FMCG and the Metaverse

April 22nd, 2022 by

The metaverse is currently every marketer’s favourite toy. Brands left, right and centre are creating experiences or NFTs in hopes of targeting a younger, digital audience. The metaverse offers brands unlimited creative opportunities to engage and interact with new potential consumers. 

Even though metaverse-style platforms have been around for years, cultural and societal shifts over the past couple of years have cemented the fact the metaverse is here to stay. This means consumer brands need to get on board or risk being left behind. 

The metaverse will be game-changing for everyone—brands and consumers alike. Metaverse developments are blurring the lines between online and offline, and are creating a unified experience that will connect reality with the infinite possibilities of online. 

FMCG brands need to realise the metaverse is the future, and that future is coming fast. There may be some teething periods while consumers adapt to the new platform, but brands need to realise metaverse leaders will recover quickly from any loss from modernising. 

But how have FMCG brands begun entering the metaverse? And will it actually work for them? 

FMCG brands in the metaverse 

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte

Coca-Cola has had a few forays into the metaverse, but its latest digital adventure is the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte. The new beverage is actually real and can be purchased and consumed. With an innovative flavour inspired by the fun of pixels, Coca-Cola has fully embraced a metaverse mindset, and created Pixel Point, an island in Fortnite. The island is full of immersive mini-games that must be solved collaboratively with other players. 

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte

In addition, when purchasing the soft drink, customers can check out the packaging to receive an access code to an augmented reality game that tells the story of BYTE, an 8-bit character who was left behind when the brand entered the metaverse. 

Miller Lite’s Meta Lite Bar 

Ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl, Miller Lite opened its very own metaverse bar in Decentraland. Called the Meta Lite Bar, guests over 21 years old were invited to enjoy an immersive, communal experience with virtual pilsners and the chance to have their real Super Bowl celebration paid for by Miller Lite with the Virtual Cheers for Real Beers giveaway. Miller Lite’s aim was to encourage real-life hangouts through the virtual giveaway, blending the online and offline. 

The Meta Lite Bar was also the only place fans could see the first ever Super Bowl ad in the metaverse. To celebrate, Miller Lite created exclusive NFT swag that Decentraland users could buy with a crypto wallet. 

Heineken’s virtual beer

While most brands entering the metaverse have done so with serious intentions, Heineken has played on the irony of a drinks brand entering a virtual metaverse. Being incredibly transparent that its latest beer was an “awesome marketing stunt”, Heineken revealed Heineken Silver in Decentraland. 

Heineken’s virtual beer

Heineken was quick to remind people that you can’t do much with a virtual product. Speaking of the marketing stunt, Heineken said, “Our virtual beer is made only from the freshest pixels: no malt, no hops, no yeast, no water, and also, no beer. The result? An unusual & inaccessible premium lager with a tech and meta finish that no one can enjoy.”

To further its ironic marketing joke, Heineken encouraged visitors to take a snapshot and post it with “a cool and relevant hashtag: #awesomeheinekenmarketingstunt.” 

P&G’s BeautySphere 

At CES 2022, Procter & Gamble revealed its own mini-metaverse experience, BeautySphere. The virtual storytelling world is P&G’s purpose-driven Responsible Beauty platform that aims to provide immersive and digital experiences to connect people with P&G brands, products and values. 

Through a desktop browser, users can explore content in BeautySphere that discusses P&Gs principles and commitments to inspiring positive change around the world, including sustainability, product design safety and inclusive beauty.

FMCG into the Metaverse 

When it comes to the metaverse, it’s important that brands fully understand how consumers behave; it’s almost guaranteed that consumers will have different behavioural patterns and spending habits within a digital environment. As the metaverse and metaverse technology continues to evolve, so will consumer behaviour. 

As technology evolves, so will brand experimentation. The tech boom we are witnessing will result in smoother consumer experiences in the metaverse, encouraging them to embrace the metaverse more openly. The metaverse will not take up time in their day, but become fully ingrained in everyday life. 

FMCG brands need to consider how and why they should enter the metaverse. The why is obvious—it’s the future. The how is less obvious, but with endless possibilities, there’s an answer. 

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How Gen Zs are Leading the Social Commerce Wave

April 22nd, 2022 by

A few years ago, researchers were desperately trying to figure out how they should market to millennials. Now, the spotlight has shifted to the first generation of truly digital natives: Generation Z. 

Gen Zs have grown up with the internet at their fingertips, and social media has been a constant throughout most of their lives. While many still consider Gen Zs to be the younger generation (some still are young), the oldest are now 26 and have access to their own disposable income. In addition to this, Gen Zs are now the largest generation globally, meaning they are soon to have the largest spending power. 

Let’s dive into how Gen Zs use social media and what they think about finances. 

Gen Z and social media

Growing up with the internet and social media, Gen Zs spend up to 8 hours per day online. This has resulted in many brands opting to use social media as their main marketing channel to engage the Gen Z audience. 

Gen Z uses social media to find inspiration, discover and research products, and create deeper connections with their favourite brands. Influencers have a very large influence over their purchasing decisions, as do customer reviews—82% of Gen Z said that peer reviews were extremely important to them when shopping online. 

Gen Z and social media

Influencer marketing is arguably the most influential social media marketing method for Gen Zs, with 65% having made a purchase directly following an influencer’s recommendation. 

TikTok has been confirmed as Gen Z’s favourite social media platform, taking over Snapchat and Instagram—Facebook and Twitter aren’t really in the running here. The average TikTok user opens the platform 19 times per day, and Gen Z users spend an average of 90 minutes per day on TikTok. 

Gen Z and finance 

Imagen InsightsBrutally Honest Gen Z Report revealed that money and finances are Gen Z’s biggest concern for the year. Despite this, Gen Z’s spending power is standing around £245 billion—and that’s not including the influence younger Gen Zs have on their parents. This is expected to grow to £25 trillion by 2030 as all of Gen Z enter the workforce. 

As of 2021, 57% of Gen Zs have a preference for mobile payments. Piper Sandler’s semi-annual survey revealed that Apple Pay is now Gen Z’s preferred mobile payment platform, taking over Venmo, PayPal and CashApp. 

Gen Z and Finance

Another popular payment method with Gen Z is buy now, pay later (BNPL). In the UK, 75% of BNPL users are aged between 18 and 36. BNPL is particularly popular with those Gen Zs who are just starting out in their careers, and don’t have access to a large amount of disposable income.

Gen Z and social commerce

If you put social media and finance together, you get the growing purchasing channel, social commerce. Social commerce is where social platforms offer their own purchasing channels, so users are able to buy products within the app itself. Almost all social platforms now offer some form of social commerce, but TikTok is leading the charge. 

TikTok commerce

TikTok has completely changed the way people discover and purchase products. Social commerce has been a trend for a while, but it didn’t pick up its current level of popularity until TikTok came along. 

The adoption of social commerce is a combination of the popularity of TikTok and Gen Z’s preference for mobile payments. The hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has over 11 billion views, and has been the driving force behind beauty, food and book sales. 

Tiktok Commerce

TikTok offers brands, influencers and consumers different commerce methods to choose from. Brands and influencers can tag products within their TikToks with a TikTok basket, and within TikTok Lives, hosts can list all products mentioned within the basket, and pin products currently being spoken about on the screen.  

Within TikTok Shop, users have access to full product details, shipping choices, returns information, and even an in-app customer service representative. 

In addition to this, L’Oreal UK and Ireland has just launched a #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt campaign, which will offer UK users the chance to purchase creator-endorsed product selection boxes directly within the app, combining the buying power of TikTok and the influence of creators.

Shopify integrations 

To further enhance social commerce activities, Shopify has created Linkpop, a platform designed to help creators sell products directly from their Linkpop page. Linkpop allows creators and Shopify merchants to include important links on their Shopify page and launch storefronts, where they can sell directly to their audiences on the platforms they focus on. 

Shopify integrations

Linkpop includes built-in analytics tools that merchants can use to understand how customers engage with their page. They can view metrics such as link clicks and unique visitors. 

As merchants and creators continue to engage their audiences across different platforms, Linkpop offers them a central location across all touch-points. Linkpop users put their Linkpop page in their social profile biographies, meaning audience members from different platforms will have access to a merchant’s store. 

The development of this platform recognises the power social media has when it comes to purchasing decisions. 

Livestream shopping

Livestream shopping has become incredibly popular over the past couple of years. Although it is booming in China, the West has been slower to adopt the shopping channel. 

Livestream selling—also known as live commerce—allows brands to sell items directly to customers through a live broadcasted video that’s supported with audience participation through messenger and chat tools and ordering functionality. 

Live commerce streams are often hosted by an employee ambassador or celebrities and influencers. Live commerce is a natural progression of traditional TV shopping channels—following the gradual takeover social media has had over television. 

Many platforms offer their own forms of live commerce (TikTok has the most developed), but other online retailers have developed their own live commerce platforms, such as Amazon with Amazon Live. 

For Gen Z, livestream shopping has grown in popularity. Not only does it provide them with a practical demonstration of the products, but allows them to receive immediate answers and recommendations from hosts—something that is incredibly important in their purchasing decisions. As of 2021, around 40% of Gen Z are open to making purchases through live commerce. 

The future of social commerce

As Gen Z continues to age, join the workforce and earn disposable incomes, we anticipate that social commerce will continue to grow into a seamless purchasing experience, through from discovery to purchase to customer service. 

Social commerce presents Gen Z with an incredibly easy purchasing journey—something that is incredibly important in their buying decision. Many Gen Z will cancel a purchase order if the checkout is complicated, but with everything within one location, the days of confusing checkouts are behind us. 

China has proven that social commerce can be (and is) a huge success, and the West is slowly catching up. As social platforms continue to develop their commerce capabilities, we dare to say social commerce could become the go-to purchasing channel. 

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A Timeline of Twitter vs Elon Musk

April 22nd, 2022 by

In case you missed it, Twitter and Elon Musk have been in cahoots. While the relationship between the two can be described as tumultuous at best, it has just taken a relatively sour turn. If you’ve had trouble keeping up with the events (with daily developments, we’re not surprised), we’ve got your back. 

With nearly 83 million Twitter followers, Musk is a popular user and has been vocal in his criticism of the platform’s “restrictions” on free speech and the measures Twitter has taken to restrict accounts that spread misinformation or simplify rhetoric and hate speech. 

For the full lowdown on the Twitter versus Elon Musk palaver, check out our complete timeline below. 

31 January 

Although the bulk of this tension hit in April, the beginnings actually go back to January. It has recently been revealed that Musk began buying Twitter shares on 31st January on an “almost daily” basis.

4 April 

After buying shares on a daily basis, Musk reported his 9% stake in Twitter. This is where the story goes public, as a 9% share made Musk Twitter’s largest shareholder. 

It was also on 4th April that Musk shared a poll on Twitter, asking whether users wanted an edit button. 

Interestingly, Twitter soon confirmed that it has been working on an edit button since December 2021, and that its announcement and development had nothing to do with Musks’ tweet.

5 April 

Almost immediately after his announcement of holding 9% shares, Twitter offers Musk a seat on its board. 

Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announces Musk’s appointment to the board via a tweet. The offer came under the condition that Musk wouldn’t purchase more than 14.9% of Twitter’s remaining stock. 

Musk accepted this offer, saying he was looking forward to making “significant improvements to Twitter.”

8 April 

Three days later, Vanguard Group revealed it actually has a 10.3% stake in Twitter, meaning Musk isn’t the biggest shareholder anymore. 

9 & 10 April 

On the day Musk was supposed to join Twitter’s board, he declined the offer on 9th April. The next day, Agarwal tweets an announcement that Musk has declined the board offer. 

12 April 

Twitter investor Marc Bain Rasella files a lawsuit against Musk alleging that Musk failed to report his Twitter share purchases to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within 10 days, meaning investors who sold their shares potentially missed out on gains they could have had when his purchase became public, as the share value increased. 

It’s also alleged that the delay in stock purchase disclosure meant Musk saved $143 million at the time, buying Twitter stock at a lower price. 

14 April 

Musk offers $43 billion (£31.58 billion) to buy Twitter and take the company private. In a letter within the SEC filing for the offer to buy Twitter, Musk said he “would need to reconsider [his] position as a shareholder” if the offer was not accepted. 

Not long after the announcement, Twitter’s stock fell 1.7%, to a price of $45.08—less than what Musk offered per share in his bid ($54.20).

15 April 

Twitter announced its board of directors will be employing a “poison pill” deterrent against Musk’s bid. 

A poison pill strategy is when current shareholders are allowed to purchase more shares at a discounted price to reduce the ownership interest of the person trying to takeover. 

Twitter’s poison pill strategy is expected to kick in if Musk’s stake in Twitter increases to 15% or higher.

18 April 

Twitter confirms it will be implementing its poison pill strategy and filed a Form 8-K with the SEC. The strategy confirms that all shareholders (bar Musk) will be able to buy more shares at the discounted price of $210.

25 April

Elon Musk has reached a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter. At first, Twitter’s board was opposed to the takeover and considered implementing a poison pill, but this reluctance has faded following Musk’s confirmation of a funding package for the deal—$21 billion of his own money, alongside funding from other financial institutions. 

26 April

Following the news that Elon Musk now owns Twitter, Twitter users have been tweeting their opinions about the takeover. While some are excited to see how Elon will improve the “free speech” of the platform, others are wary and consider the purchase a waste of valuable money that could have been spent elsewhere. 

If Elon Musk owned Twitter… 

Musk has repeatedly criticised Twitter for not achieving its “societal imperative” to act as a “platform for free speech around the world.” Musk believes that Twitter “needs to be transformed as a private company” in order to continue serving as a “de facto public town square” and “ahere to free speech principles” to avoid undermining democracy. 

Musk’s main issue seems to be with Twitter’s tweet sorting policy. In a TED Talk, he said that “Twitter should match the laws of the country,” which would avoid tweets being demoted based on localised free speech policies.

In addition, Musk has also promised “a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article and track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor and publication.” 

However, in reality, Musk’s idea of a perfect “free speech” platform simply wouldn’t work. Applying a free speech format to social media without suitable moderations would result in an influx of spam, pornography, hate speech, misinformation, conspiracies and violent incitement that would absolutely drive away advertisers. 

We understand where Musk is coming from when he demands more transparency from platforms disclosing how their algorithms rank and moderate content, but having a platform constrained only by local law makes no sense. 

One of the main criticisms for all social media platforms is their inability to protect users from harmful content and hate speech. A platform dedicated to “free speech” would likely suffer from an unestablished line between the two. 

Unfortunately for Musk’s sake, we don’t think his entry into the social media industry would help any of these already prevalent issues. 

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The Power of FoodTok

April 18th, 2022 by

TikTok has become a hub for all sorts of communities, interests and niches. Arguably, the community that dominates TikTok is foodies. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, TikTok became a go-to destination for not only entertainment, but for learning. From food crazes including banana bread (we made at least 100 loaves), cloud bread, whipped ice coffee and pancake cereal, just to name a few, FoodTok has resulted in thousands of new creators that food, drinks and FMCG brands can partner with. 

The History of FoodTok

To date, the hashtag #FoodTikTok has over 65.6 billion views. But how did FoodTok become such a success on the platform? 

While the platform had been gaining popularity before the pandemic, food content exploded on TikTok during the first 2020 pandemic lockdown. While millions of people were bored at home with not much to do, many took to TikTok to share their favourite drink, meal and dessert recipes. It was at this time we saw the boom in banana bread, whipped coffee, cloud bread, chlorophyll water and the famous feta pasta. 

FoodTok became such a success due to its authenticity. The community wasn’t run by professional chefs and bakers, but by real people sharing their favourite recipes. There was no pressure to provide beautifully presented Michelin Star dishes, just tasty food that was made from a love of food. 

Due to the platform growing in popularity for watchers and creators, a large portion of food content succeeded in going viral. The fun of FoodTok combined with the temptation of a viral hit led to more users recreating trending foods and encouraged new creators to take their share of the FoodTok pie. 

The Impact of FoodTok

The impact of FoodTok on the platform has been huge. Let’s talk stats for a minute. 

As we’ve already mentioned, #FoodTikTok has over 65.6 billion views, but it also has a seemingly endless amount of user-generated content—we haven’t even been able to find the bottom of the hashtag. 

FoodTok’s real impact can be shown through Little Moons’ success in the UK. In 2020, Little Moons joined TikTok and went viral, resulting in over 350M views on the platform. As a result, the demand for these little mochi balls resulted in boxes constantly being sold out in various retailers, and sales were boosted by over 2000%. 

@feelgoodfoodie Baked feta pasta with cherry tomatoes!! Recipe on blog • Inspired by @grilledcheesesocial 😘 #tiktokpartner #LearnOnTikTok #fetapasta #recipes ♬ original sound – Feel Good Foodie

In addition, FoodTok has had a huge impact on the sales of individual ingredients, depending on the recipe currently trending; during the feta pasta trend, feta sales grew 62%. 

Given its obvious impact in raising awareness and genuinely driving sales, FoodTok is a great place for both brands and creators to make a name for themselves. 

FoodTok creators

FoodTok has created a whole new breed of food content creators. Contrary to the perfected-plates seen on Instagram, TikTok foodies share their techniques and recipes for the sake of loving cooking. It’s no secret that TikTok is centred around authenticity, and this is evident in the food content on the platform. While some food content on TikTok is still high-quality and definitely not beginner-proof (we’re talking about menwiththepot), most food content is easily replicable at home, paving the way for more TikTok food creators.

@menwiththepot Soo much Meat🔥 Dirty Burger😱 #menwiththepot #foodporn #asmr #fyp #foryou #nature #forest #cooking #food #fire ♬ original sound – menwiththepot

Heritage Cooking 

Many TikTok food creators are using TikTok as a means to reconnect with their family heritage and culture. Particularly with Asian food creators, TikTok has been a central platform for them to discover, trial and share traditional and fusion meals. 

Tina Choi (doobydobap on TikTok) has become one of FoodTok’s most popular creators. With her ASMR-style videos, she shares traditional Korean dishes, sometimes with a modern twist. She didn’t start her TikTok channel for the purpose of becoming a creator—her initial reason was to use TikTok as a portfolio she could use to apply to recipe development positions as a result of a lifetime of loving food. 

Her popularity has come as a result of posting content that is educational and accessible for her audience to recreate themselves. 

@doobydobap Dakgangjeung / korean fried chicken #korean #friedchicken #mukbang #asmr ♬ original sound – Tina 최

Tway Nguyen (twaydabae on TikTok) attended culinary school in America, but has embraced her Vietnamese heritage by creating inventive fusion dishes. Tway uses her TikTok to celebrate Vietnamese culture, and wants to help her community find a home-away-from-home with her recipes. 

@twaydabae Written recipe is on my Instagram (twaydabae) #learnontiktok #recipevideo #easyrecipe ♬ original sound – twaydabae

The Future of FoodTok

In March, grocery delivery service Instacart announced a product integration feature that allows consumers to order ingredients for delivery through TikTok. Shoppable Recipes allow TikTok food creators to link Instacart grocery lists to their video content. Although the feature isn’t available to all food creators yet, it will be rolled out to all within the coming year. 

Considering the size of the FoodTok community, and coming integrations that help creators share their recipes with audiences, we expect TikTok to become even more of a food hub. 

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The Best Gaming and Non-Endemic Campaigns of All Time

April 4th, 2022 by

A great gaming campaign will stick with players and gaming fans for years. Some of the best gaming campaigns engage the gaming community on a personal level, making them laugh, pulling their heart strings and always keeping things interesting. 

We’ve pulled together a list of our favourite gaming and non-endemic gaming campaigns of all time. 

Best Gaming Campaigns of All Time 

PS5 London Underground Takeover

As part of the UK launch for the PS5 console, Sony rebranded a number of London Underground stations. Sony replaced the roundel London Underground signs at Oxford Circus with the classic PlayStation face buttons. Inside, the station walls of the Bakerloo, Victoria and Central Line platforms were changed to include the cross, square and triangle motifs, alongside the classing London Underground circle. 

PS5 London Underground Takeover

Four other stations were also temporarily rebranded with PlayStation names. Mile End became Miles End (referencing Spider-Man: Miles Morales), Lancaster Gate became Ratchet and Clankaster Gate, Seven Sisters became Gran Turismo 7 Sisters, and West Ham was renamed Horizon Forbidden West Ham. 

Gate

Call of Duty: Warzone

To kick off Season 3, COD Warzone released a star-studded live action trailer. The trailer showed huge names including Jack Harlow, Saweetie, Jack Grealish, AJ Tracey, just to name a few. Centred around the phrase “Squad Up the World,” the scenes of the stars playing the game, alternating with them within the game itself (and with the help of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck in the background) showed how immersive and interactive the game is. 

Xbox Series X Global Takeover 

Microsoft launched its Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S with a series of live and virtual global activations. In the UK, a live stream was hosted on Twitch to countdown to the launch of the consoles. The stream featured a monolith-installation which displayed a countdown, graphics that were inspired by classic games, and user-generated content. 

In Canada, a 40-foot console floating in Toronto Harbour showcased local artists’ dream interpretations. Similarly in the US, a similarly sized monolith featured local artists’ dream-work imagery in Washington State.

The Best Non-Endemic Gaming Campaigns of All Time

Pringles: Meet Frank

In a bid to become the number one gaming snack in Europe, Pringles created the character Frank. To make a big impact in an authentic way, the zombie Frank burst out of the game West of Dead, enticed by the pop of a can of Pringles. Blurring the lines between advertising and entertainment, Frank played some games, met popular streamers and engaged with Twitch communities. 

The campaign premiered in the UK in collaboration with Leahviathan who popped a can of Pringles in a Twitch live stream to attract the zombie to her room. 

Gen.G: Team Bumble

Esports organisation Gen.G created Team Bumble—an all-female professional Fortnite team. The team was launched in collaboration with matchmaking/networking app Bumble. Gen.G released a four-part video series called Play Like a Girl, and invited influencers to play with and get to know the members of Team Bumble. 

Gen.G Team Bumble

The campaign normalised women’s presence in the pro-gaming world—something that is important within the esports space. The more esports fans and gamers that realise women have a place within gaming helps the industry become less toxic. 

Greenpeace: Los Santos +3ºC

In hopes to raise awareness about the impending climate disaster, Greenpeace hijacked Los Santos—one of the most well-known cities in GTA. Greenpeace altered Los Santos to show the real-world effects climate change could have. Players could explore the altered Los Santos +3ºC map on the Kings Roleplay server. 

In the experience, explorers witnessed the submergence of the Santa Monica Pier, displacements of residents and the disappearance of the California coast. Characters had to wear face masks while completing various missions, including delivering drinking water and rescuing climate refugees. The campaign included links to donation pages where GTA fans could also sign a Greenpeace petition pressuring governments to declare a climate emergency. 

Heinz: Heinz Hidden Spots

To help Call of Duty: Warzone players enjoy a mid-game meal, Heinz mapped out safe spaces within the Warzone Caldera map that players could hide out in while they were eating. 

Heinz partnered with Activision on the campaign and promoted it with a 30-second spot that showed a gamer eating a burger while playing Warzone, only to be killed in the game. 

Heinz teamed up with YouTube ad Twitch streamers who also shared prime locations to snack safely in-game. The campaign eventually expanded beyond Warzone to include other games including Fortnite, PUBG and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. 

What’s next for Esports?

Gaming is set to continue integrating into popular culture, meaning global investors, brands, media outlets and consumers are keenly paying attention to the rise of esports. The shift of gaming and esports’ popularity has been driven by championing mainstream celebrities such as Michael Jordan, Drake and DJ Marshmello. 

The growth of esports has cultivated so quickly largely due to the social media component of livestreaming and gaming. Video-gaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube gaming allow fans to build direct connections to teams and players, while other social platforms help nourish these connections. 

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Building a Community on Twitch

March 15th, 2022 by

Twitch has become a powerful platform for community building, for both brands and creators. Twitch is the world’s leading interactive live streaming platform. While it began as a platform for gamers to livestream their favourite latest releases or cult classic games, it has since evolved into a home for a variety of content—from cooking and sports, to fashion and beauty, to art and more. You name it, there’s a Twitch community for it. 

At any given moment on Twitch, there are at least 2.5 million users active on the platform. Around one third of Twitch’s regular audience base watch a combination of gaming and non-gaming content—the portion watching only non-gaming content is also growing at a rapid rate. In the past three years, non-gaming content on Twitch has quadrupled. This has resulted in the platform creating more categories specifically for non-gaming content, including Sports, Music and Just Chatting—which has become Twitch’s biggest non-gaming category. 

The variety of streaming categories available on Twitch has allowed streamers to broaden their audience reach and content. The interactions available on Twitch not only allow viewers to connect with people who have similar interests, but the streamers themselves. The most successful streamers on Twitch have appreciated this connection, and continue to encourage their established and growing audiences to interact with them and others viewing through the Twitch Chat—the chatbox connected to the livestream.  

Building a community with Twitch Chat 

Twitch Chat is one of the most powerful community building tools. It is a communication tool that viewers can use to express enjoyment, ask questions, and joke with streamers and each other. This consistent interaction helps build emotional bonds from viewers and from streamers. As streamers feel connected to their community, they are able to be more vulnerable and genuine with their audiences—something that the Just Chatting category lends itself to. 

The long-form content format of Twitch allows streamers and viewers to connect on a deeper level when compared to other platforms. Twitch is specifically designed for viewer interactions, and streamers are able to provide valuable content for niche topics, while maintaining an overarching conversation that interests wider audiences—something other platforms are restricted from doing due to character limits or select content formats. 

Giving back to a community

With the ease of communicating directly with an audience, many streamers create experiences that will “give back” to their audiences. These include giveaways, competitions, shoutouts, making exclusive NFTs, or even the chance to have a professional music producer produce a song for budding artists. 

Being able to give back to a community further strengthens the bond between streamer and audience. Audiences feel appreciated when a streamer gives back to their community, which increases their emotional attachment. 

Partnering with brands on Twitch

Streamers on Twitch are loyal to their audiences. When partnering with brands, they not only consider how a brand will benefit them and their influence, but also what their audiences will genuinely enjoy and use. Many streamers consider how a brand will translate their brand partnership creative ideas to work specifically with Twitch—what works on Instagram or TikTok won’t work as well on Twitch. 

Live interactions on Twitch allow streamers (and brands) to be more creative with their promotional content. Streamers can bounce off audience responses and create a buzz around a product, campaign or new release in real-time. 

From a brand perspective, the communities on Twitch are an incredible opportunity. Dedicated streamers have built incredibly loyal and engaged audiences of all sizes. Brands should consider finding streamers that create high-quality content over high-quantity, as these streamers are likely to have the audiences that are most likely to be influenced.

The future of livestreaming 

Livestreaming is set to become significantly more integrated into everyday lives—something that streamers have been able to confirm with growing audiences and business opportunities. As more brands realise the potential behind having a live audience response, brand partnership integrations are likely to become more creative and engaging to audiences. 

As Twitch continues to develop its content categories, there will soon (if not already) be a place or streamer for every brand. Whether a brand wants to build a community of its own, or connect to an audience through a streamer, in 2022 we will see plenty more opportunities for brands to get involved with Twitch communities. 

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Weekly Marketing News, 18th February 2022

February 18th, 2022 by

Instagram adds likes to Stories, TikTok reveals new Brand Safety Center, HSBC enters gaming, get “slugging” with Vaseline, Playstation plants trees, and Primark collabs with Greggs?!

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. Instagram adds likes to Stories

Instagram adds likes to Stories

Instagram has added likes to Instagram Stories. The new feature allows users to engage with creators and friends without having to start a conversation. Users can like Stories by tapping a new heart icon at the bottom of the Stories view within the app. Story likes are not public; creators will be able to view their Story likes in their Story insights, with a small heart icon added next to the viewers’ name in the view listing. (Via Social Media Today)

2. TikTok launches new Brand Safety Center 

TikTok launches new Brand Safety Center

TikTok has announced the launch of a new Brand Safety Center, which will act as a reference point for its various brand safety resources and guides. The new Center provides links to various resources and reports, including TikTok’s transparency updates, its platform rules, and an overview of its key pillars for brand safety. (Via Social Media Today)

PARTNERSHIP NEWS

3. ONE Esports partners with HSBC

ONE Esports partners with HSBC

Esports media platform ONE Esports has partnered with international banking and financial services company HSBC. The partnership will introduce a project across Malaysia and Indonesia and will see HSBC partner with ONE Esports on a number of community tournaments and at least one major event in 2022. (Via Esports Insider)

SOCIAL TRENDS

4. The rise of slugging

The rise of slugging

A recent beauty trend taking over social media (predominantly TikTok) is slugging. Slugging is when someone applies a petroleum-heavy emollient, like Vaseline, to the face after completing a skin-care routine and rinses it off with a gentle cleanser the following day. The trend has put Vaseline back on the beauty map, despite the brand having a lowkey social presence. (Via The Cut

WORK WE LIKE

5. PlayStation to plant hundreds of thousands of trees 

PlayStation is going to plant hundreds of thousands of trees in the US, UK, France, Germany, Canada and New Zealand as part of the Horizon: Forbidden West launch. The ‘Forests’ initiative reflects the themes of the game and launch plans are designed to encourage players to complete trophies and tasks, and in return PlayStation will plant trees, and help create and restore natural habitats. (Via Games Industry)

6. Greggs and Primark to launch fashion range

Greggs and Primark to launch fashion range

Primark has announced it will be launching an exclusive clothing range with Greggs, sparking a mixed response on social media. A limited-edition, 11-piece clothing collection will be available in 60 Primark stores later this month. Greggs will also open a 130-seater café in Primark’s flagship Birmingham store. (Via BBC)

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Posted in Industry Trends, Influencer News, News, Social Trends

Weekly Marketing News, 11th February 2022

February 15th, 2022 by

YouTube launches NFTs, TikTok made me buy it on Amazon, social media takes up 70% of mobile usage, NFL and FaZe Clan team up again, and Adidas offers 43 new styles of support. 

What is this?

Each week, Socially Powerful get together and share industry news and what is inspiring us from The World of Social Media, Advertising, Influencer Marketing, Gaming and more…

PLATFORM NEWS

1. YouTube launches NFTs

YouTube is launching new creator tools to expand monetization, including allowing creators to sell content as NFTs so fans can “own” videos. The new monetization method is being introduced to help creators build deeper relationships with their fans, and allow new collaborations in ways that weren’t possible before. (Via NBC News)

2. TikTok drives Amazon beauty sales

TikTok drives Amazon beauty sales

For anyone who spends time following top TikTok beauty trends, browsing Amazon’s best seller list will look familiar. The strength of the TikTok-Amazon beauty pipeline is now supported by a new report from Similarweb tracking product sales. Results show that beauty products that went viral on TikTok earned an average of 85.3% month-on-month sales growth on Amazon, surpassing the averages for their respective categories. (Via Glossy)

3. Social media takes up 70% of mobile usage

Social media takes up 70% of mobile usage

Mobile and social media go hand-in-hand—a statement supported by App Annie’s 2022 “State of Mobile” report. The report showed that around 70% of the total time that people spent on their phones had something or the other to do with social media, and much of this growth has been driven by TikTok which has seen an exponential increase in its popularity over the past three to four years for the most part. (Via Digital Information World)

INFLUENCER NEWS 

4. FaZe Clan announces NFL collaboration ahead of Super Bowl

FaZe Clan announces NFL collaboration ahead of Super Bowl

The two companies will host a series of content activations, such as a flag-football game between FaZe Clan members and NFL talent. Additionally, FaZe Clan and the NFL will create co-branded content. The NFL and FAZe Clan first partnered together in 2019, and hope their ongoing relationship will include first-ever activations and initiatives throughout the 2022-2023 season aimed at engaging our casual Gen Z fans. (Via Esports Insider

WORK WE LIKE

5. Adidas: Support is Everything

 

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A post shared by adidas Women (@adidaswomen)

Adidas has launched an inclusive sports bra line designed by an all-woman team. And as part of the campaign, the brand tweeted 25 different pairs of breasts in a variety of shapes and sizes instead of sharing photos of the newly engineered sports bras. The line is intended to better reflect people’s different shapes, styles, and preferences and consists of 43 new styles and is available in a more inclusive size range. (Via Glamour

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Fashion in the Metaverse: What will it look like?

February 15th, 2022 by

The Metaverse is well and truly on its way. Although the ultimate version is still a work-in-progress, we have begun to see metaverse platforms begin offering brands of all industries the opportunities to create exceptional digital experiences. One industry in particular has taken the exciting digital innovations and opportunities in its stride: the fashion industry. 

The backbone of fashion is expression and creativity. The limitless possibilities of the metaverse means fashion brands and consumers can express themselves in ways they never thought possible. While this does mean digital avatars of consumers could involve scales, wings, colourful skins and even different species, it also means these avatars can be dressed in anything—from a basic t-shirt and jeans combo to an extravagant, digitally-enhanced flowing gown. 

Given these exciting developments, we wonder what the future of fashion in the metaverse looks like.

Digital fashion

Digital fashion, while not an entirely new concept, is still in its infancy. London Fashion Week only recently unveiled its first ever purely digital ready-to-wear line from Auroboros—a fashion house that merges science and technology with physical couture in a digital form. In addition, brands have been creating digital versions of popular items for video games and social media avatars (think the Snapchat Bitmoji) for years. 

digital fashion

Digital clothing has been a key commerce trend for fashion brands in recent years. Considering Gucci sold a virtual bag for $4,000 on Roblox last year, it’s clear there’s a rising demand for digital items. With social media platforms developing their NFT creating and purchasing capabilities, it’s only a matter of time before we see social media avatars dressed in personal NFT digital garments—think of the Meta wardrobe possibilities. 

digital fashion 2

Virtual fashion shows

The opportunities for fashion within the metaverse go beyond creating digital garments, skins and avatars. As metaverse platforms continue to expand, the opportunity for in-verse experiences rises. Example: the Metaverse Fashion Week. 

Metaverse platform Decentraland will be hosting its first Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW), starting 24th March for four days. The event will see dozens of brands and thousands of visitors virtually experience fashion shows, attend live music sessions at branded after parties, and buy and wear digital clothing directly from catwalk avatars. 

With virtual showrooms, stores, panels, talks, and events, it’s set to be an extravagant affair. HUGO (from the newly rebranded HUGO BOSS), has partnered with Boson Protocol to enable visitors to buy physical HUGO products within the metaverse. 

At the event, virtual avatars will be walking the runways in shoppable and wearable items. This means that attendees will be able to wear digital items within Decentraland—and some of the items will have a physical twin. This poses the opportunity for the practical use of NFTs. 

A visitor could buy a digital item via an NFT and wear it immediately on their avatar. Then, they can choose to sell the item or redeem the NFT to receive the physical version. 

Virtual brand spaces

Following on from virtual fashion shows, fashion brands can purchase their own digital plots of land within metaverse platforms to have a permanent digital brand experience. Fashion brands can purchase and develop digital land from platforms such as Decentraland or The Sandbox to provide exciting experiences for younger audiences. 

Gucci Garden Experienece

Gucci has recently purchased digital real estate within The Sandbox to expand on its metaverse presence for its Gen Z-focused platform Gucci Vault. The collaboration will create a fashion experience based on Gucci Vault, described as an experimental space to house future metaverse projects. 

Having a permanent virtual space will be an investment for fashion brands. Virtual visitors can come and go as they please, purchase NFTs or digital items, and experience the brand in a new way. 

AR fashion shows

While we’ve covered the potential for metaverse fashion shows, there is also the possibility of AR fashion shows. Although the technology isn’t quite there yet, it is possible that in-person fashion shows could have a virtual twist. 

AR fashion shows

At in-person shows, attendees could also experience a digital catwalk by using AR technology. In between physical catwalk models, the space could be filled with a virtual model displaying a digital RTW item. Attendees could purchase this item, and wear it virtually or redeem an NFT to receive the real life version. 

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Live Shopping Trends for 2022

February 4th, 2022 by

The growth of live commerce over the past two years has been exponential. We have seen huge brands including Levi’s, Samsung, Sephora, Charlotte Tilbury and Very UK implement live commerce in one way or another, hosting shoppable events at key stages throughout the years. 

As customers were unable to visit stores or socialise in person as a result of various stay at home orders, many began turning to live commerce as a solution. Live commerce provided an accessible location for consumers to discover new products while being entertained. 

Live commerce has been booming in China since 2016, and the West is finally catching up with the hype. As Western brands continue to adapt live commerce to suit their brand image and values, and customer needs, online shopping is set to change for good. With McKinsey reporting that live commerce will make up 20% of global ecommerce sales by 2026, live shopping is set to grow exponentially in 2022. 

We have pulled together our trend predictions for live shopping in 2022. 

Western markets will adapt the live shopping format to suit consumer shopping habits

The nature of live commerce is energetic and entertaining, albeit a little chaotic. This chaos may not suit the image of many brands, making them wary of adopting the new shopping channel. 

However, in 2021 we saw brands of all sizes and industries rewrite the live shopping rules to suit their brand image. With different set-ups and hosts (including A-List celebrities and influencers), brands are able to create a complete shopping experience. Using demonstrations, walk-throughs and try-ons, hosts are able to show exactly how products work and how they will improve the viewer’s life. 

In 2022, we expect to see brands continue experimenting with the parameters of live commerce, and push creative concepts to ensure an exciting and engaging experience that perfectly reflects the brand. 

Live commerce will be adopted by more industries and brands of different sizes

Typically, live commerce has been quickly adopted by fashion and beauty brands as the format lends itself to styling sessions, tutorials, runways and product highlights. In 2022, we expect to see more industries—including FMCG, wellness and tech—consider how the channel will positively impact their business. 

As more social platforms offer live commerce features, the channel has become significantly more accessible to brands of all sizes. Smaller brands are able to host low-cost live commerce streams to grow their presence. The ease of access will eventually turn live commerce into a mainstream feature consumers enjoy and expect. 

Live commerce will become an always on approach

Previously, brands have used live commerce to support their efforts at key moments in the year (think Black Friday and Christmas). In 2022, we expect to see brands integrating live shopping as a regular occurrence in their overall marketing strategies. Brands will begin using the format for regular content, as well as one-off events. 

Live shopping will connect the online and offline commerce worlds 

It’s relatively rare brands are able to balance incredible experiences online and offline. Brands usually focus on having either an offline presence with experiential in-store experiences, or have a highly digitalized and interactive online experience. With live commerce, brands are now able to do both. 

Utilising live commerce means brands can fuse together online and offline commerce by using their stores for online events. Using flagship stores as venues creates a completely immersive shopping experience. Expanding from this combination, we anticipate that stores will eventually host their own live commerce experiences where customers can virtually try on styles, or even have a personal styling session from home. 

Brands will have dedicated studios for live commerce content

Video content has taken over as the preferred content choice for consumers. In order to provide consistent, high quality content, we expect brands to create their own studios for filming live video content. With a dedicated space, brands can invite influencers, designers or professionals to their studios to host live content. Having a studio means series and episodes can be produced and broadcast from the same location, helping maintain a consistent theme. 

Brands will be experimental with live commerce hosts

Hosts can make or break live commerce experiences. Currently, most brands have enlisted influencers or celebrities to host live content. In coming months, we expect to see brands getting creative with their hosts. 

Authenticity is key to consumers, and what better way to be authentic than to have someone within your business host or co-host a livestream? Employees are likely the most educated on your brand’s products and services, so they will be able to accurately and enthusiastically promote them. 

Being experimental with hosts also poses a great opportunity for brands to connect with their communities. Considering the rise in UGC and community-led initiatives, it’s not out of the question that we’ll see loyal customers host live streams. 

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