We live in an era of perpetual outrage. Some estimate 68% of all Daily Mail headlines begin "Outrage as..."*, and it's done wonders for the newspaper commercially: from its Hitler-backing days right up to its recent vilification of judges as "enemies of the people", it has been cashing in on rancour. Making hay from outrage isn't new, but the paradigm we're in now is; audiences are more polarised than ever and quicker to take offence - and, thanks to the web, they can act on it at once. This presents opportunities for brands willing to take creative risks and threatens those that play it too safe, in an environment where extreme messages cut through. One form of the commercialisation of outrage is described in Hypernormalisation, filmmaker Adam Curtis' recent documentary. He points out how anti-corporate, "right-on" outrage is actually funding the multi-national, tax-avoiding social networks that are being railed against. The accumulated outrage, in the form of "views" and "shares", is worth billions to Mark Zuckerberg. This could lead cynical critics to predict that Facebook is unlikely to do enough about all that highly engaging "fake news". https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/marketing-age-outrage/1430904
Is this a good time to discuss what outrage marketing is? Or am I running the risk of appearing to care about this?
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