Connect with Popular Culture

It’s true: a celebrity parody or pop culture meme can grab attention. But the importance of popular culture in artistic activism goes deeper. Effective advocacy must connect to the culture it exists in. If you want to appeal to people’s emotions, values, and desires, find out what their cultural points of reference are. Whether it’s sports, food, or a local advertising jingle, learn from it and use it.

Here are just a few of the FTV projects that have used popular culture.

Here’s how FTV participants Greg and Tessa thought about popular culture as a way to connect with audiences in Australia:

Apply it:

  • Once you know your audience, examine what they do for fun. Then do it yourself. Take it apart and dig out what you might be able to use for your advocacy work. If they love romantic comedies, watch some. Analyze them. See what you can borrow. Can your advocacy be more funny? Have adorable, relatable characters? Involve a will-they-or-won’t-they plot line?
  • Adapt source materials that your audience will recognize. Rewrite song lyrics. Restage a memorable scene. Repurpose a beloved mascot.