Reports Media & Marketing

Social media marketing is becoming its own cultural moment

Report by Hanna Kahlert and Ashleigh Millar
Cover image for Social media marketing is becoming its own cultural moment
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20,000 foot view:  Audiences are changing the ways they interact with entertainment, as well as how they respond to advertising and marketing designed to promote it. Audiences are increasingly creative and engage in lean-through behaviours, are less tolerant of ads, and want more authenticity in their digital social lives. Traditional marketing methods are struggling in this environment, however, campaigns that tap into creative behaviours and encourage audiences to participate can create cultural movements around the entertainment they are promoting. This turns an audience member into a cultural participant and part of the campaign itself. It also powerfully taps into the ‘fear of missing out’ of those who have not yet engaged with the entertainment being promoted.

Key insights 

               of consumers discover new TV content through social media adverts, far behind word-of-mouth at           
  • Social platforms            morphing from functional platforms for            posting and passive viewing to            platforms in their own right
  • This competition            forced companies that are active            these platforms to adapt their            and marketing practices to stay            top of new behavioural trends
  • Moreover, awareness-raising            on social platforms is beginning            run the risk of directly            for time and attention with            same entertainment that it is            to raise awareness of
  • Around half            the users aged            said they            skip ads online, ranging from            Snapchat weekly active users (WAUs),                       for Instagram and            for TikTok
  • The younger            is discovery-fuelled, wanting to participate            and contribute to their fandom            as well as being motivated            the ‘fear of missing out’            viral trends
  • As a            audiences are becoming the marketing            themselves without even realising it            mostly through participating in viral            and challenges
  • This new            on subliminal marketing avoids issues            the misrepresentation of paid sponsorship,            the impact of ad resistance,            resonates with the audience more            to the authenticity implied in            content

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Advertising Standards Authority, Aldi, Billboard, Don’t Worry Darling, Facebook, Facebook Video, Instagram, Kim Petras, Love Island, M&S, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Rotten Tomatoes, Sam Smith, Snapchat, Spotify, Stranger Things, Taylor Swift, Ticket to Paradise, TikTok, Twitter, Yeat, YouTube, Zebr

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