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Sony signs up ‘The Four Lads in Jeans’ as inspirational ‘poster boys’ for its noise-cancelling headphones

Press release   •   Mar 04, 2021 12:00 GMT

  • 2021’s most popular internet meme sensations - The Four Lads in Jeans - became a success story by blocking out negativity, overcoming hate and using their platform to help others
  • As Sony said, “who better to promote our WH-1000XM4 award-winning noise cancelling headphones than these four inspiring individuals who have shown the value of blocking out unwanted noise in the everyday”
  • New research finds that nearly two thirds (63%) of Brits believe the pandemic has increased the likelihood of people typing comments they'd never say face-to-face, whilst almost one in three (30%) of 16-24 year olds have personally experienced malicious online behaviour, and 31% admit they’ve witnessed friends and family receiving online abuse
  • The Lads give tips to those facing similar online bullying alongside Professor, Dr Mark Griffiths,who offers guidance on making your social media experience healthier and more positive

“Wet flannels”, “least funny thing on the internet” and “you're all so ugly” are just some of the hurtful comments ‘the Four Lads in Jeans’, have received since they shot to fame.

Sadly, it’s not just the lads who are receiving negativity on social media, with new research from Sony uncovering that over half (58%) of Brits believe there has been an increase in trolling within the past year.

The third lockdown in twelve months has presented substantial challenges and hardships for people across the UK. The pandemic has encouraged kindness and compassion for many, yet for some this is not reflected in their online persona. Shockingly almost one in three (30%) of 16–24-year-olds have personally experienced malicious online behaviour, and 31% admit they’ve witnessed friends and family receiving online abuse.

The research also revealed that on average, 39% of Brits are spending more than three hours per day on social media during lockdown, up from 24% before lockdown. Over a third (39%) of 16-24 year olds even admit to currently spending over 8 hours a day scrolling through social platforms.

Nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents believe the pandemic has increased the likelihood of people typing comments they'd never say face-to-face, with people reporting to see an average of 280 negative comments on social media per month (10 per day). For 16-24 year olds this is even higher, with more than one in eight (15%) reporting seeing over 30 per day.

Sony has partnered with The Lads to front their latest digital campaign – modelling the headphones in a different stance than their original picture which shot them to fame.

As part of the campaign, the lads share their tips with those facing negativity on social media -

  • 1.Don’t take the abuse to heart. People say things without thinking and forget about it straight away, so you should try and do the same, too
  • 2.Don’t ever allow trolls to get a reaction out of you - we learned that the hard way. It's what they want to see, and it always leads to more negativity. Remember to stay calm
  • 3.Try to avoid reading comments and concerning yourself with other people's opinions. The internet is a big place, so switching your phone off or leaving it in another room when you're not using it helps with this
  • 4.Remember to be yourself; you are who you are, and you can't change for anyone else. Keep in mind that comments online will never bring about physical change
  • 5.The best piece of advice we can give is to talk to someone if things get too much. We've got each other, as well as an amazing network of family and friends, so we're really lucky. Don't be afraid to speak out

Jamie, Connor, Kevin and Alex, known as The Four Lads in Jeans, said:“The past few months have been a rollercoaster. We’ve gone from being four normal lads from Birmingham, to having a platform on which we can talk about helping others after the situation we were put in. We’ve been stereotyped and mocked online, receiving a barrage of unwanted comments and know there are so many people out there in the same position. We’re delighted to have been asked by Sony to front their latest WH-1000XM4 digital campaign!”

Dr Mark Griffiths, Psychologist and Professor of Behavioural Addiction at Nottingham Trent University, said: “Now more than ever, it is clear that we need to look out for others and be mindful of our social media use. The pandemic has had emotional, behavioural and psychological effects on us all as we are forced to adapt to new realities. On one hand the last year has shown people’s capacity for cooperation and compassion. However, spending more time at home and online can provide ideal conditions for online trolls and inappropriate behaviour on social media platforms especially as my research has shown the main reasons for trolling are boredom, amusement, and revenge. It's more important than ever to maintain positivity in these trying times, and ensure your social media experience is healthy and positive otherwise it can have various knock on effects such as disrupted sleep, lowered self-esteem, anxiety, depression, feeling alone, and social withdrawal.”

Claire Poux, Marketing Category Head, V&S at Sony UK & Ireland, said:“We have been truly moved by the positivity and the strength of Jamie, Connor, Kevin and Alex – and without a doubt, they were the ideal partners to show off our award-winning WH-1000XM4 headphones. Although our headphones might not block out internet trolls, they do offer a great noise cancelling solution so you can listen to what you want, when you want – like our poster boys have done too, in such an inspiring way.”

Sony’s WH-1000XM4 award-winning noise-cancelling headphones allow listeners to fully immerse themselves in their favourite music and block out unwanted noise. They deliver exceptional performance in a timeless design, enhanced by best-in-class sound quality, for an unrivalled listening experience.

Notes to editors

About the WH-1000XM4

WH-1000XM4 - Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

  • Industry leading noise cancellation
  • Truly wireless design with BLUETOOTH® wireless technology
  • Up to 30 hours of battery life with Noise Cancelling on and up to 38 hours without for all-day listening
  • Adaptive Sound Control automatically adjusts ambient sound to your activity
  • Quick Attention Mode allows you to decrease music volume instantly
  • Multiple device pairing via BLUETOOTH®
  • Premium comfortable design available in two colourways

Price: £350 / €389

For further information on WH-1000XM4, please follow the link here

Image disclaimer

The four lads were photographed separately to ensure a photoshoot that adhered to government guidelines. The imagery has been photoshopped together.

About Sony Corporation

Sony Corporation is a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. From game and network services to music, pictures, electronics, image sensors and financial services - Sony's purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology. For more information, visit: http://www.sony.net/