Liberal Party Snapchat fail:
Australian Federal Election time. And yes, now we’re in vote count mode.
In the closest Australian election in years, the soapboxes are rife and without a clear victory to either side in the two-party system, fingers are being pointed left, right and centre, but today I’m just going to focus my own personal Federal Election soapbox on an area that I know and love. The realm of social media.
While there weren’t as many social media activations as I anticipated over the Australian Federal Election period, there certainly were a few notable mentions and one in particular that I’d love to discuss, to get us all thinking more about the tactics we apply to the use of social media platforms and content generation in Australia’s social media scene.
Two of my favourite activations in particular were Twitter Australia’s #ausvotes hashflag and ABC’s live coverage of the election via Snapchat, however the Social Media Epic Fail Award, must be awarded to the Liberal Party’s execution of their Sponsored Snapchat Lens, the first of its kind around the world and one that went live just 24 hours before the polling booths opened for 2016 Australian Election.
While the Sponsored Snapchat Lens definitely generated awareness amongst the youth market, the majority of that feedback on open platforms like news media, blogs and Twitter, was highly negative and the activation demonstrated a real lack of understanding of its intended audience – their use of Snapchat and the digital native’s mindset in this age of digital and tech innovation.
Like many at the higher end of my field in Australia, I get excited when I spot new digital media ad products and content delivery methods trialled by trend-setting brands, creative and media agencies, as all too often Down Under, due to the size of our population, smaller budgets and yes, internet speeds galloping at the pace of beached turtle, we’re a little slow at times to be leading the way in one of the few key industries that’s left for Australia to make a global impact in.
As a result, one of the downfalls of being behind the eight ball in the digital sphere is lack of education and understanding of social media as a channel in the broader brand toolkit and our strategy towards ongoing and campaign content.
With my teams, I generally follow a 70/20/10 rule when creating and trialling ongoing/campaign content for clients and while the Liberal Party may have used that principle in this case, I fail to see how they thought the Sponsored Snapchat Lens telling the youth market to Vote Liberal, would ever turn out as anything but an Epic Fail.
The key factors that they forgot to take into consideration is Gen Y’s attitude towards social media use and the psychology needed to work in with the modern day user’s thought and behavioural processes.
This is something that really rung true during my past 3 months in the USA, where I was fortunate to experience the quality and scale of digital campaigns activated in North America, as a part of broader through-the-line efforts to provide cut-through for brands in an already saturated market.
An example of successfully driving the voter conversation amongst millennials, is Tinder App’s partnership with Rock The Vote to drive USA youth market to the polls
and this was indeed one of my favourite digital applications that I experienced during my time stateside. Designed for the native Tinder user experience, it is a tool that helped the user feel like they’ve come to a decision themselves, rather than someone instructing them to vote a certain way.
Now I’m not a Millennial, but I feel exactly the same as any digital native, prolific content creator or indeed everyday user who has been involved with or joined the evolution from owning multiple Myspace pages to the invention of Facebook and where we stand 10 years later. The approach that I’m suggesting that you consider is no different to meeting someone new amongst your friendship circle down at the pub for the first time and is as old as time itself. Don’t talk at me. Involve me in your story.
As Shane Smith, Canadian Emmy Award-winning journalist, web entrepreneur, co-founder & CEO of the VICE Media has been saying for a number of years, people 25 years old and younger have been marketed to through the internet since they were born and as a result have the most highly tuned inbuilt bullshit filters.
Some luxury brands aside, if you create content for your brand that broadcasts and talks at consumers, rather than making your brand relevant to their lifestyle, joining their story and by doing so, inviting them to join yours, then they will see right through your bullshit and either lambaste you for it or scroll on by, which is exactly what happened with the Liberal Party Sponsored Snapchat Lens.
When you as a brand manager, creative or social media lead are creating content or activations for your business in the social media sphere, then you need to take into consideration how you yourself prefer to consume content on your mobile phone in your personal social media Newsfeed and what you yourself enjoy seeing. Sure, all of us love seeing exciting, new social media content executions, but if there is one lens I do suggest you use for your digital content moving forward, then it’s this:
If it looks like an ad, then it is an ad and I’m quite simply not interested. Text lock-ups, too much logo, “there’s never been a better time”, sell sell sell… Don’t do it! And if you don’t have the budget to deliver the original amazing execution in the way that you and your team envisioned for maximum impact… Don’t blinker yourself and charge on ahead unchecked. Evolve it!
Of course, brands who get it like Redbull and Oreo North America have “the moneys”, but you have to work with what you’ve got and it’s not always about the big budget ideas.
Utilising social media to meet business and brand objectives is all about understanding your digital ecosystem, how best to optimize content for the various platforms, human behaviour, their thought processes and the user experience, then creating stories and content that for the consumer (you) are funny, helpful, make me feel something, are what I think or make me feel like I knew it first!*
If this makes sense to you, but you’re concerned that your boss, team or agency don’t quite get it, then it’s time for you to source someone who does to help you.
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Twitter Moments #democracysausage ftw with #ausvotes hashflag:
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Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!):
I recently wrapped my position as Social Media Lead for SapientNitro
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