Peloton is changing the media ecosystem by strengthening its role as a media company, providing both the platform and content

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Photo by Author

Peloton Interactive is a fitness phenomenon with its high-profile at-home spin bikes and treadmills. It has more than three million subscribers who follow the company with an almost religious zeal. Recently, Peloton announced its first-ever quarterly profit as it saw a 172% surge in sales during the coronavirus pandemic. The stay-at-home fitness company has become ever more relevant for its audience, looking to stay in shape while gyms were closed by COVID rules, showing them an innovative and new way to keep in shape.

Peloton is not just a fitness company. It also produces content and has built a community of followers that consume its content via live-streamed and recorded classes, available via Peloton’s app or the screens on their spin bikes and treadmills. …


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Photo by Dylan Scarsone Apexpixel on Unsplash

Appealing texts are wide and deep enough to allow audiences from different cultures, ethnicities, genders, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds to project their personal thoughts and feelings into the text and make it their own.

People find a text more appealing because it allows them to pour their personality, worldviews, and experience (traumatic or pleasant) into the entertaining text.

An appealing text places the protagonists in conflicts that resemble real-life choices, yet at the same time allows the audience to tiptoe into the reflection pool of emotions and fantasize about their choice.

From the BBC’s Masterpiece Theatre to reality TV and action movies, text that appeals to people meets the audience where they’re at, allowing them to project their identity and become the object and the story’s subject simultaneously. For example, such a text might offer the audience a fantasy of being the hero and their love interest at the same time. When the protagonist of 500 Days with Summer gapes at Summer, unaware of his adoration, the movie tells both the story of him and the viewers, who long to be able to gaze at a love interest and be looked at, at the same time. …


The largest bank in the US announced its groundbreaking investment to fight racial inequality in housing but left out a key point: the social change it is driving.

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Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the US, announced (October 8, 2020) its $30 billion plan to address racial inequality in America. The Wall Street mogul placed itself as a key player in one of the most pressing social spheres in America today by committing to invest and donate a groundbreaking amount of money. The bank detailed the plan’s ambitious numbers and goals, as it should. Yet, the bank’s social story has been lost in the flurry of bold numbers, financial projections, and buzzwords. …


The new mediated shopping experience, where customers wait in line to enter a store, to pay or read their order to a salesperson, makes brands’ human connection more important than ever.

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A Frozen Yogurt store during the Covid-19 pandemic. Picture by the author

A few weeks ago, before inside seating in restaurants was allowed in New Jersey, I went to buy some Build Your Own Yoghurt with my children. It was a hot day, and we were all thirsty for something cold. As we stood in line outside, we peeked at the menu posted proudly at the entrance. We asked ourselves which flavor would be perfect for this summer day and tried to imagine the cold fresh taste under our masks.

When it was our turn, we approached the efficient and busy salesperson who asked us for our order and wrote it in brief strokes of pencil on a small pad, gave us an understanding nod, and went on her way to prepare our order. At the entrance behind a big round wood table, we kept standing there, looking at her as she put our order together. My children looked longingly from a distance at all the gummy bears and chocolate bites they love to pour on their yogurt for themselves, disappointed that someone else is doing that. I looked at the salesperson thinking about how her job description has changed and how hard she must be working now, running around and collecting all those gummy bears. The yogurt was delicious, but as the experience didn’t include actually building our own yogurt, it just wasn’t as fun. …


Artwork at Tel Aviv beach was painted over after outrage over an assault on a teenage girl, sparking discussion about popular culture, politics, art, and gender.

On August 23, 2020, the Tel-Aviv municipal authorities removed an 18-year-old “peeping toms” mural painted by the Israeli artist Rami Meiri. It showed two young men peeking in the window of a ladies’ changing room at the beach.

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The ‘Metzitzim’ (Peeping Toms) mural at the Tel-Aviv beach, picture by Udi Steinwell Wikipedia Commons

The mural refers to the Tel-Aviv beach, unofficially known as Metzitzim (Hebrew for “peeping toms”). Metzitzim is also the title of a cult 1972 film about two friends who don’t want to age; one of them is a lifeguard fighting peepers on the Tel-Aviv beach.

Painted on an actual ladies’ changing room of a family-friendly beach on the Mediterranean, the mural was frequently seen as offensive by women’s rights groups, who called for its removal and vandalized it in the past. Following a case of a suspected gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl, the Israeli public took its rage over violence against women to the streets in nationwide protests and a mass walkout from workplaces. The mural was targeted again. …


The rental platform’s Covid-19 response sparked a double backlash from guests and hosts

Airbnb logo is seen displayed on a phone screen
Airbnb logo is seen displayed on a phone screen
Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Getty Images

In the first months of the pandemic, Airbnb’s model — along with the rest of the travel industry — was sent reeling. But although Airbnb has seen bookings begin to surge through the summer and filed to go public on August 19, its crises in the early days of the coronavirus still serve as a powerful reminder of the ongoing, complicated relationships Airbnb manages as a marketplace.

In late March and early April, as cities entered lockdowns and booking cancellations surged, Airbnb’s hosts were devastated by the sudden loss of income, and the company found itself torn between simply weathering the crisis and placating its stakeholders on all sides. According to AirDNA, which tracks the vacation rental market, Airbnb bookings across Europe dropped by 80% in one week in mid-March. Bookings in New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle dropped more than 50% compared to January. Trying to weather the crisis, Airbnb suspended all marketing activities, put its founders salaries on hold, and cut top executives salaries by half. …


COVID-19 is a global, national, and local news story. It could also become Facebook’s chance to develop its corporate responsibility and support of local journalism

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Image by JamesDeMers from Pixabay

The news about COVID-19 tells the story of the whole world, countries, and individuals simultaneously. News about the pandemic is relevant to countries and global organizations that fight to contain the virus while keeping their economies from collapsing. At the same time, the pandemic is relevant to different states, as they are trying to establish rules for public health. COVID-19 is also a story of communities and individuals, trying to get used to the “new normal” and cope with its implications for their everyday lives. …


The social network removed Trump ads that included a symbol used by the Nazis. What does it mean when a corporate company determines the cultural meaning of a visual symbol?

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Nazi camp ID-emblems in a 1936 German illustration by Wikipedia Commons

Social networks, more than ever, are at the center of attention as the American public fights racism and calls for them to curtail violent content on their platforms. Lately, Facebook removed dozens of advertisements by the Trump campaign that included a symbol once used by the Nazis to classify political prisoners in concentration camps during World War II. Facebook removed the ads amid a public outcry, saying the imagery violated company policy. The symbol, an inverted red triangle, appeared alongside the campaign’s warning about a threat posed by Antifa and “far-left groups.”

The Nazis used the inverted triangles as identifying badges that were sewn into the uniforms of concentration camp prisoners. The Nazis used numerous colors of triangles to identify the reason prisoners were jailed in concentration camps. For example, the green triangle was for convicts and criminals; the black triangle denoted mentally disabled people, alcoholics, Lesbians, and Roma and Sinti women (Gypsies); the pink triangle symbolized gay men, bisexual and trans people, and sexual offenders. Meanwhile, red triangles were used to identify political prisoners: social democrats, liberals, socialists, communists, anarchists, gentiles who assisted Jewish people, and more. …


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Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay

Twitter and Square’s CEO announced Juneteenth as an official company holiday, and Corporate America followed. What does it mean when corporations embrace cultural change?

During the past few weeks, there has been a dramatic change in the American public’s attitudes about police treatment of Black Americans. 74% of Americans say they support the protests in cities across the country. The slogan Black Lives Matter has become more than a movement’s name; it is now a call for police reform and racial equality, sweeping across predominantly Black and White communities alike.

During these civil protests, Corporate America has become the public’s beacon for social change. Companies quickly identified the shift in public opinion, and made what has become an almost mandatory response — they pledged to play a more significant role in combating systemic racism, acknowledging their roles in perpetuating inequalities. …


Shelter in place orders forced museums to close to avoid spreading covid19. What should they do to serve their audiences best?

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Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Museums have been cultivating culture, history, tradition, and education for centuries. They shape our understanding of beauty, heritage, and skills while being a reflection of reality and encouraging cultural resilience as audiences of all ages visit them. Museums offer visitors a glimpse of human history, of some of the most marginalized voices in society. No other institution collects, displays, and mediates examples of our three-dimensional world as an aid to encourage understanding and joy; museums are unique.

Yet, the shelter in place orders brought a new challenge for museums, as their revenues decreased immediately without visitors. Studies by UNESCO and the International Council of Museums show that ninety percent of the world’s museums, about 85,000 institutions, were closed by the coronavirus pandemic. …

About

Shani Horowitz-Rozen, Ph.D.

I help companies and executives to tell their stories, focus their messages and reach audiences www.communicatingimpact.com/

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