and family members to access and share content, but it is not possible to like or comment on posts. As their children age, the Footprint app allows parents to pass the account on to their kids – making them the owner of the digital content.

In Gen Z Parenting Market, we previously looked at how members of the young generation born after 1996 have kids of their own, driving the parenting sector in unexpected new directions – such as safer social media platforms like Footprint.

Footprint

Strategic opportunity

As consumers question big tech's data monopoly and seek reliable platforms protecting their safety, privacy and data, how can your business improve the narrative around data retention and CRM to make your clients, including Gen Z parents, feel safer?

Stat: Advertising has a leadership gender gap problem

Photography by RF._.studio, South Africa Photography by RF._.studio, South Africa

UK – New research reveals that without drastic change, parity in leadership roles in the advertising and communications sectors will only be achieved by 2060. This sobering statistic has been released as part of The 50% campaign initiated by WACL (Women in Advertising and Communications Leadership). Launched in April 2023, the campaign aims to push action to help women access leadership roles at faster rates than the current trajectory.

To achieve equal representation among CEOs and, ultimately, better representation of women in media, the WACL collective is launching The 50% CEO Playbook. This practical roadmap is geared towards organisations, detailing five levers of change they can implement to get closer to the 50% representation target. The playbook advises changing the language of leadership, promoting for potential, being a women’s health hero, being flexible first and working like the world is watching.

As highlighted in Elastic Agencies, those willing to lead change in the industry must take specific actions and recommendations from marginalised members of the agency bubble such as women and LGBTQ+ individuals.

Strategic opportunity

The step-by-step approach of the 50% playbook is a good reminder that small progressive changes applied on a large scale will help businesses achieve groundbreaking goals in the long run

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