If a brand can back positive social change through financially beneficial PR, that's still a positive.
Corporations have one interest and one interest only: profit.
No matter how much you love a nostalgic toy brand from your childhood or a fast food chain's Twitter account, it's worth remembering that their primary goal is always to get you to buy their product. Brands are not your friends, and it's naive to think that they ever "do the right thing" out of some higher sense of justice beyond their bottom line.
That said, there's still value in brands taking stances on social and political issues. The fact that brands aren't people doesn't mean that some of the people behind brands don't sincerely care about social issues. If a brand can back positive social change through financially beneficial PR, that's still a net positive—at least within the context of a capitalist society where brands are put on pedestals and treated as if they have more rights than the average living, breathing human.
On Thursday, June 4th of 2020, Sony was scheduled to host the long-awaited reveal event for the PlayStation 5 wherein launch games would be outlined and a release date would presumably be set in stone.
That was until George Floyd's cold-blooded, state-sanctioned murder by a group of Minneapolis police officers. Now the Black Lives Matter movement has taken on a newfound fervor in the public eye, with major protests against police brutality in every major city. Police are responding with unprecedented violence (tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.) against peaceful protestors and journalists which, in turn, is driving some protesters to violence. Riots rage across the country. Trump is threatening military violence against his own citizens if the protests don't stop, which is all the more reason for the protests to continue in full force.
Amidst all of this Sony decided to delay their event, posting on the official PlayStation Twitter: "While we understand gamers worldwide are excited to see PS5 games, we don not feel that right now is a time celebration and for now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard."
https://t.co/ZAY8StN0EU— PlayStation (@PlayStation)1591036609.0
Their decision has received wide support, with their "rival," the Xbox account, standing in solidarity.
But sure enough, Sony's decision to delay their PS5 event isn't popular amongst a certain gamer demographic. Their comment section is predictably a toxic waste pit. For context, this guy choosing to represent himself with an Assassin's Creed logo and saying, "Wtf? C'mon dude! Seriously?" is one of the more mature people on the thread.
@PlayStation Wtf? C’mon dude! Seriously? 😤🤬— Jake from the cartoon (@Jake from the cartoon)1591036659.0
A good number of the more popular complaints, however, hinge on the assertion that Sony doesn't actually care.
@PlayStation Last November government in Iran Slaughtered 1500 protesters, did you care? What about protesters in H… https://t.co/QUMygv2f9w— Bs (@Bs)1591042444.0
To some extent, this is valid. When the commenter with a Rick and Morty avatar says that "it's all about MONEY" for Sony, he's most likely correct. But here's the deal: Who cares? Regardless of whether Sony made this decision because the people behind the company actually support the cause or because the marketing team decided that any announcements they made would be vastly overshadowed in the media (and it's honestly most likely this one), they're still doing the right thing. Now is not the time to be hosting a celebratory media event in America. Black people and allies are out in the streets fighting for their lives. PS5 announcements can wait.
Most importantly, though, when brands speak up like Sony did, they help to normalize progressive sentiments around important issues.
Typically speaking, when a brand decides to publicly promote a social or political issue, we can usually assume that they've made a decision based on market research that supporting the cause will not lead to financial downfall. Thus, brands tend to support causes that are already popular amongst large demographics of people. Even if their support is hollow, which it almost always is, the benefits of normalization outweigh the loftier moral issues of intent.
To be clear, by advocating for black voices amidst the Black Lives Matter protests, Sony has essentially told its customers that it doesn't care about losing sales from whatever demographic of racist gamers might be against the cause. Quite frankly, it's not important why they decided this. Nobody is turning to Sony for community leadership, anyways. The important part is that it rightfully makes that racist demographic of gamers who hate BLM and disagree with the protests understand that their views and values are unwanted. This, in turn, takes power away from their ideas.
By all means, continue to be critical of corporate greed from obviously pandering brands. Brands aren't people, and they don't have feelings to hurt. But at the same time, it's useful to recognize positivity in a situation as dire as this. A popular company normalizing support of BLM can only help spread the message.
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Whether liberal or conservative, Chris Pratt's politics are apparently the most important thing in the world...
This is an incredibly consequential time in American history.
With less than two weeks left until the 2020 presidential election, the future of the nation hangs in the balance, and it all hinges on one essential question: Which side is Chris Pratt on?
Lack of star power and corporate backing is causing the show to lose steam.
With the entire world stuck at home sheltering in place, musicians have had to resort to entertaining fans (and themselves) virtually.While some entertained the weary masses in the form of TikTok videos and Instagram challenges, others went as far as performing concerts and DJ sets from the comfort of their homes. But it would be the platform created by super producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland that would become the frontrunner in quarantine entertainment.
On March 24, Verzuz was born as a showdown between accomplished artists, songwriters, and producers playing their most popular songs against each other in the spirit of friendly competition. Instagram Live would act as the battleground for the clash of musical titans. Swizz and Timbaland would not only serve as the masterminds of the series but its inaugural battle participants.