This May, I wrote about a discussion that emerged in class about unethical brand behaviour. (If you want to see part I of the article click here.)
The majority of the class seemed to demonstrate that it is indeed from a different generation with a different set of values than mine, stating that discrimination, racism, exclusion are things that brands can do and that this does not even matter. Brands are entitled to exclude whoever they like.
Well here is the update on this class. The students were asked to work in groups and invent a new ad campaign for the said brand which aims to improve its ethics. So, although the students argued that none of these issues matter to them, during project time, they had to deal with them in depth.
The results were the exact opposite of what they had loudly stated in class!
During their research phase they looked at various activists and ambassadors of being ‘real’ or being ‘different’.
The six groups then each took a different approach: Some created a campaign to raise awareness of plus size customers, others used a hashtag social media campaign to include all races, sizes and ethnicities. And one group had the most daring approach: It wanted to use famous personalities with disabilities who would wear the clothes and turn the brand’s ethos upside-down.
It was amazing to watch the groups present their concepts. This amazement was not only because they did a good and well-researched presentation, but because I was amazed at their thoughts. After dealing with the topic in depth they actually changed their opinions. All of the sudden they saw a new perspective.
So perhaps the Generation Y is different, because it has the ability of changing, improving and grasping concepts which don’t come to them naturally at first.
Have you ever experienced a 180° change of opinion whilst teaching?