Brand strategists are always on the lookout for trends and cultural developments. One such trend, resulting from the pandemic, is the growth of Zoom meetings. In my last post I discussed how less meetings and more independent work are not the most productive ways to work in today’s world – though there are certainly positives. But recently I was on a Zoom call and noticed a neat strong positive to working remotely, albeit it was a bit embarrassing.
Last week I was on a Zoom webinar sponsored my alma mater Rollins College on the topic of diversity, inclusion and equity; a topic on which I need mas training. For a change most of the postage stamp heads were black. (Is it me or do other white people look at rooms filled with white heads and feel uncomfortable? White much? is a meme I like to use.) Anyway, the webinar guest, activist Sophie Williams from London, was explaining that decades ago the gov’t tried to recruit blacks to live in the U.K. by running ads in the West Indies, highlighting all the wonderments of UK life. Sophie went on to say it was effective advertising though it never mentioned that life for blacks in the UK was going to be “shit.” I giggled at her expletive. No one else did. Zoom allowed me to see that. Big ass faux pas. Insensitive me. Had, in real life, I been in a row of students looking at the back of heads I would never have known my mistake.
While working at Zude, a social media startup, years ago and attempting to recruit musical acts, I uncovered an important planning insight: “never are musical artists more in touch with their art than when looking into the eyes of the audience.” Zoom lets you do that. Used properly it can be a great research tool.