The Social Chronicles! Part 2…November 20, 2017
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” – Robert McAfee Brown
In my last blog post, I wrote about storytelling and why I love it. I also touched on how it helps brands connect with their audience.
Today, let us talk about how these stories and narratives garner engagements, interactions, and impressions on social media and connects with their audience.
2 minutes! A bowl of Maggi…And the tummy is happy! Let’s talk about their communication and social media campaigns.
Stories have the power to move you and Maggi has proved it again, by rolling out a series of campaigns before coming back to our lives after the ban was lifted. Nestle India came out with a series of short films hash tagged #WeMissYouToo while waiting for the test results. Dedicated to all the fans who supported and stood by the brand, there was a Maggi fanboy/fangirl in each of the videos, who badly missed their favourite noodle. They are seen making a plea to Maggi, as if it were their long-lost friend – “Come back, man!”, “Ab a bhi jao”, “kab wapas aayega yaar?”, “We miss you Maggi”. In the campaign series, they had videos namely, ‘Menu Cards’, ‘Neighbours’, ‘Boyfriend’, ‘Pitaji’, ‘Late night’, ‘Balcony’ to share stories on how the common people are missing their favourite comfort food, and my! it did garner yearning and nostalgic reaction.
Their Meri Maggi campaign was a step in personalizing the Maggi experience for people. They roped in Shri Amitabh Bachchan, who as the storyteller narrated real life stories of Maggi loyalists and how it helped bring 2 minutes of happiness into their lives. In this campaign, people could feature on the Maggi noodles pack and the advertisement, by sharing how they created 2 minutes of kushiyan with Maggi. The brand had also created an app on their Facebook page titled Share your Maggi Moments for this 4-month long campaign. With all the excitement and enthusiasm, it became a memorable campaign.
Real Beauty! Two simple words but a beautiful storytelling campaign. Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches was one campaign which moved people worldwide. The video represents Dove’s mission to empower women to see the beauty in themselves and change how we rationalize beauty, today.
The first part of the video had woman describe their features to a forensic sketch artist. The second part of the video has these same women who describe one of the other women from the group to the same forensic sketch artist. The result was highly emotional as the two portraits highlights how much we are our own worst critic. Every woman realized, the negative characteristics and the flaws they described about themselves, which they thought they possessed, were perceived as beautiful and coveted by the other ladies.
On social media, Dove has a way to harness the love and fondness it holds over everyone and use it as a platform for enacting real change. Their successful use of social media allows them the ability to fight against the ingrained norm of beauty and self-confidence. They are a brand that ultimately sells products to consumers, but they have made it their mission to give a voice to those who feel they are alone with their issues and highlight exactly how beautiful they are to others and to themselves.
Another favourite of mine is Durex. Their communication is short, crisp and to the point. Oh! Don’t forget the humour.
Durex is raising the oomph factor with sexual innuendos in their communication by building a brand which is self-oozing of wit and humour. Their social media empire is founded on clever marketing and ingenuity like no other brand. Their communication is wittingly hilarious and sexually suggestive, and they refuse to play subtle. With loads of innovation, creativity and a strong pun game, the brand is out there to conquer the digital world. Do you remember when Ranveer Singh teamed up with Durex to Do The Rex? It has over three million views on YouTube, and still, continues to amaze anyone who watches it. With this campaign, the brand wanted to become a part of everyday conversations. Interestingly, Ranveer Singh has written and rapped the lyrics of the soundtrack as well. They made good use of social media to introduce ‘rexing’.
Another example is Urban Ladder. In only a few years, they have seen spectacular growth online. They operate on a modest and unique business model of selling furniture where with just a click, users can select the home decor and furniture products as per their requirements sitting at home, on their website.
The company believes that visual communication is the key to their success, so their focus is highly on digital marketing which helps them strengthen the quality and visual appeal of their products. They have also got an advantage of targeting the customer as per their social media profile as they pioneered to tie up with Facebook to market the brand. On Twitter, or other social channels they keep conversing about the products and different ranges with their customers to identify and learn about their desires and wants for their ‘homes’.
They have built a strong presence online and they are still thriving, thanks to the ingenuity, creativity, and belief of the Urban Ladder team. Be it any channel, on social media they have created a space for themselves and carved a niche for brands.
With their campaigns they keep on visualising evolution of a beautiful home or aims to bring people closer or ‘designs that Your Furniture Knows. You can read more about them here: Reference1
And with their Diwali campaign few years back, #TheHomecoming, they brought happiness home…
In all these stories, communication is the key, and brands are conceptualised based on their needs. Amazon, Google, Nike, Hero, Adidas, Surf, Pepsi, etc have all come with social media campaigns that are innovative, interactive, and engaging. Nokia Mobile’s Gift Your Time was also a brilliant campaign.
#OpenYourWorld, by Heineken is another example where the campaign is larger than life. It was a real-life social experiment, where Heineken brought together people from opposite ends of the spectrum and got them to take part in team-building activities, before unveiling their political viewpoints. They then had the option to share a Heineken and discuss their differences – which every pair chose to do. You can watch the ‘Worlds Apart’ An Experiment, here. Heineken | Worlds Apart | #OpenYourWorld
On social you can spread happiness! Recently, Mindshare & Pepsi illuminated underprivileged homes on Diwali using empty Pepsi bottles. In India, a significant section lives without lights – and even during the day, many people do not get day-light. Pepsi decided to remind everybody, that there is a part of India who needs us to come together & brighten up their Diwali. They tied up with a global foundation Liter of Light & installed empty Pepsi bottles filled with water & bleach on rooftops of houses which enabled absorption of solar energy & illuminated houses. The campaign result was that these stories reached over 26MN Indians and Diwali was special and lasted a lot longer than 4 days as people came together to extend the festive season & spread the joy to the dark side of India. You can read about the campaign here, – Reference2
Do you remember, Miranda’s #ReleaseThePressure, which was a platform for the teenagers to express anything they wanted? It was an Open Letter where they could pour out their fears – not just of exam failure, but fear of letting their parents down. Influential voices of authority including psychologists, Bollywood parents were on board. They also created a microsite and a missed call number was introduced to take the pledge. In about, 120 million bottles were put in the market having open letters from kids, urging parents to take the pledge. In this social reach, they generated 99.9% positive conversations. These conversations were 138 times more than the nearest beverage brand, and you can read all about them here: Reference3
Another favourite brand is Tata Tea, and their campaigns always touch my soul. Do you remember the Jaago Re campaigns? Their recent one was Alarm Bajne Se Pehle Jaago Re!, and my, it was brilliant. This campaign was about tackling issues before it gets too late. Their latest campaigns are Gender sensitization and having Sports a compulsory subject in schools. Their social presence is growing each day while they embark on a journey less treaded.
“Why react once the tragedy has happened? Let’s act when it matters the most. Let’s be Pre-Activists.” –
There are plenty of case studies, digital stories, and social campaigns which have moved and touched many. And there will be plenty more in future. Lives will be touched, and the world will see changes. But, two campaigns which hit my conscience were the #MeToo campaign and the Mannequin challenge.
The Mannequin Challenge is a viral Internet video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them. Teenagers from the USA started off this viral movement but the Mannequin Challenge video on Bengaluru mass molestation is the significant and vital one.
The incident of Bengaluru mass molestation on New Year’s Eve shook the entire nation. The shocking and shameful incident which took place despite nearly 1,500 police personnel being deployed in the city, raises concerns over the safety of women in India. Autumn Worldwide came up with #DontBeAMannequin and in a very precise and poignant manner showed how when something as unfortunate as the Bengaluru incident takes place, people around don’t react, they become mannequins.
On social media users expresses their support and help whenever they believe in a cause. This was proved, when actress, Alyssa Milano used her Twitter account to encourage women who’d been sexually harassed or assaulted to tweet the words #MeToo. Writer, Alexis Benveniste used it to remind people that the messages they were seeing were only the beginning. For every woman stating her own experiences aloud, there were likely just as many choosing not to do so. Along with women sharing their heart wrenching stories, many men joined the movement too and shared their stories.
Alyssa says, that the goal of this campaign was to give people a sense of “the magnitude of the problem” however, it received dissent and negative criticism from many people as well. And the origins of #MeToo can be dated back before the predominance of social media, when activist Tarana Burke created the campaign as a grass-roots movement to reach sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities. What I see #MeToo campaign as, you may ask? The campaign, I see, is coming together to protest the wrong doings to people, it is about objecting to crimes against women and men, both.
Another brand, Amul is my favourite and undoubtedly everyone’s as they keep on wowing the nation with their topical, tongue-in-cheek, and entertaining advertisements on both traditional and social media. Moreover, the butter girl keeps the audience hooked with content which centres around the latest happenings.
Like this one:
Or this one:
There are many more examples like this. But, I am talking about Amul here, to share about the campaigns, that they have come up, for Women’s’ Day which are truly admirable and commendable. In 2016, and 2017, both their campaigns raise a glass to woman power. These campaigns, are an ‘ode to Indian mothers’ and their untold stories forms the crux of the film. Amul is an evergreen brand mostly because of their constant innovation – be it launching new products, creative marketing campaigns or challenging traditional societal trends or congratulating feats.
You can watch here, how ‘36 Lakhs Farmers rise every day to nourish the families of 200 Lakh City-Mothers. This is the World’s First Mothers For Mothers Network’:
These are a few campaigns which I like, however there are any more campaigns which has a story to tell.
Social media has the power to change lives. And storytelling is one of the important routes brands take to build, innovate, and bring change in the lives of millions of people.
Now, you tell me, which is your favourite campaign? Which story and account has brought in a change in your heart and mind? Tell us in the comments section below.
“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” ― Brandon Sanderson