Branding in an Age of Information War

  • Room: 304
  • Session Number: TD4
Tuesday, May 01, 2018: 4:15 PM - 5:00 PM


Sem Devillart
Cultural Analyst and Strategist
Harmony Labs


Not a week goes by without some fresh revelation about how our digital media systems, optimized for engagement, can, in the hands of a few bad actors, become weapons that spread disinformation at scale, sort people into highly polarizing propaganda networks, and poison civil discourse. An information war is upon us. And there is every indication that it may be a new normal, enabled by tools that can fake even video, and bot armies that can flood social media with synthetic speech. This war—which has so far bedeviled big tech platforms, media publishers and public figures—will not leave brands behind. What could this mean for how brands are built and maintained, and how they relate to the communities that host them? 

To answer this question and more, I’ll be sharing some recent work, which uses media analysis to look at how cultural narratives relating to contentious social issues—like gun control or climate change—arise, travel and evolve in this new information environment. Session participants will come away with: foresight into where our media systems are headed, and why this matters for brands; how advanced media listening methods can generate insight into the deep cultural narratives that arise and change over time; and the challenges and opportunities of communicating in an age of information war. 


For technical assistance with this webpage please click here. For all other inquiries, please contact show management.