Be honest. Why your next campaign doesn't have to be perfect - The Social Element
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Be honest. Why your next campaign doesn’t have to be perfect

In a world where we cut our own hair, cook fakeaways and turn living rooms into gyms, is there still a need for perfection?

Not an excuse for being slapdash. Just admitting that right now, we’re making things up as we go. Even more than we did before.

Real can be refreshing.

Like everything Ryan Reynolds does – the one-man marketing machine owning lockdown creative.

Granted, he’s globally famous with a loyal fanbase, but it’s for good reason.

He focuses less on execution and more on the gags.

He does it for his gin brand, repurposing pre-lockdown footage to support out of work bartenders. He does it for his mobile phone brand where a recent ad is a Powerpoint presentation. And he even does it for his charity t-shirt, making a feature of only having one ‘boring’ product.

They’re loose, honest, and feel relevant while even our parents embrace homemade content with little or no context.

He’s not the only brand (and he is now a brand), embracing the new normal. 

L’Oréal has Eva Longoria breaking the fourth wall by showing her real greys before colouring them herself from home. And this BBC sports commentator uses his dogs to stay sharp. It’s not super slick, just a great idea that engages through its honesty.

Early on, we got high-spec ads from big players like Apple and IKEA. They looked great and proved you can still make beautiful, moving content without studios or expensive locations.

But after months in lockdown, and no return to normality in sight, we’ve become used to content that feels like it was made that day.

So how can your business do it?

You can talk to your customers.

Marriott’s CEO wrote direct to them to emphasise the hotel chain’s commitment to their staff, frontline staff in healthcare and customers, through the crisis. Going well up in this writer’s estimation at least. 

You can strengthen links between your community. 

Fender has led the way by connecting fans and artists with their Artist Check In series. It gives artists a platform to perform live, entertains fans, and raises money for the @MusiCares COVID-19 relief fund. If you happen to sign up to Fender’s online guitar lesson platform, even better.

Or you could simply remind people what you do and hold nothing back. That was our approach when we made our new promo film ‘Maximum Engagement’. It was all shot from home and focused on feeling good.

Whatever you do, focus on the message, be honest, and you can feel real in these unreal times.

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