Why true Impact needs Hype Culture

By Isabelle Rogat

Let me take you with me on a small dream-like journey through our Marketing World and how it plays a role in, well, building brighter futures.

 thjnk Zeitgeist, the Trend & Gen Z Consultancy from thjnk. Anesa Lokvancic, Isabelle Rogat, Ula Abu Allel & Marie Schablitzky
thjnk Zeitgeist, the Trend & Gen Z Consultancy from thjnk. Anesa Lokvancic, Isabelle Rogat, Ula Abu Allel & Marie Schablitzky

A fever dream, but still – a dream.
So close your eyes (metaphorically) and lean back (literally)…

You are a sneaker.
(Yup, never thought you’d read those words in a FRANKly, but here we are.)
You’ve descended from the mind of a London Designer, fueled by oat milk latte, traveled to the hands of a Bangladeshi factory worker, were shipped over 2 oceans, 3 railroads and one rather rough-handling UPS driver to a New York Showroom in Manhattan.

You are more internationally traveled than the buying agent AND sales rep combined.
You cost 295$ and made up of 40$ worth of material.
You – are supposed to become the next big thing.
By the second that you arrive in the 12th floor Manhattan Showroom in your full beauty, you are being swarmed by TikTok-swiping, Adidas Samba-wearing Marketeers with the most creative of ideas to not only bring you into the shelves of this world, but into the hearts & feeds.
“How about a moving Online Video campaign, in which we position you as the footwear of the brave, showing world changers of 2023 proudly strutting in style?”
“What if we created a TikTok Challenge, using you as the modern version of the Cinderella shoe needing to find its owner?”
“Maybe we could create a digital version of you and place you in games like Fortnite?”

Cut. New dream.
Now, you are an NGO fighting gendered crime.
Or a political policy trying to further transatlantic understanding.
Or the 1.5 degree goal.
You’d been standing on the street with a megaphone and a 20 page, well-researched, factually correct – but sadly, quite boring – speech script. As a matter of fact, you could swear you saw the marketeers from your first dream pass by you on their way to buy the fake cinderella crown for their TikTok.
They didn’t notice you though, you were just going off about the statistics of some regulation – and also, you were facing in the wrong direction.
One marketing student helped you design some flyers, but their time & stock image royalty only amounted to a poorly lit image of you holding your speech with a comic sans headline. With a spelling mistake.
One person stood in front of your speech and clapped.
It was your working student.
Somewhere in the back, crickets chirping.

Now you wake up.
What you’ve just endured wasn’t just a very unfortunate use of your dream time (and by that, rather hard to explain to your therapist) – but the central marketing dilemma preventing us from advancing to those futures we’re reading about in this FRANKly. The unequal distribution of true, cutting edge creativity.

Because if we think about what moves our public opinion, our hypes, our trends – it’s never been what is most important. Most highly produced. Or even most aesthetic.
What creates queues in front of “Live Fast Die Young” stores is the same thing missing in furthering gender equality. What currently sells out Taylor Swift Tour shows in our cinemas is the same thing that is missing when we try to get people to fight against climate change.

Creative Ideas.
Innovative narratives separating what the core of the issue is and what it is being wrapped in.
Finding ways to bring this state of the art commercial creativity to our socio-economical, political and ecological challenges will be at the center of how Marketing can truly create a brighter future for us.
That’s what I’ve founded “thjnk Zeitgeist” for, a Trend & Innovation Creative Consultancy within the thjnk group.
That’s why for all Fulbrighters, we can be easily reached via Whatsapp (+49 40 41 34 99 34) and why I will always aim to use creativity for good.
Because who says, it’s always the sneaker being charmed by marketeers.
Why not the sneaker AND the policy?

So: If you are a Fulbrighter or Alumni pushing forward change in your organization, your party or your personal projects and you are looking to elevate your novel goals to public hype: Feel free to call, text, voice memo.
Let’s build a brighter future, 2023-style.

Author Info

Photo and Headshot of Isabelle Rogat by Frieda Maelle
Photo and Headshot by Frieda Maelle

Isabelle Rogat is a true marketing chameleon, having recently founded a Trend & Gen Z Hub in her Agency thjnk. At 25, she is not only working on building more “new age competence” in the advertising industry, but also a 40 under 40, columnist, podcast host and youngboard member. Ever since she has participated in a Fulbright Summer School at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, she has been closely associated with the program.