Want money? Pick a fight.
Even if you agree with him, it’s awfully easy to make fun of Pierce Morgan.
He’s the type of pompous, self-confident-to-the-point-of-parody, pretentions and impossibly British man that makes you want to reach through your television screens to punch. So, when it came out yesterday that he would be leaving his high-profile position at ITV’s Good Morning Britain many people’s reaction was to take to Social Media to take part in the near-daily competition of trying to one-up other posters by coming up with the funniest meme to celebrate that he was “cancelled.”
This isn’t another tedious article on “cancel culture,” that made up problem/solution (it depends on your perspective – and who it is happening to — which one you think it is) that is taking up much of the oxygen so far in 2021.
No, what we want to talk about is how one of the greatest commodities in the world right now is conflict. Seriously, conflict is money. The reason for that is that conflict equals attention and attention creates engagements which, in turn, makes people interested in what you are doing.
Just look at this Morgan issue from yesterday. We don’t know what he’s going to do next, but it seems unlikely that he won’t pop-up somewhere. He’s now a martyr for some and he will absolutely monetize that. More to the point, however, is that ITV’s parent company, STV Groups, saw its stock raise 2.1% yesterday on the news that they and Morgan were parting ways.
Burger King UK put itself smack-dab in the middle of the culture wars on Monday with a Tweet that said “Women belong in the kitchen.”
It was part of their International Women’s Day marketing strategy in that they were creating a scholarship program to get more women into their culinary school, which they explained in the next Tweet.
That, of course, was lost in the push-back against the kitchen Tweet and much of Monday was spent with Burger King arguing with women on Twitter about the sensibility of making such a provocative Tweet.
Finally, after a day of this, the company apologized and deleted the Tweet.
What happened to its stock (Restaurant Brands International Inc.)?
After falling throughout Tuesday to a low of 80.27, it immediately bumped at 2pm when the company apologized, closing at 82.37.
Forget about reading the New York Times Business Section to help inform your trading. Get a Twitter account (and, as always, Trade With Caution).
Stocks aside, the Burger King brand is well known on Twitter as being one of the best at generating attention for itself by playing the Twitter game. It seems unlikely that they didn’t know exactly what they were doing over the last couple days.
They probably wrote the apology press release before they posted the original Tweet.
In the past, businesses were reluctant to draw attention to themselves. By being conservative, it was felt, they could avoid controversy and maximize profit.
But, Social Media has increasingly taken the ability to control the narrative away from them. Now, in this age of Social Media influence, the smart companies are getting ahead of things and taking back that control.
You can expect this to continue and if you can see what’s happening, when it is happening, you might just be able to follow the money.