Kartrionae Madondo-Ossai: Digital & Strategy Director
Walk the walk and speak the talk!
The ‘woke’ generation blew social media and was unapologetically proud of culture and self. We saw it all, hair pride, skin pride and all anomalies being normalized! We embraced this movement as it quickly addressed issues of gender, race, and sexuality. How great was this?? Humanity it seemed, began to move past prejudice and bashfulness towards inclusion and confidence. On the flip side, the tone of voice that came with it bordered on arrogance and cockiness. In true unapologetic fashion, people saw no need in explaining themselves anymore. We saw celebrities begin to ‘clapback’ at their fans- we accepted and justified it. Throwing ‘shade’ became a hobby thanks to reality TV the more the shade the more the popularity and before you knew it, brands began to respond to negative comments in ‘clapback’ mode. What we experienced ladies and gents, was the dethroning of the customer as King, and other fans cheering on to the clapback, rewarding it with virality. Is this a trend now? Do brands have to adopt their customer’s tone of voice to that extent? Yikes, Checkmate!
Influencers, influenza we needed to sneeze out?
What! But we hadn’t really started! Oh yes, friend. A report from Social Media Today stated that influencers were no longer influencing. Their studies found that only 3% of customers were successfully influenced by purchasing a product.
The idea of the influencer rose out of the need for authentic content. And we pretty understood influencers were non-celebrities with an organic high follower base. They were the girl next door and were supposed to remain just that to increase audiences’ trust in a brand. The evolution of the influencer-cum-celebrity resulted in a drop in brand interest. This all began with the unappreciated use of filters, surgery, and often an overtly sponsored ‘setting’ – clothing, cars, home environment, and holiday resorts, it looked all far fetched and too often ‘fake’. Unless you are Kylie Jenner – (billionaire, celebrity, brand owner and socialite) your chances of making people believe in your staged setting became very limited. The solution to this? we all need to go back to basics, less is always more. Hatchooo… Thank you, Next!
If you missed the first wave of African pop culture then here’s your chance. From food to music, patterns, and colour, Africa continues to make an impact on the global creative scene. We are so in right now Brazilian hair has become so cheap thanks to the rise of the braid culture -ok and the Chinese of course! With music echelons like ‘Burna Boy’ and ‘Diamond’ not only producing hits but also facilitating cross border collaborations in music and festivals with other African artists, we see millennial black audiences begin to take their pride in heritage to the next level, preferring to travel and tour Africa first before Europe, finding ‘identity’ has become a thing. In America’s, the ‘black moment travel’ has also seen young African-Americans seeking thrill and identity in Africa. The lesson- The Hotel industry needs to consider cross border trading with their affiliate hotels -offering not only cheaper packages, but also packages that facilitate cross border experiences within the hotel group. For marketers, the SEO game needs to also focus on local keywords and local audiences, adding colloquial phrases such as ‘woke’, ‘the most’, ‘my best life’ to target these younger audiences. Designers might have to consider moving towards vibrant Afrocentric symbols and colours than minimalist Eurocentric nudes and greys.
Making the most with the least!
In true ‘woke’ style, millennials are embracing their circumstances and beginning to derive happiness and great experiences from the resources they have. It’s that perfectly angled and cropped out insta-shot that only focuses on the clear blue pool and evergreens at the back topped literally with an overarching clear blue sky. Where is this place? Midgard, River Crossing, Gross Barman! It’s here fam! At first glance this shot could be mistaken for a resort in Bali yet with great filters and lighting, magic is happening right in our back yards. Millennials have mastered the art of making the most with the ‘least’ and the Megxit saga doesn’t help at all. Choosing a simplistic life away from fame and luxury, popular figures such as Meghan and Harry…… Windsor I suppose? and Mark Zuckerberg has set the trend in finding happiness through minimal efforts. How do brands begin to create competitions and campaigns that reward the least but give the most joy? Moving away from MEGA-Prizes to simplistic meaningful rewards that add value to everyday living?
Ad agency diversity?
Ad agencies have always been known as proponents of pop culture. Advertising itself is seen as the driver of culture. Anything in, we are on it like white on rice… that’s why it makes sense to have 80% of all staff below 30yrs to make sure we are plugged into trends. Joining in at forty is usually an anomaly. That’s slowly beginning to change now in the industry with advertisers beginning to include age diversity in the mix. Older employees often bring experience and wisdom, moreover, they are better at directing the fusion between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’, creating nostalgic yet avant-garde designs. Their wisdom comes to play also in strategy. As the old adage states, nothing is new under the sun it’s always a matter of re-inventing the wheel, who better to remind you of that old wheel than a wise owl.