WHAT IS THE LOVE NETWORK?
Here’s some of the big Internet moments that got The Love Network talking this week:
HOW OFTEN DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE ROMAN EMPIRE?
The question asked by Monty Python in the 1979 film The Life of Brian came to mind last week when a new TikTok trend showed women asking men how often they thought of the ancient empire. The trend, which may or may not have been sparked by this Rolling Stone article revealed a variety of answers, ranging from several times a day, with reasons from fascination with their advanced technology to, well, “because it’s cool”, to almost never, or as one Nicki Minaj fan smartly demonstrated in her subversion of the trend, not at all, unless we’re talking about the Minajiverse.
This trend on TikTok has tapped into an inherently gendered conversation, mirroring the “Girl Dinner” trend of this summer. The fact that neither dinner, nor the Roman Empire are intrinsically gendered but their subsequent viral trends were, led Delara Alviri, an entertainment lawyer to speculate that the trends grew out of “current questioning of gender roles and norms in general”. Interestingly the Roman Empire was considered forward-thinking in its gender power dynamics and pansexuality.
FIRST GIRL DINNER, NOW GIRL MATH
In other gendered trends, in the wake of Girl Dinner we now have “Girl Math" which is a playful conversation around justifying reckless spending habits. While some accounts believe this to be the final proof that millennial & Gen Z’s financial woes are down to chronic financial mismanagement, others believe it regresses women to the 70s.
AN ACCOUNT SWAP
Speaking of gender norms, the ‘Social Swap’ by Heineken had Gary Neville and Jill Scott swap Twitter (X) accounts for a day with unfortunately predictable results. The pair, who are both decorated England international football players, swapped accounts for five days with Neville being treated to the sort of sexist abuse that caused Scott to consider turning down a media opportunity to commentate on an England v Italy game in the 2024 qualifiers.
SUBVERTING LUXE NORMS
In the ever-waging David-v Goliath battle of Luxury vs Sustainability, this more than a little hilarious parody of a Bentley ASMR-style ad made by Wightlink Ferry company is a fantastic example of subverted meme themes. Parodying the video then became a bit of a trend but it was an often copied never equalled situation for the Wightlink team.
THERE’S ANOTHER WAY!
In other “ferry companies doing smart and humorous things” news, P&O’s recent “There is Another Way” campaign launched lower-cost ads “in contextual placements and occasions where travellers are likely to be thinking of the frustrations they have to suffer with other modes of transport, and positioning P&O Ferries as the more enjoyable alternative.”
THE LONGEST NAME IN FOOTBALL
These sort of incongruous placements and collabs like La Liga’s recent sponsorship of a 5th division Welsh side with the longest name in Football, are an ingenious way of subverting the status quo of expensively made ads to bring lots of attention in a sustainable way.
IN OTHER NEWS
Did you predict a Riot? No, neither did we, yet that is what Rihanna named her latest child while keeping her pregnancy style as en pointe as ever.
Selling some bits on eBay to make some $$$? Apparently so are these celebs. Predictably, deep pockets need only apply.
And finally, the entirety of the Irish internet-watching community fell off their chairs as a suspected meteor that had been found on a north Dublin beach and reported on by local news, subsequently turned out to be a giant hole dug by some friends a few days prior.
VIRAL TRENDS - LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP:
The temptation for brands to jump on any viral trends that they can make even a tenuous link is omnipresent but always keep a strong checklist before going ahead with publishing.
1. Timeliness: the sooner the better, no one wants to be the brand being discussed for having missed the moment unless you have:
2. Quality: unless you know your asset is really going to land, like Heineken, who went out with this asset on 21st September. And finally -
3. Relevance: make sure your audience know and care about the moment.