Creative Semiotics Creative Semiotics

Mind the Empathy Gap

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INTRODUCTION

I have been thinking about Empathy a lot recently. In my work as a semiotician I have recently had two projects related to empathy. In both cases, empathy was key to a big brand relating to its audience. One was about ‘democratising’ the value proposition of a brand through communications, a brand anxious that it was losing its franchise to more agile and nimbler, niche brands, the other one wanted to ‘humanise’ and empower their brand personality through revamping the brand language of on shelf packaging. In both of the projects, it felt as if there was a significant empathy gap between the client and customers.

Semiotics as Creative Science (and Art)

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I do semiotics. "What’s that?!" I hear you choke. Er, semiotics. Semiotics derives from the ancient Greek word semion, meaning sign and is a subject devoted to evidence based analysis of signs and meaning.

It is a field that encompasses, culture, communication and meaning including logos, branding and street art. Semiotics is used now as a powerful insight tool brand strategy and communication.

The Streets is Watching: Blood on the Walls of North Kensington

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Street art is the medium of anonymous resistance, messages of resistance. It is done to show that whatever the official story, the streets is watching and people know what is going on – sgraffiti means ‘scribblings’ (from the Italian sgraffio, to scratch) something that goes back at least to ancient Rome. On the streets of my home town, London aphorisms such as ‘Rich Man’s War, Poor Man’s Fight’ and ‘Contentment is a Valuable Life Skill’ challenge dominant consumerist discourses and provoke us to think.

Artificial Intelligence and Society

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Last night I was invited to the BBC Blue Room Artificial intelligence and Society event at the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House. I met the Blue Room team through through a teaching gig at Warwick University. I wanted to attend, partly because I am interested in the influence digital technology is having on us right now (particularly in the context of mindfulness and well being) see Why McLuhan Was Right: http://www.creativesemiotics.co.uk/blog/2017/05/, partly because I'm writing a novel set in the future with some strong AI characters and partly, I admit because I'd love to do more work applying my thinking in this area.

What does being working class mean to you?

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What does being working class mean to you?

I'm not working class except in the sense that I work very hard.

I do think the whole notion of the working class, 'lower class' obviously has pejorative connotation, proletariat has very ideological connotations and I do think that whole thing's been reconfigured because there's a lot of people that grew up with a university education, all the kind of accoutrements or privileges but who still work fucking hard.

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