In this guest post, AnalogFolk’s strategy director, Chris Loukakis (pictured below), says your typically staid and stuffy upmarket brands may have finally found their marketing funny bone…
Back in the day, premium meant traditional and often conservative, but today, the clever premium brands have recognised that culture belongs to the youth. They’re the early adopters, experimenters and drivers of change. They’re taking technology and trends to their parents – think TikTok dances and beyond.
It’s young people who are defining culture upwards, not the other way around. If you want a 20-something to buy your designer product then you probably can’t rely on the tropes of their grandparents’ generation.
Brands like Prada, Hendricks Gin and Burberry are winning by turning to humour by doing these three things:
1. Understanding channel and platform language better than their competitors. People enjoy using stickers on Instagram, so create a branded sticker pack (seems obvious right).
2. Making fun of themselves by taking some seriousness away. When people expect premium product benefits as the norm, be distinct by playing with the category conventions with unique language and creativity.
3. Partnering with youth culture icons. Let influencers do the heavy lifting, and leverage their equity in humour and relevance.
Here are a couple of examples of premium brands doing things differently and winning as a result.
Prada teamed up with Giphy and Instagram to create a stickers pack, nodding to previous collections from the brand archives. This is an exceptional use of the platform, as it connects with existing behaviours. Stickers are used more often than not as a punchline, or to make ligh of something. Prada could have made an attempt at designing ‘luxury-looking’ stickers and it wouldn’t have worked anywhere near as well as this execution.
The stickers were launched by the CGI-generated influencer Lil Miquela, (if you don’t know who Lil Miquela is then read this) but the key thing to take away is that using a computer generated influencer is inherently anti-tradition. It’s also kind of weird and fun. Perfect for younger audiences.
In the time of Zoom, unusual video backgrounds are everything! Using theatricality to spice up people’s video calls while stuck at home, these backgrounds are brilliant as they are branded. They’re unique enough that people will notice them and ask about them (awareness) and they are just fun – exactly what is needed right now. Side note: it’s a great change up from seeing your colleague’s dying plants that you know they are overwatering but can’t say anything about because of ‘boundaries’.
With B Bounce, Burberry is responding to gaming culture and adapting product consideration into an entirely new animated game style format. By doing this, Burberry is appealing to a new audience that is young, and engages with the world in their own unique way.
Mark Morris, Senior Vice President of Digital Commerce at Burberry said: “We have experimented with gaming in China, but B Bounce is our first playful extension into this format to entertain and connect with our new, younger consumers around the world. We know that they are living in an increasingly gamified environment both online and offline and we are excited that they can join the Burberry community – and explore our new puffer collection – in this way”
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