Rules of Engagement #2: Take a stand

October 2018

In today’s attention economy, views are no longer enough. To drive valuable engagement, brands must capture attention – and transform that attention into action. In this series, we explore how to meaningfully connect with audiences to generate results that matter

Moments, movements and milestones – smart brands know how to use all three to amplify engagement, whether it’s through rapid, real-time responses to unfolding events or more considered campaigns aimed at capturing the zeitgeist.

At one end of the spectrum, this can be relatively simple: a case of tying messages to huge pop cultural events, or responding to a royal wedding or a celebrity romance in a way that celebrates the values of your brand. At the other, it’s trickier, but ultimately more rewarding: for a more in-depth cultural connection, you’ll need to identify and contribute to movements as they form, using Search data to discover emerging trends before they fully hit the national consciousness.

Taking a stand is about more than just showing up to offer support: standout campaigns add to cultural movements in their own way. They become part of the conversation and more meaningful as a result. This can be a tough balance to strike – and it’s important for brands not to be seen as cynically cashing in, but it’s well worth the effort if executed in the right way, and on the right platform. According to a Flamingo/Tapestry YouTube Cultural Impact Study, in the UK, 80% agree that YouTube enables new ideas & trends to grow and get wider attention, making it the highest-rated video or social platform.1

Creating powerful brand experiences can be tough: it requires not just a great idea, but an understanding of the cultural landscape, not to mention the commitment and bravery to follow through on your brand’s most deeply held values. It means picking a side and standing by it, in a cultural landscape where social media outrage can be around every corner. But done right, it offers huge rewards, through campaigns that are shared, debated and discussed far beyond the reach of traditional advertising.

In an increasingly cluttered media landscape, the very best campaigns stop being intrusive and become part of the culture: they cut through and engage with audiences because of a genuine emotional connection – and the positive long-term effects can be far-reaching, both to brands and to society at large.


Read the full story of how Bodyform made #bloodnormal here

Rules of Engagement #1: Be smart with targeting