The Shock Factor in the Age of Social Media


A lot of good has come from social media. It’s created a public platform where we have immediate access to a wide range of ideas and perhaps, more importantly, people. It’s humanized our leaders and in many ways has forced them to be more transparent.

A lot of bad has come from social media, too. As we saw from the selfie seen round the world, people and the machines behind them are in a constant quest for attention in order to gain the ever allusive buzz factor. The pop culture starlets of 2014 are a great example of this. How often do you see Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, or Ke$ha in a normal outfit? Their hair, clothing, and even some of their body parts are downright outrageous!

I started thinking about how nothing is off limits in a social media world when I came across this BusinessWeek article this morning. It’s about Moschino’s new fashion line which leverages McDonald’s iconic colors and golden arches. Apparently the “hot” new thing is Moschino-branded McDonald’s designer duds. Even People magazine has this clothing featured on its homepage.

M Fashion Photo on 3.9.14

Of course mixing elements of pop culture and clothing is nothing new. Andy Warhol killed it.

What frustrates me is how starlets are wearing this clothing for attention and ignoring the larger McDonald’s conversation – the conversation around a living wage, healthcare, and general nutrition. Sure, one may say these topics aren’t core to their brand but I think there’s a way to get attention without ignoring or exploiting a segment of the population.


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