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6 things Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’ says about Digital Marketing…

What is technology?

Wait. I’m not after an Oxford dictionary definition; I’m talking ‘metaphoricals’. Is it something that helps us optimise our life processes, or something that makes us obsolete? Watching 2016’s instalment of Black Mirror hasn’t startled me as much as it should, which either makes me a cold-hearted realist unfazed by the inevitability of the future, or someone romanticizing a type of stylish-Armageddon, I’m not sure.

Indeed, the idea of rating a stranger based on every move they make, seems ridiculously invasive – until I realised how guilty of this I actually am.

Annoying Facebook update? Ignore. Obnoxious Twitter post? Ignore. Okay – I’m not actively rating you, but I am being passive aggressive which is kind of the same. But cut me some slack, as a digital marketer it’s my job to be critical of technology, just not to be synonymous with it. Nonetheless, here are 6 things Black Mirror has highlighted about my profession:

1) I know what you did last summer…?

Because you told me. You posted it online, you blasted Snapchat with your stories and you ‘selfied’ us to death. I know because you want me to know. You make it your business to make it mine – so don’t complain when I lap it up, digest it and regurgitate it as a targeted re-marketing campaign just for you.

2) I can (and probably will) play on your addictions…?

I agree – the coat is beautiful and the shoes are gorgeous. You visited the website the most of all our customers in the past 12 months, specifically that page with the gold bracelet. You probably want a discount code, right? How about a ‘limited edition’ item if you buy today? Perfect.

3) I’ve met your doppelganger(s)…??

I know you bought that coat because Kim K wore the heck out of it in vogue. Those audacious headphones around your neck looked amazing in Drake’s latest music video and your hilarious catchphrase sounded great when Tracy Morgan said it last month on SNL. You’re a walking, talking adaptation of marvelous manipulation and I love you for it. Still think you’re unique?

4) I can make you care…❤️

I wonder if everyone that drenched themselves in ice-cold water from a bucket donated to ALS? Did everyone who was so torn up about KONY 2012 donate against the violence in central Africa? Or did you just share them on Facebook because it was the thing to do? I’m not judging, I’m just asking…

5) I can kill your conscience…?

If you make a mean comment under an alias and the recipient never gets to meet you, does it matter? Do you care? Even if technology has given you a false sense of power and a lack of moral compass, no blood no foul, right?

6) I can sell you dreams…☁️

Actual ones. Product placement in the number one ranking show means more sales. Celebrity endorsement of the newest iPhone means more sales. A panoramic shot of the New York skyline as the opening scene of the new Leo DiCaprio movie means more sales. Some trumped up PR story about how quinoa gave Kate Upton six-pack abs means more sales. Your dreams are on my proverbial shelf and I’ll tweak the price accordingly…


Technology is the world’s biggest gift, and curse. Embrace it?

I have, but I have to.

Categories: ? Digital marketing advice


Martina is a Digital Marketing consultant, developing cross-channel techniques since 2010. This blog explores industry developments with real-life application.