Burning Questions: Twitter, Olympic Marketing, Stranger Things

Critical questions about the top marketing and culture topics of the moment.

A socially conscious bird, a major marketing letdown, and a strange summer success story inspire this edition of Burning Questions…

Is Twitter changing the online world (for the better)?

Some big and bold news has been coming out of Twitter recently. First the company announced they are giving every user access to their quality filter to help combat the network’s bullying problem. Then this article from The New York Times revealed Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts in the past 6 months for promoting terrorism. The previously mostly-hands-off network has suddenly taken steps to clean up the tweet streets. Both moves seem like good ones, but the question remains: What will the overall impact be, and will it last?

Twitter Updates

Why was the marketing surrounding the Summer Olympics so boring this year?

Events like the World Cup, Super Bowl, and the Olympics are typically huge boom times for marketers. And yet the marketing around this year’s summer games has been surprisingly, well, ehThis could be the partially the result of rule 40, which prohibits non-sponsor brands from talking about the games and the athletes involved on social media (and, likewise, the athletes from talking about unofficial brand sponsors). But even most of the big brands that are sponsors don’t seem to be doing their best work. There’s a sense of tedium and sameness to it all. This is a major event—so what gives?

Rule 40

How did “Stranger Things” become the entertainment event of the summer?

It’s the summer before a presidential election. The Summer Olympics, a once-every-four-years event, is taking place. Suicide Squad, which had one of the biggest and best movie marketing campaigns in history, is in theaters. And yet it’s an eight-episode Netflix series set in the 1980s that arrived with little fanfare that has taken over the summer conversation. If you haven’t watched the show yet, get on it. If you don’t have a Netflix subscription, get your free month, watch the show, and cancel it. Stranger Things has tapped into something old, new and highly entertaining. It might be the only show that can be equally beloved by 10 year olds, 20 year olds, and 40 year olds. In short: It owns the summer of 2016.

Stranger Things