Scratch that pillar of our company: How advertisers create challenges for us folks in marketing


Inflation is in the news. Many people are combing through their budgets to find unnecessary expenses to shave, and the market as well as companies seem to be trying to adjust to that behavior. The difference in the reactions is intriguing.

Recently, Netflix announced a $6.99 a month ad-supported subscription tier. This is a big moment for the company, as they’ve always heralded themselves as the anti-ad streaming platform. It takes courage to backtracked–but if the goal is to adjust to new realities (and prevent laying off a chunk of your workforce), the move seems gutsy.

Twitter couldn’t be further on the opposite side of the spectrum. The recent upheaval there may feel on brand for Elon Musk, who has always considered himself a bit of a nonconformist. But raising prices at this point is, well, what is it?

Twitter is currently planning to charge $8 monthly for the new Twitter Blue subscription. Verified accounts have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark, and employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they need to meet a deadline of November 7th to launch, or be fired. People have reasonably reacted harshly to both of these pieces of news–.

Elon’s rebuttal has come in a fury of insulting memes directed at the people who question paying $8 monthly for a blue checkmark next to their name in a down economy. Why are people questioning this change? $8 per month isn’t a lot, right? Gee, maybe because until now, it was always a free feature?

Musk has since admitted that those who are verified will be shown preferential treatment by the algorithm, and that if you aren’t verified it will “take people much more time to find your tweets.” Musk isn’t even trying to hide the fact that every move he’s done so far very clearly has profit as a primary motivation, not improvement of the product.

At the end of the day, both Netflix and Twitter are both trying to adjust to the new normal. Whether or not either has touched the dreaded third rail of their link to loyal communities will become clear over time. For now, we can appreciate how those charged with communicating the company line are facing one doozy of a marketing challenge. Time for a mea culpa? For a bold, full-speed ahead message with no looking back? We are sure the meetings and the strategic and creative decisionmaking going on are lively, to say the least.