This Week in Digital
Spot the Difference
If you are sick of seeing the multitude of pictures on Instagram depicting wealthy celebrities, groomed within an inch of their lives, posing in a way only suitable for a haute-couture photo shoot then this is the story for you! This week Celeste Barber’s parody on Instagram has gone viral – if you haven't seen it yet, go have a quick look, it's hilarious.
Celeste, a 33-year-old Australian comedian and writer, has made it her aim to shed light on the insanity that is the world of celebrity Instagram (much like the makers of Barbie did not so long ago). Her hilarious photos mirror those posted by others. "My sister sent me a heap of crazy model/nutritionist/guru/healer/scientist photos and I couldn’t resist," she commented in an email to Revelist. The comedian makes fun of everyone from Bieber to Kim Kardashian.
In a bid to show support for the ‘body positive movement’ her aim was to look as silly as possible in her replica photos. We think she looks great and some of the photos really tickled us - our favourites are below.
The Music Industry Mourns Prince, While Brands Newsjack - Badly!
After the sad news that Prince had passed away this week, the internet went into melt-down with an outpouring of sadness, support and a celebration of his contribution to music. As with all celebrity news, deaths included, brands made it their mission to have their say and steal a slither of the limelight. And some did it better than others…
Slightly unexpectedly perhaps, it was cereal brand Cheerios who had the most attention, but not in the way they’d hoped for! In an epic show of insensitivity, lazy and ill-planned newsjacking, they released this tweet (see below) which included just a simple purple background with the words: “Rest in peace” - with a Cheerio dotting the i. The tweet was slammed by fans, for being both lacking in any real empathy, and a clear attempt at self-promotion.
The tweet was later taken down with the company issuing an apology. “As a Minnesota brand, Cheerios wanted to acknowledge the loss of a musical legend in our hometown,” said Mike Siemienas, manager of brand media relations at General Mills, in a statement. “But we quickly decided that we didn’t want the tweet to be misinterpreted, and removed it out of respect for Prince and those mourning.”
Chevrolet also came under scrutiny for its latest re-purposed print campaign which made a play on Prince’s song ‘Little Red Corvette’. The ad featured a red Chevy and the words ‘Baby, that was much too fast’. Trevor Beattie, guest Editor at The Drum was one such critic, who posted a scathing tweet highlighting what was wrong with Chevrolet's tribute:
— trevor beattie (@trevorbmbagency) April 22, 2016
When Life Gives You Lemons…
Beyoncé's new visual album ‘Lemonade’, which was released last weekend, has been causing a social stir. The album sees Beyoncé diversify from her usual R’n’B sound to include a touch of rock ’n’ roll and blues.
While albums with video are not new, an entire album focused specifically on the visual aspects and not just the audio is relatively innovative. HBO released the visual before the music was later released on sites including iTunes and Tidal. The format, while unorthodox, was not what’s been causing the frenzy online, instead, it’s the deeper meaning behind the album that have got people talking.
In her new album, Beyoncé implies strongly that there has been infidelity in her marriage to Jay-Z and alludes to similar stories in her parent’s relationship too. As such social media was ablaze with hypotheses over who ‘Becky with the good hair’ (a line from ‘Sorry’) might be. Lyrics include: “He only want me when I’m not there. He better call Becky with the good hair”.
As a result of the release, fashion designer Rachel Roy (the woman that for years has been speculated to be the ‘other women’ in Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s marriage), has been targeted by angry Beyoncé fans. Online trolling ensued with her Wikipedia page being changed to describe her as a ‘homewrecker’ and a barrage of lemon emojis were posted to her Instagram account.
Shortly after Lemonade was released, Roy posted an image on Instagram with the caption: "Good hair don't care but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. Live in the light #nodramaqueens.”. Regardless of her rumoured association with the couple in the past, Roy faced such extreme abuse she was forced to delete her post and make her Instagram account private.
Outside the endless speculation and backlash over the implied infidelity, the visual album covers deeply personal topics that are clearly close to Beyoncé's heart – including her family, overcoming hardships, empowerment and the wider issues (past and present) faced by black women all over the world. With cameos from a host of key people in Beyoncé's life, as well as other inspirational black women, her new album has certainly proven to be explosive.
Screengrab from Lemonade
In part, this high-profile release has helped streaming site Tidal increase its popularity. Owned by her husband Jay-Z, Tidal has had its most successful month ever on the App Store since its launch over a year ago, and teamed with the sad news of Prince's passing (and its sole right to his back catalogue), Tidal looks set to continue rapidly growing its subscriber base.
Twitter Fights for Internet Safety with New Improved Reporting Features
This week Twitter announced it has tightened up its processes for monitoring and eradicating abusive tweets and trolling. Users can now report multiple tweets at the same time, saving time for the monitoring team and giving moderators a fuller picture of the full extent / context surrounding abuse.
Earlier this year, the microblogging giant partnered with a number of niche charities to create a ‘global expert safety council’ whose primary role is to help protect users from online abuse and threats. The task force will help create new anti-harassment features, much like Twitters newest improvement to reporting. The sooner the better we say, as trolling is becoming a more and more significant concern for social media users.
And Finally... Top Gear Presenters Launch 'DriveTribe'
The sometimes controversial presenters of BBC's Top Gear: Clarkson, May and Hammond have come together to launch their new off-screen but online venture DriveTribe. Described as an online destination for motoring enthusiasts, the team have independently created a new digital space for their fans to engage with them which will go live in Autumn 2016. CEO of DriveTribe, Ernesto Schmitt (formerly from EMI, Dixons Retail Group and Tesco), has revealed ambitious plans for growth, with up to 30 new hires in the editorial team. We'll be watching this space to see what crazy shenanigans the trio bring to the web this time.