Empowered Women, EverestNoFilter and Jessie’s Story

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Images via Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards

Welcome to the eNewsletter you never subscribed to. 

Empowering Women…Through Advertising: For a long time, beauty marketing was about instilling fear in women—without these products, women were incapable of being beautiful and without beauty, women were incapable of success. Recently, however, advertising messaging has changed to one of female empowerment. New campaigns from companies like Dove and SK-II are now telling us that we are all beautiful, independent ladies just the way we are, all while still managing to sell us their products.

Not that I’m complaining. I much prefer this class of advertising over the pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards. And ultimately, I think these brands are doing so much more than selling us a product or even an idea. As opposed to hopeless dreams and unattainable aspirations, these brands are selling us truth. Instead of telling us you could have this, they’re saying you know what, you’ve already got it. When you think about it, it’s actually a pretty radical concept. Here are brands that are basically telling you that you don’t need their product to feel good about yourself.  And somehow that makes me want their products even more.

Snapchat Is More Than Social Media: A team of climbers is currently ascending Mount Everest using brand new satellite technology. While Everest is one of the most well-known mountain ranges in the world, not many people know what it’s actually like to climb the highest peak on Earth. But now you can. The climbing team is documenting their entire climb, from prep to finish, via their Snapchat handle, EverestNoFilter.

I don’t know why I’m so intrigued by this method of storytelling, as one of Snapchat’s main features is its “Stories” section. However, this is one of the first instances (that I’ve heard of) of the platform telling one cohesive story from start to finish. As a hybrid of reality TV show programming and documentary filmmaking, Snapchat stories transcend traditional video storytelling platforms because of their low barrier to entry. Now anyone with a mobile phone can broadcast their story to millions of viewers for free.

The Game of Chat: When Facebook invited companies to create chatbots for its messenger platform, most could immediately see the value for customer service purposes like booking airline tickets and reserving restaurant tables. But PullString had a different vision. They decided to create a Facebook Messenger chatbot game called Humani: Jessie’s Story. Rod Humble, the game developer who created Jessie, has previously worked on similar virtual reality games like Second Life and the Sims. When the game begins, Jessie has just lost her job and her apartment. You talk her through first dates, job interviews and other life events. According to Danielle Frimer, one of the writers behind Jessie’s Story, “It’s a media that requires something of you. It requires you to use your imagination; to use your intellect to engage with characters as opposed to just consuming.”

I love that with every new technology humans create, we always find a way to use it to tell a story.

Stay classy, nerds.

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