In the fast paced world of Web 2.0, pop culture and trends are constantly changing. Brands have to keep up with these changes in order to stay relevant. In this post, there will be an examination of three brands that have used trends in pop culture to successfully market to consumers.
During the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Toyota’s “Stand Together” campaign focused on the idea of unity and friendship promoted by the Olympics. For their advertisement, they show a medal ceremony where the three medaling athletes are first joined by young children rushing the field and grabbing the hand of the leftmost athlete. Then, as the whole audience swarms the stadium, the hand holding becomes exponential. People grab hands, forming a chain that stretches across the world, all the way back to the athlete on the far right. Toyota focused on the trending ideas of unity and acceptance during the Olympic games, a major event in pop culture.
Toyota went further than the themes of the Olympics and togetherness in this ad. They encouraged user generated content by promising to donate $20 to the United Way, up to $250,000, for every video of people holding hands someone posted to social media with the hashtag #LetsJoinHands. With the growing trend of user generated content, Toyota involved the consumers to further promote their brand.
Another trend that has developed is branded flash mobs. Most of these flash mobs include users of the brand and some include hired performers. These videos have lead brands to think about how they can use the power of social media to their advantage: by creating branded content to entertain viewers enough that they share the video, and thus promote the brand through electronic word of mouth.
The flash mob trend has been all over the internet from wedding flash mobs to school flash mobs, and brands took notice. A company that was very successful creating a branded flash mob was T-Mobile. With the video receiving 39,953,793 views on YouTube, the brand was certainly successful in going viral. Although, views are not the most effective way to determine the success of advertising. For example, people share videos that make them angry or concerned just like they share videos that make them happy.
Brand equity can best be examined by looking at the consumer’s attitude toward the ad and attitude toward the brand. One of which they will respond to when seeing the ad. Therefore, it is valuable to look at people’s emotional response to the content of the advertisement. It has been proven that branded flash mobs are able to generate strong, emotional responses from consumers, as many have gone viral.
Furthermore, pop culture has also challenged brands to accept popularized ideologies of gender fluidity. CoverGirl’s 2016 campaign for #LashEquality features James Charles, a successful male makeup artist, as the first ever ‘CoverBoy’. The brand is broadening their target audience to those who accept gender fluidity as a cultural norm. Culture is adapting to new trends and ideologies, which are influencing the perspectives of consumers. It is valuable for companies to pay attention to the trends in pop culture, so that they can adapt to them. This way, companies can better communicate with their customers.
Written by Hayleigh Walton