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One Plus One Equals Three: Edition Twelve

Welcome to the 12th issue of One Plus One Equals Three, the last for 2020. Here’s a roundup of what’s been happening in the world of media and communications recently. 

  • The magazine industry appears to be re-gaining the momentum that was lost during the first and second lockdown in New Zealand. Despite the closure of Bauer Media and the number of casualties that went along with it, a variety of new and exciting titles are emerging in the industry, including former HOME editor Simon Farrell-Green’s HERE. In addition, fashion and style title Fashion Quarterly is relaunching in December.

  • Airing experiences via social media has been labelled as a new form of “digital vigilantism.” The phrase emerged after 60 people took to social media to expose a group of musicians in Wellington and their alleged sexual misconduct. Despite the legal ramifications that are involved with this conduct, social media seems to be acting as a vehicle for survivors to tell their story and seek justice in their community.
  • Social media advertising is both beneficial and controversial these days. During the election campaign in New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern used selfies and live streams to connect with the country. But was she perhaps at the top of everyone’s newsfeeds due to Labour spending NZ$185,000 on social media advertising? Elsewhere, digital advertising restrictions are troubling big technology companies. The US government has filed an anti-trust case against Google; the EU has created a restrictive Digital Services Act and the Australian government wants to skewer Google and Facebook with competition law.

  • Influencer activism is becoming increasingly prevalent on social media. Influencer activity is no longer just about brand endorsement, but about influencers using their platform to speak out on social, political and environmental issues. Experts suggest that brands can benefitfrom this new kind of influencer activity. With many millennials in the One Plus One office, we believe that this influencer activity is a response to digital natives calling out for both authenticity and activism on social media.

  • In the final days of the US Presidential election, many American outlets were calling on the public to make their voice heard by voting. For the first time in history, the American edition of TIME magazine replaced its logo on the front cover with a call to action: ‘Vote’. In what ended up being such a close result after more than 160 million Americans voted, any and all calls to vote would have made a difference.

  • A number of sources have reported that Tesla has dissolved their Public Relations team, leaving Elon Musk as the primary spokesperson for the automotive company. But is he really the right person for this? With his unusual track record including calling a British cave diver a paedophile in 2019 and smoking cannabis live on the Joe Rogan podcast, experts speculate that this is a dangerous move. Nevertheless, Tesla’s stock price continues to soar and is over the NZ$600 mark.
  • Short-form video streaming site Quibi has closed after only six months of operation and USD$2 billion invested into it. All content on the site was 10 minutes or less and designed to be watched on the go. We think its demise can be attributed to two reasons. First, is that Quibi’s availability was limited to North America and second, it launched at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when most people were staying at home and watching content on more established platforms like Netflix and Disney+.