The news that the controversial Dapper Laughs may be staging a comeback reminded me of some audience research and analysis I was doing on behalf of a client, in November.
When I looked at the YouTube habits of UK men, aged 18-24 on the 13th November 2014, the video they shared the most was the news of Dapper Laughs rejecting misogyny when being interviewed on the BBC’s Newsnight programme.
But when I looked at what the young men were actually watching on YouTube, it’s videos about music, comedy, video gaming and drunk, cheating women that are the most popular. Dapper Laughs rejecting misogyny does not make it onto the list.
This could be interpreted as an example of the gap between what people say they’re interested in, and what they actually do.
It’s this gap that makes me wary of focus groups. As Russell Davies has said: “on web like stuff you can observe actual behaviour. That’s way different to how research tends to be used in an advertising context”.
Social media sharing can be an act of self-expression, allowing us to project a certain image of ourselves, a certain identity.
Create content (or campaigns – e.g. the recent “share your first ever Facebook profile picture” trend) that caters to our need to portray ourselves in a flattering light and it is more likely to prompt social sharing.