American Identity Crisis Episode Script Ideas
American Identity Crisis – Episode 1
Welcome back, Dandies!
Now sit down, cause we need to talk…
You’re allllll familiar with the words: cancel culture, wokeness, priviledge. Perhaps you’ve even heard the term “IdPol”. I know that I can’t seem to find a safe space away from these buzzwords! I could be on an Alaskan glacier tour, shivering in the midsts of an ocean blizzard, watching mounds of ice crash into the water through binoculars and somehow, somewhere within earshot, I’ll hear some BOOMER complaining about their freedom of speech or the way that people want to use the bathrooms nowadays.
I know that I’m not the one encouraging the incessant crusades that everyone seems to be on these days. So what in the fuck is going on? Why is society obsessed with all of these things now that they had no knowledge of a few decades ago?
Well that’s what we’re going to talk about today:
I hope you’re ready for a wild ride!!!
Thinking About the Millenium
When I was around 14 or 15 years old, I went with a friend and his family to Las Vegas to celebrate the turn of the century. Two-thousand years of Jesus Christ, done.
I can still remember what people were talking about then.
The Columbine Shooting was fresh on everyone’s minds and there were some fears that a mass shooter would target the Las Vegas Strip during the celebrations.
Someone was probably walking around munching on some SnackWell’s Devil’s Food Cookies, thinking about some episode of Seinfeld, laughing at some Juggalo blasting the Great Milenko on a boom box. Everyone was supposed to be expressing their pride in this racially color-blind epoch, paying by the hour to dial-up AOL and find a cool chatroom to possibly make a new friend or lover. This was a time when Marilyn Manson actually frightened people, where Jerry Springer was ushering in the age of reality television, and Bill Maher was breaking all the rules on Politically Incorrect.
People were calling us the MTV generation…
So many things hadn’t happened yet: 9/11 and the wars that followed, broadband internet, smart phones, the subprime mortgage crisis, gay marriage, legal weed…
The Berlin Wall had fallen a decade before and society had settled into a politically apathetic phase of jolly mass consumption.
The West had won! So America got busy projecting itself as the leaders of the free world, exporting its culture everywhere it could, and dismissing any criticism as an attitude problem that wasn’t anyone’s problem but the people with the criticisms.
There were of course criticisms. A lot of the same critical thought that is still around today: intersectional feminism, queer theory, postmodernism, police and prison abolitionism, Marxist-Leninism. But it manifested in a different way… usually as a somewhat incoherent jumble of opinions. You see, the internet hadn’t yet made a lot of these theories accessible: neither through book sales on Amazon, nor through pirated content. Most media was owned by 5-6 large conglomerates. The alternative media was limited to websites of text, or message board systems like Indymedia.
There were no poopcasts, neither.
So what the fuck happened??
The Fuck That Happened
Well I already mentioned quite a few things that had happened, but not the main things.
Only a couple of years after Y2K, Douglas Rushkoff released a documentary on PBS Frontline that for me has marked the moment in history when everything we’re talking about began to change.
The documentary was called Merchants of Cool, I’ll read the description:
“Teenagers in America number more than 30 million and command over 150 billion dollars in disposable income. They are exposed to over 3000 advertising messages in an average day. In contrast to adults, teenagers respond to whatever is “cool”, as determined by the trend-setters of the moment. This documentary examines how businesses seek the ever-elusive “cool” and use it to sell products to teens. Alas, once corporations find cool, it soon ceases to be so; this means marketers are forever searching for new products and strategies to capture the attention of their target audience. This documentary also looks at how real life and TV life are blurring together, acting like a feedback loop to push popular teen culture towards more violent and sexual behaviors.”
In other words, those giant media conglomerates began on a marketing journey that was especially focused on teenagers… adolescents. And since marketing at that scale works by extensively researching the psychological lives of its target audiences, that meant that these corporations were discovering what psychologists like Erik Erikson had pointed out years before: adolescence is the stage in life where people experience an identity crisis.
Though Rushkoff’s documentary concentrates on the phenomenon of “cool,” another way to talk about “cool” is to talk about “identity”.
That’s right – I’m saying that what we are all dealing with now in this society is a result of corporate mass-marketing strategies 20 years ago!
But you’re going to be like “wait, hold on, waiiit a second… my Uncle Duncan wasn’t a 90’s kid, so why is he talking about wokeness and cancel culture?”
Well my dandy, the reason for that is because corporate mass-marketing strategies didn’t just stop there.
As their techniques proved successful and digital technologies advanced, corporations moved on from using these strategies on teenagers to targeting everyone else as well.
And that’s not all!
Since social media and other forms of data collection have enabled corporations to compile so many more data-points on the population, targeted marketing has gone far beyond the primitive reliance on large demographic categories. Today, corporations have access to consumer profiles that organize us into all sorts of categories, backing us up into the corners of our personal vulnerabilities, and exploiting those vulnerabilities to not only sell us products but even to manipulate our political behavior.
Ok – so yes, it is questionable how effective people like Cambridge Analytica have been at manipulating election outcomes.
However, that isn’t the point here…
The point is that we have spent the past 20 years being identified in all sorts of fucked up ways for all sorts of fucked up reasons and this has had an impact on our culture.
Now that this corporate logic has penetrated to the very depths of our society and ourselves, people are running around blaming college students and social justice activists instead of putting 2 and 2 together
2 and 2 is that the people exploiting our developmental crises and egging on our conflicts are the rich bastards selling these boomers their coffee mugs with the edgy catch phrases on them.
Punk Rebellion vs Identity Marketing
The inevitability of “lifestylism” in anarchist praxis is a result of this environment and its contradictions. Identity authorities are decentralized, perhaps even distributed, all throughout the social fabric. No surprise that this encourages responses of resistance and other responses of identity authoritarianism. Resistance began with the new social movements, with the Situationist International, and with the Punk movement it helped to shape. As anarchism became a viable political ideology for those who resist, it was modified to become relevant in this world. The resulting lifestyle anarchism created identities that one could adopt and personalize – not through consumerism – but through DIY practices. The countercultural outcome created conflicts that established institutions have been attempting to recuperate since. At first, the established institutions attempted to repress the counterculture. Though seeing the shortcomings of repression, the established institutions moved onto recuperation. This recuperation created compromises that much of the counterculture could accept, especially if they abandoned anarchist ethics. Elements of the traditional Left helped in this recuperation by denigrating countercultural lifestylists in a variety of ways. Today, little disruption is generated by the counterculture. Conflicts of identity have been mostly subsumed into the mainstream and sanitized of their radical potential to threaten the status quo culturally, economically, and politically.
The War on Terror and the Enemy Within
write a youtube monologue about the development of marketing strategies from the 1990’s until today
[Opening Shot: Presenter sitting in a well-lit room with a whiteboard behind them]
Presenter: “Hey there, YouTube viewers! Today, we’re diving into a fascinating journey through time, exploring the evolution of marketing strategies from the 1990s to the present day. So grab your virtual time machine, because we’re about to explore how the landscape of marketing has transformed over the years!”
[Cut to a series of images depicting 1990s advertisements]
Presenter: “Back in the 1990s, marketing was all about traditional media. Think colorful TV ads, radio jingles, and glossy print campaigns. Brands aimed to capture your attention during your favorite TV show or within the pages of magazines. The goal? Create memorable, catchy content that you’d remember long after the ads aired.”
[Transition to early 2000s images]
Presenter: “Fast forward to the early 2000s. The rise of the internet led to a seismic shift. Enter online advertising, banners, and pop-ups. Brands started tapping into your screen time with dial-up connections. This era also saw the birth of search engine optimization (SEO) and the power of keywords to get websites noticed.”
[Transition to mid-2000s images]
Presenter: “By the mid-2000s, social media platforms emerged onto the scene. Suddenly, marketing got personal. Brands started engaging with customers directly, building relationships, and creating content tailored to specific audiences. Blogs became a powerful tool for thought leadership, and viral marketing started taking off.”
[Transition to late 2000s images]
Presenter: “As we reached the late 2000s, smartphones became mainstream, and the marketing game changed once again. With mobile apps and SMS marketing, brands could reach you wherever you were. Plus, location-based marketing started using GPS to offer personalized deals and recommendations.”
[Transition to 2010s images]
Presenter: “And then came the 2010s, the era of content marketing. Brands focused on storytelling, creating valuable content that educated, entertained, and engaged audiences. Video platforms like YouTube became gold mines for sharing branded content, while influencers started shaping consumer opinions.”
[Transition to present-day images]
Presenter: “Today, we find ourselves in a world of AI-driven marketing. Data analytics, machine learning, and predictive algorithms have taken center stage. Brands can now anticipate your needs, curate personalized recommendations, and even predict future trends.”
[Closing Shot: Presenter back in the well-lit room]
Presenter: “So, there you have it, a whirlwind tour of how marketing strategies have evolved from the 1990s until today. From TV screens to smartphones, from catchy jingles to AI-powered insights, the journey has been nothing short of incredible. What’s next for marketing? Well, that’s a story we’re all eager to see unfold. Thanks for joining me on this journey through time! Until next time, keep on marketing!”
[End with a flourish and a smile]
write a youtube monologue about the impact that marketing and public relations has on identity formation
[Opening Shot: Presenter standing in front of a backdrop featuring logos of famous brands]
Presenter: “Hello, YouTube audience! Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s at the core of our modern lives: the profound impact of marketing and public relations on the formation of our identities. Buckle up, because we’re about to explore how these powerful forces shape who we are!”
[Cut to visuals of various advertisements]
Presenter: “From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, marketing messages surround us. They’re in our social media feeds, TV shows, billboards, and even the products we use daily. These messages don’t just sell us products; they shape our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us.”
[Transition to shots of diverse individuals interacting with media]
Presenter: “Think about it. Every time you see an ad that resonates with your lifestyle or aspirations, you might feel a sense of connection. You might even think, ‘Hey, that brand gets me!’ This is the magic of identity-based marketing. Brands tap into your values, desires, and self-image to create a personal bond.”
[Transition to clips of influencers and celebrities]
Presenter: “And let’s not forget about influencers and celebrities. They’re not just selling products; they’re selling lifestyles. From fitness gurus to fashion icons, their carefully curated images influence how we perceive ‘cool,’ ‘successful,’ and ‘desirable.’ And in a world where ‘likes’ matter, their impact is huge.”
[Cut to scenes of public relations events and media coverage]
Presenter: “Now, let’s talk public relations. Companies and individuals hire PR experts to manage their image and reputation. PR shapes not only how we perceive brands but also how we perceive individuals. The stories we read, the interviews we watch—these craft narratives that shape our opinions.”
[Transition to shots of individuals discussing self-identity]
Presenter: “But here’s the twist: Marketing and PR influence not only how we see the world but also how we see ourselves. They create cultural norms and ideals, impacting how we define success, beauty, and happiness. In a way, they’re shaping the very fabric of our identities.”
[Transition to diverse individuals interacting with technology]
Presenter: “With the rise of digital media, our online presence is now an extension of our identity. Our social media profiles are curated versions of ourselves, carefully constructed through images, captions, and hashtags. Marketing and PR play a role here too, as we navigate the online world.”
[Closing Shot: Presenter back in front of brand logos]
Presenter: “So, there you have it—an exploration into the powerful influence of marketing and public relations on our identity formation. As consumers and individuals, we’re not just passive recipients; we’re active participants in this intricate dance. Remember, every time you engage with media, you’re shaping and being shaped. Thanks for joining me on this thought-provoking journey!”
[End with a thoughtful smile and a wave]
tell me about identity-based marketing. When did it begin? What stages has it moved through?
Identity-based marketing, also known as identity marketing or lifestyle branding, is an approach that targets consumers based on their values, aspirations, interests, and self-identity. Rather than solely focusing on the features of a product, identity-based marketing seeks to create an emotional connection between consumers and brands by aligning with their personal identities and lifestyles. This approach aims to foster a sense of belonging, authenticity, and resonance with a brand’s values and messaging.
Beginnings and Evolution:
Identity-based marketing began to gain traction in the late 20th century as brands recognized the power of connecting with consumers on a deeper, emotional level. Here’s how it has evolved over time:
- Late 20th Century – Early 2000s: The concept of identity-based marketing started taking shape as brands began to recognize that consumers were seeking more than just products. They wanted experiences that resonated with their sense of self and values. Brands like Nike and Apple were pioneers in connecting with consumers through values and lifestyle aspirations.
- Mid-2000s – 2010s: With the rise of social media and digital platforms, identity-based marketing gained even more momentum. Brands leveraged platforms to showcase their values and build communities around shared identities. Social media influencers played a significant role in promoting products that aligned with their personal brands and lifestyles.
- Late 2010s – Present: Today, identity-based marketing is highly personalized and data-driven. Brands use advanced analytics to understand consumer behavior, preferences, and online activities. This allows for more precise targeting and tailoring of messages to specific identity segments.
Stages of Identity-Based Marketing:
- Aspirational Marketing: Brands focus on creating an aspirational image that consumers want to be associated with. The emphasis is on depicting a desirable lifestyle that consumers strive to achieve by adopting the brand’s products.
- Lifestyle Branding: Brands position themselves as a part of consumers’ lifestyles. They build narratives around how their products fit seamlessly into consumers’ daily lives, reinforcing a sense of identity.
- Inclusive Branding: Brands emphasize inclusivity by celebrating diversity and representing various consumer segments. They aim to create a sense of belonging and community among their consumers.
- Personalized Branding: Leveraging data analytics, brands offer personalized experiences tailored to individual preferences and identities. This allows for more targeted messaging and product recommendations.
- Social Responsibility Branding: Brands align with social and environmental causes, reflecting consumers’ values and commitment to making a positive impact. This resonates with identity-driven consumers who prioritize brands that share their concerns.
- User-Generated Content and Co-Creation: Brands encourage consumers to create content and engage in co-creation, making them active participants in shaping the brand’s identity and image.
Identity-based marketing continues to evolve, driven by advances in technology, shifts in consumer values, and changing communication landscapes. As consumers seek more meaningful connections with brands, identity-based marketing will likely remain a central strategy for building strong, emotional brand-consumer relationships.