Social Identity & Mood Management: Relevance to Entertainment Marketing

Making my Grad School education work for me.

By Kassandra Lopez, Global Strategic Communications graduate student at the University of Florida

Due to the various readings in my Grad school courses, a newfound self-awareness, I am aware there is arguable evidence for how social identity and mood management theories influence our media choices. As one article says “Music has been characterized as a primary mood setter capable of diminishing gloom and lifting spirits” I have my own reasons for believing that social identity and mood management influence the daily choices that I make. I am a first-generation Cuban an Argentinian immigrant, I am completely bilingual, but tend to skew towards Latin and particularly Caribbean music, Latin food and unsurprisingly Spanish TV news and others broadcasting. This music and media often touches on matters that I identify with, such as the struggles of being young, cultural, and racial relationships, the importance of heritage, and even the roles of men and women.

For these same reasons, I can deduce that a person’s choice of personal entertainment relies heavily on their social identity and mood management desires. If you’re down in the dumps like Lilo above, putting on some Elvis doesn’t sound too far off as a solution to elevating your mood. A very specific example of social identity and it’s impact on my choices, is my affinity for Spanish TV weather reporting. I trust the Spanish speaking weather lady (in her tight spandex outfit) far more than the weather channel. My line of reasoning is that “I’m a young cute professional, she’s a young cute professional, she must know what she’s doing because I know what I’m doing”. The reading described this as me identifying with “… Social identities (that are) hence part of the self-concept distinct from personal identity (Which includes the conception of self in terms of traits, personal
appearance, etc.
)” In this instance I am aligning our appearances, cultural backgrounds and presumed levels of education in order to give the weather lady credibility, and decide to consume media that features her.

As a marketing professional, whose focus is on social media and email marketing, I strive to identify and play up these factors when creating my communications. A great challenge in the communications field is to appeal to people when there is so much competition. My job consist of exploring in better detail how I target and segment my audience; educate myself on their social identities. Then understand what sort of mood I can pander to, and create email marketing campaigns, social media posts and interactions that speak to these. A quick example is I have started drafting posts for December, and taking into account our largely Hispanic audience at work. I’ve created lots of posts that pander to their social identity by emphasizing Christmas Eve, which we refer to as “Niche Buena” and it is bigger than Christmas itself as this is when we celebrate. By playing up this social identity aspect, I will better connect with my audience.

First-gen Cuban and Argentine. Full-time Marketer. BA in Humanities/Cultural Traditions, Art History + Anthro. MA in Global Communications + Social Media