The internet’s latest craze

Most people have heard about the mannequin challenge, which has swept through the internet just a fast as previous internet challenges. If you are one of the smarter ones who haven’t come across this, then let me give you a quick explanation. The mannequin challenge was started in a Florida High School, by some teenagers who decided it would be cool to film their entire class posing in statuesque positions – hence the name coined The Mannequin Challenge.

As to expect from online community & their love of internet challenges, it wasn’t long until we started seeing more mannequin challenges appearing, from regular people to sport stars & even political figures.

We’ve yet to see brands adopt these internet crazes, however I don’t think it will be long until we do see 1 brand try and re-create this and share on their social media.

As for the the original thinkers of this internet sensation, they probably didn’t know how far it would go and who it would ‘inspire’; they are probably now thinking of how to create a professional career from this.

 

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The sweeping craze of the 22 pushup challenge

Another year, another amazing example of using social media to create awareness and virality through creating engaging content, that’s tied to a good cause.

What am I talking about? Well, most of the world with internet and TV probably have heard about the #22pushupchallenge. Started by a charitable organisation in the US, they challenged people to create awareness about veteran soldiers suffering from PTSD and its’ challenges on their mental health. You can read more into the details of what the organisation does to support and deal with these problems here: Honor Courage Commitment.

This social awareness campaign challenges people to complete 22 push ups for 22 days, in order to spread the message that on average, 22 veterans will commit suicide every day. They challenge as many friends as they want and they repeat process. We’ve already seen many celebrities get involved with this campaign and also creative attempts at completing the challenge differently.

Does this last beyond the initial effect?

There is definitely no mistaking that social media can help to increase the awareness of this cause, however will it actually create a lasting impact? The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised over £88 million pounds thanks to the initial effect of social media driving the cause. This has led to researchers being able to take the next step in curing the disease.

This means, that when the #22pushupchallenge comes to an end after 22 days, it is possible to see a similar lasting impact as the ALS Icebucket challenge created. The nice thing about this challenge, is that anyone can start it whenever they wish, therefore individually increasing the duration of this campaign.

Another Olympics has come and gone.

With the RIO 2016 Olympics having ended on the 22nd August, we’ve seen some great spectacles and glorious moments that’ll live on; until the next Olympics at Tokyo anyway. We’ve also seen the usual plethora of brands itching to take a piece of the advertising pie, whether that’s in the form of another emotional or cheesy promotional stunt.

Given the continuous rise of digital technology, we’ve seen more brands adopt social media to create a message of support for their home nation and also bring in a few new fans as well. Although, I am starting to feel that we are seeing the same types of message during these events, from different brands and a lack of creativity is starting to creep in.  However, it’s not just brands using social media to boost their fans, we’ve seen social media being used to turn some athletes into viral content, during the RIO 2016 Olympics and spread positive messages to everyone. For example, we’ve seen the bronze winning swimmer (Fu Yuanhui) rise to internet stardom, with her cute and funny personality during her realisation she has actually won a medal. During the semi-finals of the 100m sprint, we were treated to the delighted faces of Usain Bolt and Andre De-Grasse. We witnessed the rise of Singapore’s Joseph Schooling win GOLD in the 100m Men’s Butterfly, beating fellow athlete and role model Michael Phelps. These are just some of the best moments captured and spread around social media. And during the closing ceremony, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, erupted the crowd and the world, when he appeared dressed as Mario to signal the passing of the Torch for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

When I see brands post on Facebook a simple wallpost with a nice support message, I feel they could try a bit more and do something different to stand out. For example, maybe a brand could be willing to reward their home athletes with a gift, to show their thanks or even setup an event to help invest into the future of their athletes. By doing these extra steps, they will be able to stand out from the rest of the brands posting the same messages and maybe generate more virality and also create future brand advocates. Even with the availability of 360 and VR technology, we didn’t see a great deal of this type of content being produced during the RIO Olympics, which I feel could have been a missed opportunity.

Snapchat, is another platform that I feel is starting to get more popular among the brands, however there is probably still an ill feeling about the ROI they get back. We’ve seen Instagram update recently to have similar functions and try to steal back some of the audience from Snapchat. There are a few brands, that have fully committed to Snapchat, brands that deliver news and gossip have created profiles to publish short clips of their latest stories. As a user, I rarely feel the interest to click on them and often give their content a miss. The main appeal of Snapchat, I feel is when there are major events being held and people can post new snaps of themselves with different filters. During the RIO 2016 Olympics, Snapchat released a few different filters putting you in different sports, with your nation’s flag, depending on your GPS location. This is where I’ve seen some brands create their own filters to help promote their content, such as a filter to promote the latest DLC for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare or a zombie filter to tease the arrival of the newest season for The Walking Dead. These filters are lighthearted pieces of content that users enjoy spending their time on and I believe this is where brands should focus on, if they can relate their content to a major event.

Also, don’t forget that the RIO Paralympics have just started and I feel strange that they have the closing ceremony even though we still have these games to continue. Although we won’t see the same level of branded support or social media coverage,  I wish in the future to see both able-bodied and Paralympics to be celebrated at the same time.

Thanks for reading.