As male depression gains broader public attention and young women adopt a ‘sad aesthetic’ online, brands are being challenged to consider how they communicate to an emotionally charged society. How can they help people in their quest for inner happiness and free expression?
Mascots have long been used to front brands in Japan, but Gudetama – a lazy anthropomorphic egg – is a far cry from the cutesy characters typically seen. It now appears on around 1,700 items, boasting its own Twitter feed and pop-up cafés, but how has it won the hearts of people nationwide?
You can’t move for being told how to be happy. It’s a choice, claims Coca-Cola in its Choose Happiness campaign. It’s the truth, croons Pharrell in Happy. We can redesign our lives to achieve it, says Paul Dolan in Happiness by Design. But what does ‘being happy’ mean, and how do we achieve it?
Memes are part of the fabric of internet culture. But at a time when there’s such a disparity between reality and social media perfection, the subversion of the classic meme format reflects a shift in how people express themselves digitally. How do nihilist memes show the silver lining of sadness?
Studies show that our ability to empathise has greatly diminished over the last 30 years. It’s due in part to the uptake of smartphones and social media – we’re all too busy thinking about ourselves. But while it might be part of the problem, could technology also be used to make us more empathetic?