As we approach the great decentralisation, we are witnessing a fundamental shift in the relationship between humans and brands in social cyberspace. Brands are manifesting themselves as social entities interacting with humans in the digital realm. Driven by our post-pandemic desire for affiliation, those interactions have been moving to an increasingly emotional and intimate level. At the same time, we humans are discovering new ways to capitalise upon our time and attention. This netnographic trend study decodes the narratives, identities and resonances that emerge between brands and individuals within conversational interactions in the digital realm. By analysing an absurd social minefield, it provides glimpses into the desires and fears of our hyperconnected society while guiding brands into the decentralised social cyberspace.
Jacqueline Brantschen’s MA project concerns brand communication in social media, and the latter’s rapid change and growth through AI and new communication resources and technologies. She focuses particularly on Twitter and Discord, and confines her empirical work to a handful of brands (Skittle, Wendys, Tridentgum). At first glance, this may not appear as anything unusual to designers and trend experts, but then, when we follow her theoretical elaboration and implementation at the design level, something happens – we realise with admiration what Jacqueline has achieved here, because of the relevance of the topic which is brought to life, the originality of the treatment of social cyberspaces, and the accomplished analysis, implementation and presentation. Jacqueline analyses and contextualises her subject very well, but also develops new, substantiated models and theories of communication and interaction. – Excerpt from the supporting statement of the Subject Area Trends & Identity
«Our ability to bond with abstract entities in the digital realm and how we can potentially find comfort in them might open new possibilities to improve the wellbeing of our hyperconnected but somehow still isolated society.» – Jacqueline Brantschen
«As a designer, I act as a sense-maker of social cyberspace, connecting disciplines to make sense of our behaviour in the digital realm.» – Jacqueline Brantschen