No one saw 2020 coming and quite frankly, most of us are going to be glad to see the back of it. But one bright star amongst the dark sky is the extra creativity it has forced from business owners all over the world.
Amidst the chaos that has been this year, the social media landscape dramatically changed. In some ways, it was our saviour, quickly becoming a way for people to connect to family and friends they had been cut off from all over the world. It also became an amplified tool that enabled businesses to continue to thrive amidst very uncertain times and enabled brand new businesses to launch quickly and profitably.
However, this meant there was a flood of new users who jumped on the social media bandwagon and as a result, that bandwagon quickly became weighed down – we are all now having to work a little bit harder to turn those wheels. Engagement is typically down and reach is harder to get without forking out a chunk of money. Quite simply, there is now way too much content in the social mediaverse, making it so much more difficult for users to a) see it all and b) to care or be excited about what they are seeing.
This became a huge issue right in the midst of the Covid pandemic. It was hard not to get caught up in all the sentimental, lovey-dovey, ooey-gooey, we are in this together, Kia-Kaha messaging. Don’t get us wrong – we were all feeling it, we all meant it, and we still believe in the sentiment, but there was so much of it that it became one big muddy message and brands found it hard to stand out from the crowd. Most brands jumped in too quickly to keep up with what was trending, instead of sitting back, listening and then jumping into the conversation armed with creativity and originality.
It is important to think about this in our efforts going forward for next year. Marketing budgets are going to be tighter and we need to make sure, as business owners, that our marketing has a point of difference in the ocean of social content we are all competing with. Here is a little look at three brilliant campaigns from brands who decided to do things a little differently this year, and it worked.
1. Good George Brewing
Thought we’d throw a Kiwi one out there first – Good George Brewing in Hamilton took an astronomic hit as a result of the pandemic, having to close six bars and ultimately facing shutting down the distillery for an unknown amount of time. So when the CEO went to buy hand sanitizer for the team and walked face-first into an unprecedented supply and demand issue all over the country, he decided to do something about it. Operation Helping Hands was born.
The team gave up their whiskey distilling and set about making hand sanitizer to distribute throughout Hamilton. Of course, taking to social media to document their journey was a great opportunity. They ended up with a monster success story, getting giants like Fonterra and PBT couriers on board to help. As a result, they were able to distribute over 2000 litres.
Lesson: These guys used kiwi ingenuity and creativity to physically do something to help their community that they could document and share. They didn’t just say “Hey we are here for you NZ”, they showed us they were here for us. By offering direct value as well as a practical solution to a genuine problem, all while using their social channels to tell us about it, they built trust, loyalty and brand recognition in these uncertain times.
In today’s world, people expect brands to take action—and if you can do something to help, you should. We all have something different we can contribute, something a little different from the next, you just have to put your thinking cap on sometimes!
2. The LEGO Movie | Hands, Elbows, Face and Space!
This one makes us smile! Good old Lego created this animated clip to speak directly to their target audience during the pandemic – the kids (and in turn, the parents)! They used positive and educational messaging to give kids a sense of empowerment and control over a scary and unknown situation for them. Click here to watch the full clip!
They also used their social platforms to offer educational resources and tips on playing well at home. This created a huge amount of engagement for their brand and ultimately, a huge increase in sales.
Lesson: Speak to your target audience and form genuine connections with them by thinking about who they are and what they need to hear from you right now. Think about what your brand can offer to these people and give them genuine value. Help people engage with your brand on a more meaningful level. You won’t regret it!
3. Coors #CouldUseABeer
Our favourite so far…#CouldUseABeer – need we say more? This is awesome.
Ninety-three-year-old Olive and her homemade sign made a splash on social media. Coors Light saw the opportunity and ran with it. On the back of Olive’s fame, they asked their community of followers to nominate themselves or someone else who could use a beer in these ‘sucky’ times. They then sent 500,000 of these people free beer. Genius.
Coors then followed on from this successful campaign to another – the Clone Machine, which lets users record a 30-second video loop of them looking interested during video-conferences so that they can sneak away to grab a cheeky beer.
Lesson: Free stuff, everybody loves free stuff. Give your customers real value. Come up with something original that no one else is doing or has done. Ask your customers to engage with your brand, make it fun for them to do so, then reward them for it! Also, timing is everything – if your brand gets a bit of time in the spotlight for whatever reason, jump on it immediately! If your campaign is a success don’t stop there, keep the momentum going as long as you can.