YCOP – How committed is Belgium to combating climate change?

As one of the defining topics of our generation and our future, climate change will be the main focus of this month’s articles for our website. Last Saturday, the YCOP ULB organized a youth forum for climate change action, where young people could hear from many different experts and people actually working on the field and debate about challenges for youth involvement, transport, energy transition, and agriculture. As Multilingual communication students, we were there to report the forum’s main takeaways. 

Is climate change already a problem? 

Yes! Nowadays, the global climate is 1.1˚C warmer than pre-industrial levels. While this might not seem like a tremendous change, the consequences are already palpable: ice caps are melting at alarming rates, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather conditions are becoming the norm. Moreover, last year, climate change accounted for 7 million deaths! Also, we have to remember that 1.1 ˚C is only the median increase: the global North is already experiencing an increase of 2-3 ˚C, and even up to 10 ˚C depending on the season. In general, global warming is very likely to attain 1.5 to 2 ˚C by 2030, which would be a danger to humans and the environment alike. 

Is climate change caused by humans? 

Prof. Hannon, expert in climate politics, warns that climate change is an imminentproblem caused by the release of chemical components and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. He is surprised at how often he is questioned whether we can be sure that human activity is, indeed, the cause of the changing climate. As an expert in this subject, he confirms that it is clear that the climate-altering CO2 mainly comes from industrial production, transport, and heating, but also deforestation and agriculture. Indeed, anthropogenic carbon emissions are 100 times larger than natural ones. However, we do not see the necessary reactions: even after diverse campaigns and treaties, CO2 emissions are still on the rise, and since 2015, faster than ever. 

Isn’t the Paris Agreement solving everything? 

In order to keep global warming below the critical threshold of 1.5 ˚C, we only have 10 years to decrease the amount of CO2 released into the air by 45% from 2010 levels, and by 2050, we need to live emission-free. Even for a 2 ˚C increase, we need to significantly decrease our emissions by 2030 and attain a net zero around 2075. In reality, even if we keep our pledges and targets of the Paris Agreement – although it is the most ambitious climate agreement yet – it would still not be enough to significantly combat global warming. 

What is Belgium doing? 

Belgium is facing a mitigation challenge: although its emissions have decreased by about 20 % from 1990, with current policies, these emissions are likely to increase again. According to the experts, even if we follow our draft National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), it is still “far from being enough” in order to reach the emissions targets. Indeed, pathways limiting global warming would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, and urban infrastructure including transport, buildings, and industrial systems. While most policy makers look for short-term incremental change, we need systemic change in the way society is organized in order to effectively combat climate change. 

In the end, it is not “Belgium” that does not prioritize effective climate change action, but (too) many Belgian politicians. Hence, if you want to see real change in the way we treat our environment, do not take the upcoming elections lightly: take the time to read up about candidates’ programs to make an informed choice for your – and our – future on May 26. 

By Rachel Ledieu 

Guérilla marketing- une alternative originale

L’expression Guerilla Marketing a été introduite pour la première fois en 1984 par Jay Conrad Levinson dans son livre Guerrilla Marketing. En utilisant le terme Guerilla, Levinson compare les marketeurs classiques aux adeptes du Guerilla Marketing de manière assez originale. D’une part, une armée qui possède un budget conséquent ainsi que de nombreuses armes et munitions, s’attaque à une cible visible et évidente. D’une autre part, les soldats s’apparentent à des guérilleros qui agissent de manière dispersée, utilisent un arsenal non-conventionnel afin d’attirer des clients potentiels.

Définition

Le Guerilla Marketing désigne un ensemble de techniques et stratégies de Marketing non conventionnelles qui, pour atteindre ses objectifs, usent de beaucoup de créativité et d’ingéniosité, plutôt que d’importants investissements en publicité. Le but est donc d’avoir un impact maximal à partir d’un minimum de ressources financières et techniques.

Basée sur l’originalité, une campagne de ce type de marketing privilégie le contact direct avec l’individu, interpelle l’inconscient et marque les esprits. Subtil ou parfois audacieux, ce type de campagne sait se montrer inattendu et surprenant en s’armant parfois d’une touche d’humour.

Mais pour quel(s) objectif(s)?

L’objectif principal du Guerilla Marketing est de se différencier de ses concurrents en créant un concept innovant et unique, visible aux yeux de tous. En se servant d’objets connus de tous, tel que des abribus, passages pour piétons, poubelles publiques, feux de signalisation, le client potentiel est donc susceptible de remarquer l’innovation, la mémoriser, pour ensuite associer l’effet de surprise éprouvé sur le moment à une marque en particulier.

L’utilisation des lieux publics, souvent très fréquentés a pour principal but de toucher le plus de monde possible afin de maximiser les chances d’atteindre des clients potentiels. En effet, plus le message touchera un grand nombre de personnes, plus vous aurez de clients potentiels.

Le Guerilla Marketing peut ainsi être utilisé par les grandes marques, qui tirent parti de leur notoriété, et par les petites entreprises, avec de petits budgets et un besoin de se faire connaître. De nombreuses entreprises utilisent aujourd’hui le Guerilla Marketing en créant des concepts originaux et inédits. Certains font le choix d’intégrer un objet dans notre environnement quotidien, surtout dans les espaces publics, on parle alors de Street Guerilla Marketing.

Voici 3 exemples de campagnes de Guerilla Marketing qui ont fait le Buzz et qui vous surprendrons par leur originalité :

Prenons l’exemple de la marque Nike qui a créé un magasin en forme de boite de chaussures dans la ville de New York afin de promouvoir sa nouvelle application Nike SNKRS. Durant trois jours, les passants pouvaient entrer à l’intérieur de la boite, et admirer les nouveaux modèles qui défilaient sur les murs.

Nike Pop-up Store à New-York.

Un autre exemple de Guerilla Marketing, que vous avez surement déjà du apercevoir est l’utilisation des passages pour piétons dans un but purement marketing. C’est en effet un lieu qui donne beaucoup d’idées originales à de nombreuses marques. Comme cet exemple de campagne de la célèbre enseigne McDonald’s , à Zurich en Suisse . L’idée était de faire passer les lignes peintes sur le sol en jaune pour des frites qui sortent de leur emballage.

Passage pour piétons McDonald’s à Zurich.

L’utilisation des arrêts de bus est une pratique courante chez de nombreuses marques. C’est en effet un lieu très fréquenté qui ne constitue pas uniquement un lieu de transit, mais un lieu où les utilisateurs passent du temps, ce qui permet à la marque d’attirer leur attention. De plus, ils disposent de plusieurs éléments avec lesquels jouer ( bancs, abribus, panneaux, etc).

La fameuse marque de boissons Coca-Cola a transformé un abris-bus en un kiosque de jeu vidéo à Singapour. Après avoir accumulé un certain nombre de points, une boisson est automatiquement offerte. La marque crée donc une interaction avec le client potentiel de manière originale tout en lui présentant son produit.

Abribus Coca-Cola à Singapour

Marketing traditionnel vs Guerilla Marketing

Marketing traditionnel Guerilla Marketing
– Budget important.
– Complexité de la mise en place d’une stratégie.
– Séduire les clients, un par un.
– Les concurrents sont considérés comme des « adversaires ».
– Peu de moyens.
– L’entrepreneur contrôle tous aspects.

– Séduire de manière exponentielle.
– Collaboration avec la concurrence, souvent avec humour.

écrit par Alkacem Guerbai

Master’s degree in multilingual communication: the importance of English.

As you might already know, the master’s degree in multilingual communication aims at preparing you for a multilingual and multicultural work environment in which communication plays a major role. This is the reason why the English language occupies a prominent position in our curriculum. In the article “Comment accéder au master en communication multilingue? », we informed you that an excellent level of English is required in order to access our master’s degree.

First year English courses

During your first year as a student of multilingual communication, you will have access to a wide range of English courses. From the academic year 2019-2020 onwards, you will have the possibility to choose from six different classes.

Etude approfondie de la linguistique synchronique de l’anglais: are you a linguistics enthusiast? In this class, you are going to review most of the major issues related to the forms of reported discourse, from the typographical, phonological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic points of view.

Histoire approfondie du théâtre anglophone: if you are fascinated by Shakespeare, this class is made for you! You will analyse two Shakespearean tragedies (Hamlet and Othello) as well as two comedies (A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest). The course also offers students the opportunity to see excerpts from several versions of these plays.

Littérature et civilisation des Etats-Unis d’Amérique: are you attracted to American literature? Thanks to this class, you will gain more understanding about the African-American novel from the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century or the realism and naturalism in the United States, from the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century.

Auteurs des Etats-Unis d’Amérique: you have always wanted to read Kerouac or Ginsberg? Don’t miss this course which explores the vision of the « Beat Generation », a precursor to the counter-culture of the 1960s whose innovative creativity was at its height between 1944 and 1960. The course focuses as well on ecological/ecocritical discourse and ecopoetics in contemporary American literature.

Anglais: langue, société et culture I: You are captivated by the UK and the US? This class is devoted to an in-depth study of British and American culture and civilization, through major historical and current events. In the seminars, you will have the opportunity to improve your English speaking skills.

Littérature canadienne anglaise: since you discovered Margaret Atwood, you can’t wait to know more about Canadian literature? Here is an introduction to recent developments in contemporary English Canadian literature, both in the field of fiction and theatre.

Finally, the only mandatory class of this first year will be Pragmastylistics and the English language during which you are going to develop your communicative competence.

Second year English courses

In your second year of multilingual communication, you will have to choose between two English classes.

Anglais: langue, société et culture II: After the UK and the US during the first year, this class will be focused on Australia, India, South Africa and Canada through discussions of the political, cultural and social current events in these countries.

Séminaire de linguistique anglaise: in the lectures and the seminars, you will find an in-depth description of a problem from a linguistic point of view. The aim of this course is to teach students to develop critical thinking and scientific skills.

Among all these choices, you will surely find a subject that fascinates you and allows you to develop your English skills!

Want to hear what a second-year student has to say about the role of the English language in our master’s degree? Watch this short video:

Written by Caroline Noël

Languages in contact – What happens when languages meet?

In a time when Europe is going through the so-called ‘migration crisis’, it is important to talk about the influence that cross-border movements of people could have on languages (their own language as well as the vernacular). In fact, according to the Ethnologue website, “the movement of people also means the movement of languages from their original geographic locations to new locations and to new language ecologies”.

Migration is indeed not only a demographic phenomenon: migrants move from their home country to another bringing with them their cultures, customs and traditions, languages and sometimes also religions. Is this a recent phenomenon?

In the history of humankind, people have always moved from one territory to another, a long time before the words ‘continent’, ‘nation’ or ‘state’ were even coined. In prehistoric times, people were already moving from their original location in search for better living situations.

In this article, we are going to show you some cases in which movements of people resulted in language change.

Language contact – Historical cases

As Prof. Laura Calabrese wrote in her syllabus of Bloc1 course Multilinguisme et société, when it comes to language contact, the possible outcomes are diverse and can be temporary or permanent. The different groups can, in fact, maintain their language (language maintain) or adopt the other linguistic group’s code (language shift). A third possibility is the creation of a new code. These events can occur in different circumstances: migration, colonisation, tourism…

Historically speaking, one case in which some speakers adopted other groups’ code is colonisation. People did not speak English in Australia before 1770, French in Canada or Portuguese in Brazil. With colonisation, movements of people (in this case the colons) coincided with movements of languages, imposing their language and therefore changing the linguistic ecology of the colonized territories.

One of the main outcomes of language contact is interference. It occurs when speakers of a language adopt semantic, phonetic or syntactic features of the language they come in contact with. This phenomenon occurred to Spanish in Argentina. The mass migration of Italians (especially Neapolitans) to Argentina at the end of the 19th and the beginning of 20th century was indeed so large that Spanish speakers absorbed that Italian accent. This event differentiated the intonation and lexicon of Spanish speakers in Argentina so deeply that their dialect is distinguishable from other varieties of Spanish in the world.

Language contact – Recent cases

During the Bloc2 course Anglais II: Langue, Société et Culture, we studied the linguistic situation in India, discovering Hinglish language. The term is a portmanteau of Hindi and English, which is the language of colonisation, spoken in India since the beginning of the 19th century. Hinglish is a hybrid language, not yet normalised: it means that it doesn’t have its own dictionaries and grammar, but it is largely spoken by the younger generation. In fact, it is considered a subversive language, as some Hinglish speakers know both Hindi and English, but some others do not feel confident speaking English and prefer to use Hinglish because they would be more competent in it. Examples of words in Hinglish are Auntyji and Uncleji, which stand for a child’s elder relations.

In Europe, we can also notice some cases of interference between migrant languages and vernaculars. For instance, in Belgium and France, we can notice how the younger generation use more and more Arabic terms while speaking French. Some examples are: Insha’Allah, Mash ‘Allah, kiffer, halouf… Many of these words have spread way beyond immigrant communities and are now stable features of French slang, while some have entered the dictionary (bled, clebs, toubib) and thus the standard French lexicon.

We can also observe some situations of code switching. This concept refers to the linguistic phenomenon by which bilingual speakers mix languages during a conversation depending on cognitive economy factors. In other words, bilingual speakers often utter a word or a sentence in the language that occurs to them first, juggling between two (or more) languages spoken on a daily basis. This phenomenon is very common in migrants conversation or in families with mixed backgrounds.

What will happen in the near future?

The fact that migration in Europe is increasing does not mean that in the near future languages are going to change radically or disappear because of migration. And this won’t happen because of many reasons: first of all, European languages are nowadays extremely protected and normalised and, consequently, very difficult to replace. Secondly, migrants come from different countries of the world, bringing with them different languages and not just one that could exert a massive pressure on the local language (just as it happened to Old English when it met old French). It seems therefore unlikely that one of these languages could replace or interfere deeply with European vernaculars. Thus, it is also important to consider that languages are continually changing and new vocabulary is permanently added in dictionaries, a phenomenon that has been going on since the beginning of  globalisation… in the 15th century! Isn’t this extremely enriching?

Written by Jennifer Ferri

How to advertise on Facebook?

Introduction to Facebook Ads

With more than 2.2 billion monthly active users in 2018, and with an average minimum of 50 minutes spent a day on the platform – more than any other network,  Facebook is without a doubt the current most effective way to do advertising and reach potential customers.

According to 95,8 % of the social media marketers, Facebook is the best social media advertising platform based on the ROI. It is the reason why more than 15 million companies spend billions of dollars every year on Facebook Ads.

In addition to the Audience size and attention of the users, the Organic reach and the targeting options are other reasons that could explain why Facebook Advertising is hugely exciting for marketers.

On the one hand, Organic reach on Facebook has been in decline for a few years now and has almost hit zero. If you want to break through now, Facebook is all but a “pay-to-play network”. On the other hand, the targeting options within Facebook Ads are incredible. It can target users by location, demographics, age, gender, interests, behavior, and much more.

3 things to know about Facebook Ads.

Active Facebook Page

Before getting started with Facebook ads, you need to make sure that you have an active Facebook page. In other words, make sure that your business page has been created, you already have some likes , and have been posting from the page. Facebook only allows active and verified pages to advertise in order to prevent spam.

Advertising Objective

You also need to determine the objectives of your company’s ads on Facebook. Objectives on Facebook that will work for most small businesses are clicks to website, website conversions, lead generation, event signup, and offer claims. So before creating an ad, you should know what your objective is so that you can build your ad around it.

Landing pages

Depending on your advertising objective, you are going to need landing pages on your website that will capture information. A landing page, like a « Contact us » form captures information from interested customers.

Some tips

Strong call-to-action (CTA)

A call-to-action tells the audience what they should do. Facebook’s « calls to action » include “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” “Contact Us,” “Shop Now,” “Learn more” “Book now” and “Download.” The CTA is what will generate leads for your business.

Image and Graphics

There are some important rules to follow when you create a Facebook ad image or  graphic.

  1. An image should be up to 120×120 pixels in size.
  2. Not more than 20% text on the image.
  3. An image should have a 4:3 or 16:9 ratio.
  4. No image may be larger than 5 kilobytes in size.

Text Length

The limit for headlines is 30 characters long; about 5 words. The limit for body copy (the text before the photo) is 90.

Why use Facebook Ads?

(+) Pros

  • Campaigns are easy to track.
  • Complete control over your daily budget and maximum CPC.
  • Instant return on investment (You can easily define a cost per conversion and understand what your profit is).
  • More targeting options, including towns, regions, age, likes/interests, income bracket, and other demographics.
  • Easier to set up than Google AdWords.
  • The ability to reach people early on in the buying process, before they are aware of their need, whilst capturing those who are aware of the need in a subtle way.
  • You can use images and videos to capture the interest of your target, helping you to sell your products and services.
  • CPC is relatively cheap, depending on your industry.

(-) Cons

  • If set up and managed incorrectly, it can be costly, but less so than Google AdWords.
  • Depending on your target, the majority of the large potential audience can be irrelevant (e.g. we would not recommend Facebook Advertising if someone only served or supplied their products and services to one town).
  • There is no option to target your ads at certain times within the day or on certain days of the week unless you choose a lifetime budget.
  • Only really suitable for those operating in B2C markets.
  • Reaching people too early in the buying cycle could potentially reduce your goal conversion rate.

written by Alkacem Guerbai