We See Things
Differently

Welcome to The Stream: Allison+Partners’ content hub that features the latest news and trends making the biggest waves in media and marketing.

APRIL 20, 2017 //     

If Your Truth isn’t Mine, Can We Still Connect?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLvcMj3U4gA

By: Kevin Nabipour

My Super Bowl moment isn’t over quite yet.

In my last post, I wrote about the overt political and cultural narratives conspicuously woven into every aspect of this year’s Super Bowl – from the ads, to the halftime show, to what occurred within the game itself. The ads in particular were a lightening rod both during and after the game, picked apart by viewers and critics alike, who felt some were unjustifiably political even though most had positive messages –  inclusion, acceptance, equality – that under a different and arguably more civil sociopolitical climate would scarcely register as controversial.

It’s certainly fair to criticize companies that wait for a moment like a Super Bowl ad to form this type of conscience, but opportunism is besides the point. What has lingered for me long after is the troubling nonlinear response to these types of stories, which seem to show a leaning toward confirmation bias over a shared human experience.      

As a storyteller, your goal is to render an experience to the viewer in hopes that you make them feel something they can’t easily dismiss or won’t quickly forget. We tap into sturdy archetypes like tales of renewal, a mission, an underdog, comedy and, in the curvature of the events and characters that occupy that space, a value system is built that is recognizable and undeniably human. When an underlying dilemma occurs, empathy and connection are released; the audience is fused into the story. The experience of the characters can be related to because they connect with our audience’s experiences. The same emotions are triggered.

So what happens when we no longer share the same set of values and don’t occupy the same objective reality? When the stories we develop fail before they can move us because we simply don’t exist in the same intellectual and emotional dimension?

The recent political events across the world have undoubtedly divided us. When powerful leaders make false equivalences and casual lies, it’s clear we live in a challenged relationship with veracity. Technology has exacerbated our sense of unease: bots and Reddit armies stoke fear, negativity and fakery; live video makes crime an intimate experience for digital bystanders; social media amplifies neuroses and biases.

What we can forget in challenging moments like this, however, is that it is still a privilege to be alive. That we still have so much to learn from each other. That the speed of innovation and progress is staggering and unprecedented. The will of humankind can still be a force of powerful good. And that the shapes of stories still give us our best chance to understand and connect, to measure failure and hope against a greater context.

So let’s be aware of confirmation bias and of bad actors. Let’s calculate the influence of propaganda and disinformation, and justly criticize a brand’s miscalculation of current events. Let’s seek to understand our audience, not take their interest or attention for granted and not generalize. Let’s assume the burden of proof for brands is higher than it’s ever been, and let’s relish that.  

And let’s not forget that values still indeed matter, even if it seems harder than ever to make them something everyone can believe.

Kevin Nabipour is the head of Content Strategies for Allison+Partners.

The Stream

Articles + Opinions Delivered Directly to your Inbox.

Sign Up today!

NATGEO // Feb 13, 2018 photo by: @renaeffendiphoto // Children playing in the hills of Khinaliq village, Azerbaijan. Located at 2350 meters above the sea level, Khinaliq dates back to the Albanian Caucasus period. This isolated community of shepherds and their families speaks i
DANIELARSHAM // Feb 13, 2018
TMAGAZINE // Feb 13, 2018 As designer @PrabalGurung prepared his fall/winter 2018 collection, he drew inspiration in China’s Mosuo tribe — and female empowerment. From fittings in his New York showroom to a colorful finale on the runway, click the link in our bio to watch it all c
GOODTYPE // Feb 13, 2018 Up next for the “Love Yourself” #goodtypetuesday mural contest is @designermike with a colorful entry! . . . Valentine's Day is upon us, and this week is all about the power of love. We teamed up with Brooklyn based muralist and artist, @jasonnaylor t
BUSINESSINSIDER // FEB 13, 2018
Bitcoin 101: Your essential guide to cryptocurrency t.co/yoRaxky3yb t.co/s3i2vC2al3
THEAVCLUB // FEB 13, 2018
Tiffany Haddish and Melissa McCarthy join forces for mob drama The Kitchen t.co/GiYRu5Q0Kq t.co/wTYitCLHVf
MENTAL_FLOSS // FEB 13, 2018
Pigeons Are Secretly Brilliant Birds That Understand Space and Time, Study Finds — t.co/VjqHSKoJWH t.co/nrTxAaW77Y
LANCEULANOFF // FEB 13, 2018
Listicles, Facebook style. t.co/FjK8078tZL
ADFREAK // FEB 12, 2018
.@PlayStation turned the Golden State @Warriors court into a huge God of War ad on Sunday: t.co/bB8vEPy4SU t.co/TcTEDgY7tY
VULTURE // FEB 12, 2018
#TheDailyShow's Michelle Wolf is making a jump from late night to a new show on Netflix t.co/vARdj41e2S
LANCEULANOFF // FEB 12, 2018
Back to the Moon... t.co/1VGdlYfl9T
BUSINESSINSIDER // FEB 12, 2018
CRYPTO INSIDER: Get all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know delivered direct to your inbox… t.co/sgQtBCXq3s
BRIANSOLIS // FEB 12, 2018
Digital darwinism opens the door to an age of assistance t.co/TAAm96IHh5 via @thenextweb
NATESILVER538 // FEB 12, 2018
The NBA could require these scheduled rest days to be announced 24 or 48 hours in advance. Star players are already… t.co/AmnXI8AtPG
ERICTTUNG // FEB 12, 2018
How Artificial Intelligence Will Revolutionize Your #Business t.co/8jYpsnt0t4 t.co/fVTVHvMjdC
GOODTYPE // Feb 11, 2018 “I just want to be where you are” by @lynnhavendesigns. Brigitte is a Utah based digital lettering artist. This piece was digitally hand lettered using her Watercolor Lettering Brush kit in Procreate on the iPad Pro. You can checkout more of her brushes a
TMAGAZINE // Feb 11, 2018 #RoomOfTheDay: Hydra has long inspired artists and intellectuals from Henry Miller to Leonard Cohen, and even today with the influx of art stars and yachting billionaires, its unspoiled charm remains intact. Here, in the living room of @BriceMarden’s form
CHRISCONNOLLY // Feb 11, 2018 In the world’s least surprising personal news - I’m moving back to Brooklyn today.
ABSTRACTSUNDAY // Feb 11, 2018 Sunday sketch Tape Bike. Available as limited edition offset print (signed and numbered). See link in bio.