“What is the meaning of life?”, “are we alone in the universe?”, “was the Burning Man sex tent still happening even with all that rain and mud n’ stuff?” These are just some of the quintessential questions that plague men’s minds.
But of all the philosophical, existential, political or scientific quandaries draining our emotional batteries, exhausting our patience, and just generally screwing with our heads on a daily basis, no other question compares in importance to that which we’ll be asking here today…
Which bear is best?
In 2007, Office heartthrob and closet Pamophile Jim Halpert, dared to ask the world to consider this divisive topic. His impetuous, devil-may-care challenge pushed ursinologists and philosophers alike to places they had previously been afraid to go, but it also consequentially divided a nation. Pitting coworker against coworker, brother again brother, testing the limits of the human condition and our ability to coexist.
But we must not back down from that which is difficult but rather engage with uncomfortable and contentious subjects directly. Shakespeare said, “cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once,” and it is in this spirit we proceed on the journey to answer the question, which bear is indeed best?”
Please bear in mind (ha ha), GNT is a branding, marketing and web development agency, and we’ve been told keywords in blog posts are somewhat important, so to that end the criteria by which we will be judging each fuzzy contender will be based on the brand identity and marketability of each species.
Now, of course this doesn’t make any sense, and is most likely offensive to bear enthusiasts, so if you’d like to raise issue with our conclusions or methodologies, or just ask us a question about your own branding, marketing or web development projects, please don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected]
Now , let’s get into it.. Which bear is best?
THE POLAR: Activist with a God complex. This 800 pound white walker has cornered the market on climate change awareness as well as soft drinks. Yup. Thank you, Coca-Cola, for turning this apex predator into fucking Santa Claus. Giving new meaning to hustle, the Polar Bear is the kind of brand ambassador that will make your product a symbol of the global climate crisis on Monday, while selling millions of ice cold sodas by Friday. It’s edgy; it’s urgent; it’s the bear that says, “Buy this product or I’ll eat your whole fucking family, ho ho ho.” Who wouldn’t be enticed by that level of existential drama when reaching for a Diet Coke?
THE PANDA: This frickin’ guy. This bear has turned adorable incompetence into a multi-million dollar franchise. It’s the bear equivalent of a trust fund baby. This one does fuck all and still gets sponsored by the biggest names in game. Zoos pay million’s a year to “lease” these cuddly, Rorschach tests from China, and people pay top dollar to watch them fall off trees and fumble around with bamboo shoots. Can you say, “this is the life, my guy?” Businesses like WWF have leveraged the Panda’s brand of cute clumsiness into an international symbol for wildlife conservation. It’s the bear that can literally sit there, do nothing but chew and get money thrown at it like some furry Onlyfans account.
THE BLACK: Glamorous, sexy yet suitable, great for almost any occasion, the black bear is the noir three-piece, tailored suit of the animal kingdom. It works for almost anyone, but also demands respect. This Bear is known for its lavish black fur, it’s keen eyesight and its ability to rip a person in half faster than the Rattlesnake Reaper Fries and Firecracker Loaded Cheesy Chicken Burritos at Taco Bell. (No, they’re not a sponsor) This contender evokes classic confidence while shrouded in subtle mystery. It’s an Aston Martin with tinted windows; it’s a watch too expensive to wear, except for the bouncer who has it on his wrist, outside the club you can’t get in to.
But there can be only one winner.
THE BROWN: This beast is the Taylor Swift is personal branding and marketing prowessnessness. No other man-eating marauder on our list can hawk products, rep sports teams, or get turned into plush toys like this brown badass. In this glorious arena of capitalism, there’s only one bear that reigns supreme—the Brown Bear.
Chicago’s Bears, the Golden State Warriors’ “Bear Logo,” and even the University of California with their mascot, Oski the Bear— are all inspired by the versatile Big Brown. Can you imagine if they had chosen the fucking panda?? What would that even look like? “Ah yes, the Chicago Pandas. I heard no one can get them to have sex. Champions of napping and occasional bamboo munching (not a euphemism, you freak). Feel the excitement!”
When it comes to small businesses, have you ever seen a coffee shop or an outdoor brand with a panda or a black bear as their mascot? No. No, you have not. Brown Bears, on the other hand, are the ultimate flex. They scream rugged individualism, symbolize strength and freedom, and are 100% Americana! And you might say, “hey, aren’t Brown Bear also European and Asian?” But to that we’ll simply say, shut the fuck up Tony. Just go with it. Point is, you slap a Brown Bear on a flannel shirt or a coffee mug, and suddenly it’s flying off the shelves faster than toilet paper in a pandemic.
And let’s not forget Teddy Bears, the epitome of cuddly capitalism. They’re not called “Polar Teddies” or “Panda Teddies”, are they Nope. They’re named after Teddy Roosevelt, who famously spared a brown bear and kept it as a pet. No we don’t know if that’s true, but I think I saw that on TikTok once. So, it might be.
The Brown Bear is so iconic it’s become the standard for stuffed animals designed to comfort children and grown adults alike. Sure, talking with a therapist is cool, but have you every put all your trust into a teddy bear?
So, when it comes to marketing, branding, and the almighty dollar, the Brown Bear isn’t just the best bear—it’s the Steve Jobs of the bear world. It’s not asking you to ‘Think Different’; it knows you already do.
“This year I decided not to freeze my eggs. I’m going to put that money toward the thing I love most in the world, which is Taylor Swift.”
– Nikki Glaser, Comedian, Actress, Egg Freezer
27 shows, 20 cities, 9 months and a once in a lifetime opportunity, Taylor Swift kicked off her ERAS Tour in March and solidified herself as one of history’s greatest musicians… actually, scratch that… one of history’s greatest marketing minds.
How do you measure success in marketing? Repeat business. And what TayTay has managed to achieve more effectively than almost any musician in history, is convince literally millions of people (mostly 14 year old girls and their oddly enthusiastic fathers) to pay a literal shit-ton of money for light-up friendship bracelets and nostalgia. That is successful marketing.
The extraordinarily intimate relationship Taylor Swift has created with her fans makes a hug from your bestie seem like a night in a Honduran prison cell. The connection is so special it makes your grandmother’s secret, oatmeal cookie recipe want to rebrand itself just to compete. If the bond between Swift and her fans could be measured it would be atomic. They love her like Bill Nighy loves science, like the boys love Kelis’ milkshake, like that one YouTube guy loved that double rainbow, like your creepy uncle loves FootFinder.com.
The point is they’re close. And there is a term for how the relationship between a fan base and an artist, or enterprise evolves into an unbreakable interdependency… Brilliant Marketing.
So, let’s take a look at how Tay-Tay The Queen of Marketing rose to power and managed to pull off this Christ Like status and devotion from her Disciples… Nay, her Decibels, if you will. Don’t worry, you don’t have to.
Social Media Sorcery:
T-Swain doesn’t just post a few cat pics or go heart a couple fan selfies and then call it a day. No, no, no you silly bitch. She engages with her fans like she’s planning to ask them for a kidney; she interacts like she needs bail money; she praises her people like she’s vying for the last vile of antidote. She develops an emotional connections deeper than the deepest lyrics of the deepest Taylor Swift song, and for all you Swifties out there you know that’s fucking deep.
Taylor’s team has understood for decades now, the importance of connecting with fans on a personal level. They use social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram, to interact directly with fans and make them feel heard. They also collect data (slightly sketchy Swifty) on fan preferences to create personalized experiences, such as pre-sale access to concert tickets or exclusive merchandise. 
Taylor Swift writes songs for people who love reading other people’s diaries. Her songs are quite literally diary entries with a melody. Years from now, her farewell tour will feature just TayTay the All Day Slay reading the transcripts from her own therapy sessions and the recordings her Alexa Echo made of Swift mumbling through the nights she took one too many Ambien sleeping pills.
And not to be outdone by — literally — her own brilliance, leading up to the ERAS tour, Taylor gave her fans the behind-the-scenes stories, in essences creating her own version of VH1’s “Behind the Music.” Narrative-driven marketing campaigns, you doth say? Taylor Swift wrote the fucking book, or at least the Billboard chart-topping album, on the subject. 
Ed Sheeran, Kendrick Lamar, Snow Patrol, ZAYN and HAIM, what do these artists all have in common? That’s right, they were all born in West Reading, Pennsylvania. Don’t Google that.
Additionally, these are all strategic, cross-promotional, collaborations and partnerships T-Swiddy’s marketing team set up along the tour and throughout many of her music videos and online performances.
These collaborations, as well as the cumulative brand exposure that is produced directly by them, extend beyond just work with fellow musicians. Swift’s team has also partnered with some of the largest companies in the world, working with brands such as Keds, Diet Coke, and Apple to create marketing campaigns that align with Taylor’s values and persona.
It’s also important to note that those business juggernauts, those corporate titans, those companies, some of whom are valued in the trillions, yeah, those guys went to her, not the other way around. That’s not just good marketing, that’s the acknowledgement of genuine cultural devotion. That’s Cleopatra. That’s Madonna… The holy one, not the one with the cone shaped bustier. 
Move the fuck over Elon. Kick rocks, Zuckerberg. Billy Gates you’re cool, but get to steppin’ every other tech guy in the game. TayTay and her cray cray tech savvy marketing team — a team made up of what I can only assume are a bunch of genetically engineered, uber-intelligent lab animals like Rocket the Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy — have embraced the power of emerging technologies to remain relevant while gaining an edge on the competition.
Taylor Swift stands up for fan-focused issues she cares about while creating exceptional experiences for her fans — the kind that inspire lifelong fan loyalty, I ♥️ Taylor tramp stamps as far as the eye can see, and of course unparalleled brand recognition.
The star, for instance, often equips fans with LED wristbands while implementing facial recognition software during her shows to assist with stalker prevention. Swift’s team also uses dynamic pricing when selling concert tickets to prompt consistent sales while moving with ever-shifting market demands and she has spoken out about Ticketmaster’s monopoly of the ticketing business.
Her commitment to emerging technologies has even resulted in droves of Swifties using online tutorials to create visual and audio-based AI clones of Swift. It also appears that Barbie-mania has merged with Taylor Swift’s personal brand, with Swifties creating video content likening the pop icon to the classic children’s toy in wake of the recent movie launch. 
Brand Control: Shake it off, again.
Like the richest fucking phoenix you’ve ever seen, rising from the ashes of her past record contracts and ex-boyfriends, Taylor the Money Trailer, is re-recording her old albums. The message? “It puts this rerecorded lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again!”
By getting personally involved in the shape and direction of her personal brand, Taylor Swift has taken charge of her commercial destiny.
In addition to the savvy, consistent, and forward-thinking approaches to digital marketing — Swift’s genius stems from the fact that she takes full ownership of her personal brand. By recently re-recording her first six albums to re-claim ownership of her work, Swift proves that she’s a motivated powerhouse who always takes measures to control her brand narrative. 
With the storytelling finesse of the Marquis de Sade, a dedication to her fans that rivals a that trainspotter guy with the head-mounted camera for the British Rail Class 37 diesel-electric locomotive, and more strategic partnerships than an orgy at The World Economic Forum, Swift’s fame has exploded over the last 20 years. She’s solidified in her status one of the most successful musicians in history, and crowned herself queen of brand development and marketing in the 21st centch.
Take notes from this marketing monarch. Learn from her achievements you peasants. Wear her clothes, use her perfume, make papier-mâché masks of her face and look in the mirror and cry words of encouragement to yourself. Do these things and you too will be climbing your way to success in this digital jungle, where likes, shares and Swifties reign supreme.
Elons Musks, an alien from a distant planet where life is silicon based and inhabitants simultaneous exist in this dimension and an alternative one comprised of pure, cotton candy flavored chaos, came to Earth because life on this planet was simply far more interesting than life back home. 50 years later, and after a slight change to his name to help blend in, he had an idea.
His idea? Develop an “everything app”. A place where you can chat with strangers, advertise your business, make and take payments (decentralized of course, brah), play video games, express views, travel between dimensions, warp time and/or space, create worlds, watch them die, become God, send your only son to rack for the sins of the father, be born again, end the universe as we know it, and start it all over again type platform.
An everything app. Named X. Not just a brand, but life to X’ddd degree… Or something.
Musk, a proud member of Generation-X, has always seemed to have a fascination with the letter “X”, often incorporating it into his entrepreneurial endeavors. One of his earliest ventures, X.com, was an online banking service and precursor to PayPal. In 2002 he launched an aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company named SpaceX. His car company Tesla, has a the electric luxury SUV Model-X, and most recently he has jumped on the artificial intelligence band wagon and started the company, XAI, or “Explainable Artificial Intelligence”, which is either a concept of creating and designing AI systems in a way that their decision-making processes and outcomes can be easily understood and explained by humans oooor a new electro-funk collaboration with Kanye West and a sentient Air Fryer.
In a recent interview with CNBC, Musk X-plained why he decided to rebrand Twitter to “X” and noted that it’s more than just a name change. Instead, it represents his plans to create this so called “everything app.”
“Twitter was acquired by X Corp both to ensure freedom of speech and as an accelerant for X, the everything app. This is not simply a company renaming itself, but doing the same thing,” Musk explained in a post Monday night. “The Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth — like birds tweeting — but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video. In the months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world. The Twitter name does not make sense in that context, so we must bid adieu to the bird.”
It’s a move that business analysts and advertisers consider risky, marketing designers consider annoying, and Berkely University students consider offensive for several TBD reasons. So, let’s analyze the decision from a marketing and branding perspective, and review three potential pros and three conceivable cons to this latest wait-and-see from your favorite sentient NFT, Elon Don The Dusk-Musk.
- Expansion of Services: The rebrand to “X” reflects the platform’s evolution beyond its original function. You know, like when you start out with a Bulbasaur in level one of the game but by level four all of a sudden he wants an open relationship and time alone to pursue his budding TikTok career. Things change is my point. The new platform now encompasses services like communication, shopping, financial management, audio, video, messaging, payments, and banking. This evolution aims to redefine social media and create a multifaceted hub for interactivity, fueled by AI. What could go wrong, ameright?
- Renewed Brand Image: The decision to rename Twitter as “X” has been seen by some as a refreshing and bold move.. Like when Pepsi-Cola changed its name to just Pepsi, or when Coca-Cola changed back to Coca-Cola Classic. Aligning with Musk’s unconventional approach and vision, the rebrand showcases Twitter’s adaptability and commitment to staying relevant. Clinton Clarke, Digital Creative Director at Siegel+Gale, even suggests it could refresh the brand’s appeal and purpose, while my grandmother suggests, “what the fuck is a Twitter?” Thanks Nana.
- Preparation for Major Transformations: The change signifies a strategic shift to decentralized blockchain and an uncensored speech platform, preparing users for forthcoming major transformations. Luke Lintz, CEO of HighKey Enterprises, sees this as part of Musk’s strategy to shock and attract attention, fostering unlimited interactivity and innovation. Much like yourselves, I’ve no idea what all that means, but I’ve been assured by many an internet crypto-bro that it’s a good thing.
- Loss of Familiar Brand Identity: The sudden name change poses risks of erasing years of Twitter’s branding efforts. Some industry experts express concerns about losing the familiar Twitter brand, which could create uncertainty among existing users. “Will we still be free to hurl racist and sexist remarks at AOC?”, “Will I still be able to signal virtue to my followers online, while not actually doing shit for my community in real life?” Users just don’t know where things stand on this digital hallowed ground anymore.
- Potential Advertisers’ Backlash: Not since Kid Rock posted his video shooting up some Bud Light cans, have we seen such potential for social backlash! Since Musk’s takeover and the transition to “X,” there is growing uncertainty among advertisers. Some advertisers have already left the platform, and the rebrand could exacerbate this uncertainty, leading to more business losses. Linda Yaccarino, the new CEO, has been brought in to address these concerns, but the situation remains challenging. Bawitdaba da bangda dang ditty, indeed.
- Challenges in Implementation and Content Safeguarding: The ambitious vision of transforming “X” into an “everything app” is filled with complexities. It’s like if Ikea sold you the Enigma Machine from the movie Imitation Game but instead of using buttons to break the Nazi code a couple who hates each other needs to decide where they want to go for dinner that night. Challenges include retaining existing users, addressing content concerns, safeguarding against harmful content, and translating the vision of a global marketplace into reality. The success of “X” hinges on the ability to navigate these difficulties and deliver on Musk’s expansive vision.
So, what’s the verdict? From a marketing and branding standpoint, we’ll just have to wait and see. At the end of the day the reality is that if the switch to “X” goes tits up, Elon and the tech nerd over at Twitter will be able to change the company name right back and we’ll all forget about it in a year.
Tim Denning just reminded us all in his newsletter this morning about how “this “(Twitter vs. X) change is similar to when AT&T changed to Cingular. Do you remember that? Cingular (Random brand name) vs Deutsche Telecom/TMO (Germany) ….worked fine in the early days.…but when TMO started threatening to take over the world, you’ll notice that they changed right back to AT&T.”
This was a real thing. One of the biggest companies in the world changed their name… and then changed it back again. It happened in the real world. Which means that it took a little more effort than some software engineer swapping out a few lines of code for a month. When Twitter changed to X, everyone just woke up to a new world on their phones.
But when AT&T changed to Cingular and back again… That took A LONG time and was SUPER expensive. They had to create all new billboards, television ads, posters, logos, trucks, storefront buildings, polos that the employees wore and everything else.”
Politics, fights on boats, and I guess actual aliens visiting the planet will soon take back the airwaves, just in time for “X.com” to surreptitiously switch back to Twitter.com, or perhaps if Elon’s feelin’ extra spicy, to TheArtistFormallyKnownAsX.com.
Thank you, Jash
If you have any feelings or thoughts on this piece, or if you would like to discuss your own marketing, branding or design projects, please say [email protected]
NUMBER:1 URL: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/25/musk-explains-why-hes-rebranding-twitter-to-x.html TITLE: Musk explains why he’s rebranding Twitter to X: It’s not just a name change CONTENT: Elon Musk explains his decision to rebrand Twitter as “X,” intending to create an “everything app.” The move is aimed at expanding beyond the limitations of the Twitter name, allowing comprehensive communications and financial services. However, business analysts view it as a risky move, as it undoes years of branding. Musk hired a former NBCUniversal advertising executive to reassure advertisers, emphasizing the platform’s growth and the vision to create a global marketplace for various experiences.
NUMBER:2 URL: https://techcrunch.com/2023/07/28/elon-musk-twitter-everything-you-need-to-know/ TITLE: Elon Musk’s Twitter (now X): Everything you need to know, from layoffs to verification CONTENT: Elon Musk acquired Twitter and renamed it “X” with the vision of fostering trust and inclusivity for public discourse. The acquisition faced legal challenges, but by October, Musk became the platform’s owner. Twitter (X) witnessed significant changes, including rebranding and Musk transitioning to executive chair and CTO. Linda Yaccarino was announced as the new CEO. In July 2023, X launched its ad revenue sharing program globally, replaced the iconic bird logo with ‘X,’ and changed its official handle to @x. Additionally, the platform prepared to introduce a job listing feature.
NUMBER:3 URL: https://hbr.org/2022/07/does-elon-musk-have-a-strategy TITLE: Does Elon Musk Have a Strategy? CONTENT: Elon Musk’s strategy, observed through his various ventures like Tesla, SpaceX, and others, revolves around a bold and clear vision for the future. He tackles complex problems that require massive investments, aiming to create solutions on a large scale. Rather than focusing on specific solutions, Musk is drawn to navigating scale and overcoming complexity. His strategy offers valuable lessons for entrepreneurs and investors in nascent markets. By understanding Musk’s broader vision and problem-solving approach, executives can apply these insights to their own businesses, while also gaining a lens to analyze his attempted acquisition of Twitter in the context of his overall strategy.
NUMBER:4 URL: https://www.theverge.com/23551060/elon-musk-twitter-takeover-layoffs-workplace-salute-emoji TITLE: Inside Elon’s “extremely hardcore” Twitter CONTENT: Elon Musk acquired a significant stake in Twitter, becoming its largest shareholder and getting a seat on the board. He saw Twitter’s potential wasted under Jack Dorsey’s catatonic leadership and believed it had become corrupted, biased towards governments and liberal media. Musk planned to cut 75% of the company, but the site’s influence, once weaponized by Donald Trump, had declined due to controversies and the platform’s “nastiness.” After Trump’s ban, Twitter focused on content moderation and healthy conversations. Musk aimed to revitalize the platform and address his concerns by acquiring it.
NUMBER:5 URL: https://cernovar-tula.ru/yqen/login-twitter-account.html TITLE: Login twitter account. Can’t access your … – cernovar-tula.ru CONTENT: The provided text seems incomplete and lacks context. It appears to be a snippet of content related to logging into a Twitter account and possibly encountering issues. However, without additional information or the full context, it is challenging to provide a meaningful summary.
NUMBER:1 URL: https://www.rosica.com/2023/08/04/pros-and-cons-of-twitter-rebrand-to-x/ TITLE: Pros and Cons of Twitter’s Rebrand to “X” CONTENT: Elon Musk’s plan to rename Twitter as X has generated excitement across various media platforms. Musk envisions X as a comprehensive digital hub, combining communication, shopping, and financial management. The transition is expected to redefine social media by simplifying the user experience, monetizing services, and fostering innovation. Musk’s reputation for innovation and leadership is anticipated to drive growth and user engagement. The rebrand showcases Twitter’s adaptability and commitment to staying relevant. However, potential challenges include retaining existing users, addressing content concerns, and safeguarding against harmful content.
NUMBER:2 URL: https://www.zdnet.com/article/musk-extols-twitters-new-x-name-but-analysts-are-dubious/ TITLE: Musk extols Twitter’s new X name, but analysts are dubious CONTENT: Elon Musk’s surprise decision to rename Twitter as “X” has ignited mixed reactions. While some view it as a bold move aligned with Musk’s unconventional approach, others express concerns about losing the familiar Twitter brand. The abrupt shift raises questions about the future trajectory of the platform. Musk justifies the rebrand by emphasizing the platform’s evolution beyond its original 140-character messaging format, aiming to encompass diverse services including extensive communications and financial features. The transition reflects Musk’s vision of transforming X into a multifaceted hub for interactivity, fueled by AI and incorporating audio, video, messaging, payments, and banking.
Linda Yaccarino, CEO, envisions X as a global marketplace fostering unlimited interactivity. However, translating this vision into reality poses significant challenges. Musk’s erratic behavior and focus on controversial statements have raised doubts about his ability to steer the platform effectively. Industry experts and analysts debate the impact of the name change. Clinton Clarke, Digital Creative Director at Siegel+Gale, suggests it could refresh the brand’s appeal and purpose, while also expressing concerns that the new ‘X’ logo might prioritize Musk’s image over users.
Luke Lintz, CEO of HighKey Enterprises, views Musk’s strategy as a quest for attention through shocking changes. The name switch from Twitter to X aims to prepare users for forthcoming major transformations, including a shift to decentralized blockchain and an uncensored speech platform. However, backlash from long-time Twitter users and advertisers is anticipated. Advertisers’ uncertainty regarding content and Twitter’s reputation have led some to leave the platform since Musk’s takeover. The transition to X could exacerbate this uncertainty, potentially leading to more business losses.
In sum, Musk’s renaming of Twitter to X sparks a blend of excitement, skepticism, and concerns regarding the platform’s future, user loyalty, and advertiser relationships. The success of X hinges on its ability to deliver on Musk’s expansive vision while navigating challenges posed by its abrupt transformation and the broader social media landscape.
NUMBER:3 URL: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/07/25/musk-explains-why-hes-rebranding-twitter-to-x.html TITLE: Musk explains why he’s rebranding Twitter to X: It’s not just a name change CONTENT: Elon Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter as X reflects his intent to establish an expansive “everything app.” Musk clarified that the shift represents more than a mere name change, emphasizing that the original name made sense for short messages but is inadequate for the platform’s evolving capabilities, including video sharing and comprehensive communications. This move, however, poses risks, potentially erasing years of Twitter’s branding efforts. Advertisers’ concerns about the platform’s safety prompted the appointment of former NBCUniversal executive Linda Yaccarino as CEO. Yaccarino aims to reassure advertisers and highlights the platform’s growth in various aspects like audio, video, messaging, payments, and creating a global marketplace for ideas and opportunities.
EXCEPTIONALLY EXECUTED NARRATIVE-BRANDING AND NEXT-LEVEL GUERRILLA MARKETING TACTICS, OR JUST A BUNCH OF ENTITLED, TREE-HUGGIN’, VEGANS, CAUSING TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS FOR RETWEETS?
Just Stop Oil is a London-based, environmental activist group best known for their climate-change protests and intrusive (although typically non-violent) disruptions of high-profile events as well as general interruptions to the daily lives of citizens all over the United Kingdom and recently throughout Europe as well.
Ironically enough, the group is exactly what both Democrats and Republicans think of when they hear the term “radical climate activist group”… An uncompromising, coalition of socialist democrats committed to disrupting the status quo and fucking with rich people’s favorite past times.
Founded in 2022, after Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain  ended their own scorched earth marketing tactics, with organizers from both groups at the helm, Just Stop Oil has had dozens of videos go viral on social media for antics such as throwing tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers , throwing orange-colored confetti and jigsaw pieces on to Wimbledon tennis courts, and gluing themselves to anything they could literally get their hand on.
Most famously, their “slow-march” campaigns throughout London and other major European cities — a “slow-march” being when groups of J.S.O. activists walk slowly while hold hands in the middle of busy streets and highways — cause traffic backups so long that in one particular case a woman caught behind one of these walks while in labor, actually had to give birth in her car as she was and unable to get to the hospital in time. Fortunately, there were no complications, and little baby Toyota Corolla Johnson is reported to be doing just fine.
To their credit Just Stop Oil has a very specific focus. It is asking, that the government “immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.” This demand is in response to the October 2022 government announcement that it plans to license up to 100 new oil and gas projects by 2025. 
Just Stop Oil’s tactics have brought their message, for better or worse, to the forefront and it’s that better or worse part we’re going to talk about today. To do so, let’s look at three areas where these guerrilla marketing tactics seem to have had positive outcomes, three areas where the same tactics have had a negative impact on the Just Stop Oil brand and message, and determine if the group should keep a truckin’, so to speak, or consider a complete identity overhaul. Yes those metaphors were terrible and I apologize if they’ve caused you any turm-oil. Ok, now I’m done.
Three positives outcomes from a brand marketing perspective; how the Just Stop Oil tactics are bringing people over to their side like milkshakes bring all boys to the proverbial yard.
1. Attention and Awareness: Much like a Kardashian directing traffic, Just Stop Oil’s tactics are disruptive and high-profile. They involving blocking major roads and interrupting significant events which helps to attract substantial attention and keeps their cause in the public eye. For example, the group has drawn attention through provocative acts such as throwing soup at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers . By making their protests visible and hard to ignore, they ensure that their message reaches a large audience. The hope here being essentially, “there is no such thing as bad publicity”.
2. Pressure on Government and Industry: The tactics used by Just Stop Oil are designed to place more pressure on government and industry to act on climate change and fossil fuel use than a viral photo of a turtle with a plastic straw in its nose. Despite the government passing new anti-protest legislation, the group remains committed to non-violent civil resistance until their demands are met . This indicates their actions have had a measurable impact of, as they have forced legislative action and continue to exert pressure for further change.
3. Synergistic Effect within the Climate Movement: Just Stop Oil’s tactics have sparked discussions within the climate activism community, leading to a diversification of strategies among different groups. While some, like Extinction Rebellion (XR), have shifted towards more moderate approaches, others like Just Stop Oil continue with their disruptive actions. This creates a broader spectrum of activism, potentially appealing to different segments of society and keeping the climate issue on the agenda from multiple angles. The differing strategies can benefit from awareness raised by each other, creating a synergistic relationship within the overall climate movement . It’s like in Avengers: Endgame when everyone that had been “blipped” out of existence in the last movie came back and joined Captain America to form one giant, bad guy fightin’ coalition, except here instead of fighting Thanos and his The Black Order army Just Stop Oil and Friends are fighting every first world government and major corporation on the planet. Yeah, it’s kind like that. On the PRO side for J.S.O., Captain did win. SO there’s that.
Overall, if we’re looking for positives in this campaign and its guerrilla marketing tactics, Just Stop Oil, it can be argued, has done a fantastic job of bringing global attention and awareness to the group and its message. Although some of their target audience might want to run group members over with their cars, at least brand recognition seems to be high. Think love for Star Wars movies but simultaneous, unadulterated hatred for Jar Jar Binx.
On the flip side, let’s talk about the three most noted negative impacts of the J.S.O. campaigns.
1. Alienation of Public Support: Like finding out she’s super into astrology, Just Stop Oil’s radical tactics seem to be alienating the public rather than gaining their support. According to a YouGov poll, a majority of respondents (52%) sympathized with motorists affected by the group’s protests, while only 8% supported the protestors themselves. The radical tactics employed by the group seem to have led to confusion or lack of interest about their objectives, which undermines the effectiveness of their message .
2. Legal Consequences and Backlash: The group’s disruptive actions, such as blocking major roads and interrupting sports events, have — surprisingly — led to legal penalties including imprisonment and fines. Such consequences not only affect the activists involved but could potentially discourage potential supporters due to the risks associated with the group’s tactics. The government has even passed new anti-protest legislation specifically to address the disruption caused by these protests .
3. Negative Media Perception: Extreme marketing, branding, and traffic fuckwittery tactics can — again, surprisingly — lead to negative reactions from the mainstream media and the general public. This negative perception can result in an overall misunderstanding or dismissal of the group’s objectives. While their goals of halting fossil fuel exploration and promoting renewable energy are recognized as valid, their controversial tactics seem to be overshadowing the message they’re trying to convey . It’s like if you want to help someone out and tell them that there’s a mosquito on their nose by punching them in the face. Intentions were great, method of communication not so much.
In conclusion, I think this all comes down to one’s definition of makes a marketing or branding campaign successful. If the success of either is measured by a seemingly viral and unstoppable spread of the group’s reputation and message, then it would appear Just Stop Oil’s effort may one of the most effective campaign strategies in marketing history. Even if the target demo is chasing said brand with torches and pitchforks. The other hand, if the success of a marketing campaign is measured by passive receptebility and an overall positive association with the brand, then it would seem that lead based paints have a better chance of a comeback, than the Just Stop Oil folks have of winning public favor.
If you enjoyed this piece or if you’d like to chat about your own company’s marketing and branding efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out at gntbranding.com or say [email protected].
OnlyFans Sexfluencers are putting marketing professionals to shame.
The sexfluencers at the immensely popular social media platform OnlyFans are quite literally, dominating the marketing game. And if you’re trying to stand out online in any real way, you should probably put down that Seth Godin book for a hot second, go grab a pen and start taking detailed notes on the absolute masterclass these scantily-clad, 20-somethings are teaching the internet about personal branding and digital marketing.
For those of you just joining us from under a Martian rock, or maybe stepping out of a time machine from the year 2015, or if this simply is your first time on the interwebs, allow me to say, welcome! And for that third group, I’ve never been to Amish country but I hear it’s gorgeous.
Founded in 2016 by British tech entrepreneur and investor Timothy Sokley, OnlyFans is a content creation service, with over 100 million monthly users.  Creators are able to upload protected videos, photos, or live streams which are locked behind a paywall, allowing fans access to private content for a monthly fee or a premium “tip” for the extra special stuff.
This paywall and state-of-the-art content protection (meaning if a user tries to screenshot content, it would show up blacked out and that user could be permanently banned) means however that potential subscribers do not know exactly what kind of content they’re actually paying for. This forces creators to market those goods and services on other platforms, leveraging social media to build out their brands, their client base, and their King Solomon-esque revenue streams.
With typically no formal marketing or business education, the top OnlyFans earners are raking in millions each year by marketing themselves on just one or two social media platforms.  How much did you make last month? Shit, for that matter how much did I?? 😭😭😭
It’s important to note the diversity of content creators on the OnlyFans platform. It’s not all just under the bed in a shoebox or back of the video store behind a curtain type material. Some of the platform’s biggest contributors are musicians, athletes and celebrities of all different strokes (no pun intended). You can find chefs utilizing the platform to live stream their cooking, fitness instructors hosting step-by-step workouts, and gamers screaming at other gamers in Twitch chats — all interacting more closely with their loyal viewers. Simply put, OnlyFans has become a safe space where creators are less restricted by guidelines and are able to monetize their content while also creating an intimate community with their superfans.  Most of these creators are able to make several thousand dollars per month while others can bring in up to 6 figures monthly, all by doing exactly what they love to do. American dream? I mean, yeah. Pretty much. The platform has paid out more than 5 billion dollars to creators since its inception. 
Ok, imagine you sell, I dunno, cars. Sexy, sexy, NSFW “cars”. Now, people know you sell these chiseled hot rods, but they’re not actually able to see your inventory before they make a purchase. How do you give them enough to peak their interest without breaking any of the dealership’s policies about test riding your muscle cars without buying a permit first?
And yes I realize I drove that analogy into the ground, but you get it.
How do OF creators overcome innate platform challenges such as content restrictions and limited discoverability? In a recent a 2021 article, Business Insider spoke to five of OnlyFans’ top skintrepreneurs to find out how they built their followings from scratch, and how they then converted them into a lucrative business.
While most entrepreneurs are unlikely to replicate the kind of NSFW content available on sex workers’ pages, the techniques that they use for building audiences, creating unique content, and retaining subscribers can be applied to any industry that relies on user-generated revenue.  Here a few primary lead generation tips from the sexperts themselves.
- Differentiate yourself: Just like every hustle since Adam & Eve started the first fruit stand, unique and original content is clutch when you’re trying to get strangers to pay for it. OnlyFans’ creators rely heavily on referrals and word of mouth (get your mind out of the gutter you freak) so establishing yourself in a niche and doing everything to differentiate yourself means the difference between life in paradise or getting cast TF out of Eden. Metaphorically speaking… I think.
King Noire, a sex worker on OnlyFans who specializes in kink and BDSM, says that finding and developing a niche should be a creator’s first priority. “People subscribe to me because my content is unique,” said Noire. “There might be other people who do something similar, but they don’t do it with my expertise or flavor.” Because OnlyFans generates revenue for its creators through subscriptions, the key is identifying and catering to an overlooked niche rather than branding yourself as a lowest-common-denominator creator. In the world of subscriptions, depth, not breadth, is key. 
- Get personal: NSFW content might hook your users initially, but inventive, personal and consistent correspondence with them keeps them coming back for more. “What other platform allows you to text with the people you watch online?” says OnlyFans contributor Lindsey Walsh, who doesn’t identify as a sex worker but whose account is in the top .17% of creators and has netted her more than $250,000 in 2020, according to revenue documents reviewed by Business Insider. 
North takes advantage of how intimate a platform like OF allows each creator to get with their subscribers. Instead of simply using OnlyFans to share explicit content, she – along with many other creators – has monetized the actual lines of communication she has with her users, in a way not available with other platforms. “I tell people, ‘My favorite feature on OnlyFans is talking to people,'” said North. “I really mean it when I tell them that I’m there for them, I want to talk to them, and that doing so is the best part of my day.”
King Noire agrees, especially since word-of-mouth recommendations can be the most helpful channel for getting new fans. “Despite how technologically advanced we get, nothing will give your profile a better boost than a fan who feels like you’re in their corner,” said Noire. 
- Spend twice as much time sharing your content than making it: Possibly the most important lesson we can take away from these capeless crusaders is for every minute you spend creating your content, OnlyFans enterpreneurs recommend spending twice as much time promoting it. Especially on a site like OnlyFans, where built-in restrictions limit the number of people who will discover your content, you must be twice a dedicated to getting it out there if you hope to be discovered.
OnlyFans entrepreneur Miss Henley is a sex worker in the top .5% of the OnlyFans community, whose page has generated $100,000 in revenue in the last 12 months, according to earnings documents reviewed by Business Insider. She says splits her efforts about 70-30, with the majority of her time going to promotion. “If you’re not being your own biggest billboard, then you’re doing a disservice to yourself.” 
Most of these marketing techniques are of course not new. However, the cross-platform, self-promotion and outer-network user harvesting tactics employed by these creators have been refined to the point where a majority of their OnlyFans subscribers are predominantly brought in by marketing efforts on other platforms. They’ve productized themselves on nurture networks like Instagram and TikTok and then created ongoing revenue streams by converting those users into OF subscribers. To get step by step look at how these creators manage their day-to-day subscriber interactions see this guide from SEO BOUNTY. 
So what can we take away from all of this? Sex work is perhaps one of the oldest professions on the planet. Its online equivalent is perhaps the most saturated industry there is and as such the hardest one to breakout from and monetize. But by focusing on consistent, cross-platform content creation to develop their audiences, and then dedicated, personal, one-on-one communication to keep said audiences engaged, an ever growing group of content creators, with little to no background in marketing or branding, have been able to capitalize on these technologies, and grow their annual income in ways that would make most US ad agencies wanna drop trou… literally.
And what does this all mean for you? It means that if you have a digital product you’re trying to get off the ground, or a service that you want to provide, but you’re thinking you just don’t have the experience or knowhow, or that perhaps you’re in an industry or niche that’s just too saturated, too difficult to break out from, try to remember that there is a group of creators out there just like you but with far less experience, who through some serious dedication and daily grind (yes pun intended), have been able to create in the last few years what most entrepreneurs take decades to accomplish… Genuine, consumer brand loyalty.
If you enjoyed this piece or if you’d like to chat about your own company’s marketing and branding efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out at gntbranding.com or say [email protected].