Picks of the Week: May 7, 2019
Strategic Planning Coordinator
Lush UK Deletes Social Media
Recently Lush, a UK cosmetics brand, announced that they would be deleting their UK social media channels. Lush mentioned that they are tired of fighting with algorithms and don’t want to pay to appear in newsfeeds. As we all now know, the Instagram algorithm can make it difficult for brands to reach audiences without paying for optimization through Instagram. As such, despite their 570,000 followers on IG, 200,000 on Twitter and 400,000 on Facebook, they will be deleting their accounts in the UK. But please note, they will continue with their influencer marketing, and North American accounts will remain the same, instead they will be focusing on their website/live chat, and will be pushing the #LushCommunity hashtag.
This is a really bold move for a brand in 2019 given the importance of a social media strategy in this digital landscape, so a lot of people are wondering why they are even doing this – perhaps it is a publicity stunt, or an effort to try and repair their brand from some of the negative backlash they have received in the past year. Their UK fans are pretty upset with the decision, but given their large following and the reach it provides, it is highly unlikely that their accounts will be gone forever.
MassMutual Micro-Sizes the OOH Medium
Over this past weekend, MassMutual (or the “Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company”) is took over Churchill Downs as a lead sponsor of both the Kentucky Oaks on Friday and the Kentucky Derby on Sunday. This is the second year of MassMutual’s Kentucky Derby sponsorship—and this year, it’s thinking big SMALL.
Starting from the belief that “small acts of mutuality can make a big difference for your financial future”, MassMutual’s “Small Acts” encourage audiences to take a closer look at their finances – viewable though a lens only available to those at the Derby: binoculars. Through a series of miniature billboards hidden around key areas at the Derby (the stadium, the infield, the roof beams, etc.) fans can search out Mass Mutual’s “smallest OOH campaign in the world”.
“Small Acts” is a great example of a brand that has an authentic connection with the property, deeply understands the audience and the event itself, and seamlessly integrates their sponsorship in a way that enhances the experience.
NHL Power Players
In early April 2019, the NHL announced that they were launching the “Power Players Youth Advisory Board”; an initiative which empowers Gen Z hockey fans to shape aspects of the league. To be eligible for the board, applicants have to be between the ages of 13-17 and reside in North America. The board plans to meet at least quarterly and will be tasked to weigh in on a number league matters including marketing, community engagement, events, social content, etc. The NHL hopes these meetings provide insights into the types of content Gen Z consumers are looking for to keep their fan base from aging. CMO Heidi Browning said the following of the initiative, “We need to make it a priority to do our best to understand the attitudes and perceptions and desires of this extremely interesting age group (Gen Z) when it comes to media, technology and sports.”
This seems like a timely initiative from the NHL as many pro sports leagues are struggling to attract young fans. This proactive approach will provide them insights into what Gen Z fans want, allowing the league to expand on its current offerings. This new board also creates a new sponsorable asset for the league which could be quite attractive to several sponsorship categories.