Cambridge Analytica scandal
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
21 March 2018
Participants in the Cambridge Analytica scandal get brand right
If you haven’t had a chance to watch any of Britain’s Channel 4 news exposé on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, you are missing a case study on branding.
Below is the second part of the broadcast:
“No matter how many facts you cite in a political argument, it remains nearly impossible to get someone to change their mind. Because, at the end of the day, it all comes down to belief.”
Like reading most news today, we’re all filtering out what is garbage and what is actual news. What is sensationalism and what is fact. The US is going through a difficult time. Stories that feel left of center are labeled fake news. Stories that feel right of center are labeled as propaganda.
As humans, we tend to look for reinforcement of what we already believe. So, no matter what side you sit, you entrench yourself more in what you already believe. We look for rational reasons to back up our emotional decisions.
I don’t know if anyone involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke any laws. including Facebook. (In fact, I don’t think Cambridge Analytica or Facebook is to blame.) It is of great interest to our political system to find out if anyone did.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal demonstrates the power of belief
But consider the statement by a managing director at Cambridge Analytica. “It’s no good fighting an election campaign on the facts because actually it’s all about emotion. The big mistake political parties make is that they attempt to win the argument rather than locating the emotional center of the issue, the concern, and speaking directly to that.”
It’s a little uncomfortable for me to admit, but that statement is good branding. And, as you can deduce from the video, belief doesn’t even have to be true to be powerful. It only needs to be believed.
Think about this. No matter how many facts you cite in a political argument, it remains nearly impossible to get someone to change their mind. Because, at the end of the day, it all comes down to belief.
Right or wrong, Cambridge Analytica knows this well. After all, belief won the election.
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