Hardhat Hustle: 12 June 2020
Welcome back to our cosy space, where we share with you everything that’s piqued our interest in the advertising realm and beyond. This week we discuss the actions behind your brand’s words, the secret sauce in virtual events, and Instagram’s move to drain your bank account.
What’s happening with behaviour?
Enough already let’s just get back to “normal” life
People, brands and businesses all enacted strategies to help cope with the worst of COVID, but as we start to emerge all are wanting to get back to normal life fast; and as such are expecting advertising to reflect this shift. What is interesting is how some brands are tackling this shift — with honesty real and raw.
We have already seen this take effect with some brands leaning into the realities that we find ourselves in and taking out the bullshit. For example this hilarious spot by local Chicago restaurant The Wiener’s Circle (known for their brutal humour) parodying the ‘empathy and kindness’ we have all been sharing and instead revelling in the brutality of life in all its glory. Swedish insurer Hedvig has taken a similar path, though less hard-hitting. Telling people that in the larger scheme of things, our possessions are ‘just stuff’. So get over it and move on!
Humour sits at the heart of it all. Humour that shines a light on the brutal, often hilarious reality of real life, and makes us feel all the better for it. A message that as we shift further into a recession will potentially be needed more and more. A message that can connect us to our customers in real, authentic, brutally honest ways.
COVID and #BlackLivesMatter
Whether brands or public figures are talking to COVID-19 or #BlackLivesMatter, people’s opinions remain the same — they want real action, not just words. Many have already been shamed and others applauded for their efforts to address both these sensitive issues. (especially #BlackLivesMatter). Though it’s definitely NOT a space for every brand. If you choose to wade in you need a history of activism, and even then be very careful.
Ben & Jerrys is an example of a brand who has addressed this area exceptionally well, and is being praised by the public and media for their stance. They used their platforms to release a statement calling to “Dismantle White Supremacy” (not new to them after sharing a “Why Black Lives Matter” statement in 2016). Standing apart and sending a message that “silence is not an option”. What gives weight to this though, is the company’s existing and demonstrable track record on speaking up on civil rights and race issues.
Another example is Lego who donated $4 million US dollars to “organisations dedicated to supporting Black children and educating all children about racial equality”.
Lego stood with many brands and the public by blacking out their social media feeds. However they went a step further and backed up their stance with action. Action that was rooted in their core offering children and education. Giving it an authenticity, meaning proven through action. Helping to ensure they did not look like they were jumping on the bandwagon.
We acknowledge the #BlackLivesMatter protests and the injustices not only happening in the US but to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within Australia. Here are some helpful links to find out more about this cause if you wish.
What’s happening in digital?
The secret sauce to engaging virtual events
The majority of marketing professionals see virtual events sticking around into the future, but we all know webinars with live chat, while convenient, are not nearly the digital successor to the real world alternative. Sure, you’re getting a presentation with insights, but without the buzzy atmosphere created by a sardined gathering of humans, emotional engagement in the event is void. In a fantastical metaphor — you’ve got a burger without the patty. And don’t even think about chips and a milkshake.
To succeed in an engaging digital event, it must emulate or exceed the production quality which delegates expect, while also feeling alive — a living, breathing entity powered by real human connections; the perfect event ideally achieving both.
Adobe canned their annual summit in 2020 and instead put focus on the former strategy, building a digital experience that was ‘all in your browser and on demand’. It wasn’t live, but production value worthy of an event was evident, and the learnings are just as good.
As for the connection element, virtual music festival Secret Sky denoted every live user as a small squiggle in a digital auditorium — creating a living, breathing online space. Similarly, LunchPool event software utilises virtual tables with avatars, and breaks out your video feed to those on your table, making it simple to see who’s in attendance and hop around for a chat.
New shopping experience coming to Instagram
Yet to be rolled out in Australia just yet, a new shopping tab will be appearing in your navigation bar taking you to a wondrous page filled with suggested products tailored just to you based on brands and other pages you follow. Great for brands to increase checkouts and a clever way for Instagram to keep people on the platform.
One, Two, TikTok’s coming for You(Tube)!
We all know about the rising threat of TikTok to other social platforms but looks like they’re now on YouTube’s radar — especially when it comes to a younger audience.
A 2020 study from Qustodio (a safety app maker) found that kids aged 4–15 spend on average 80 minutes a day on TikTok, compared to 85 minutes per day on YouTube. However, during COVID the time on TikTok and YouTube was equal.
It is projected TikTok will exceed YouTube and overtake Instagram as the most popular platforms amongst younger audiences. This is definitely a space to watch if your brand markets to the younger generations.
Work that has us talking
Keep it real, kids
The NZ government’s new public awareness campaign is showing parents the harm that their kids are exposed to online, with a humour only the kiwis can muster.
‘Keep it Real Online’ aims to educate parents on the topics of bullying, strangers, violence and porn — while acknowledging they’re iffy subjects that could use an ice breaker.
When the ad is the feature presentation
Russian telecom Rostelecom has produced a TV drama series with a catch.
To get the goss, you’ll have to watch 35 YouTube pre-roll ‘episodes’, advertising 35 different products.
If you get served before us — no spoilers!
Baby names to remember
BabyNames.com, the must-visit website for all parents cooking up a little bundle of joy, has published a new list of names worthy of contemplation.