As the election approaches, we have seen social media sites put measures in place to protest misinformation from being spread. Facebook’s approach to not allow new election advertisements was announced in September, while Instagram's United States update was released just yesterday. TikTok has teamed up with the Associated Press to give their users direct access to an interactive map which will showcase live events on Election Night. Brands are also becoming more innovative as marketing teams figure out how to work with social distancing guidelines but still have a create strategy, like with Jerry Garcia x Holistic Industries cannabis line launch. This past week our excitement continued to grow as the social media industry evolved further toward inclusion, creativity, and policing of misinformation.
Celebrity & Entertainment
Celebrities such as Vanessa Hudgens, Sofia Richie and Gabrielle Union have all posted the skincare product going viral, Loops. Launched in February, Loops is a brand of face masks, acclaimed for their simple and all natural ingredients, optimizing results in a short amount of time. Although the brand launched pre-Coronavirus, it’s label has swarmed the Instagram space as of recent, with their creative direction partnership with Emily Ratajakowski. Loops viral marketing skills utilizing celebrity endorsements shows the power of leveraging creators with high engagement, as the new brand is already verified with over 20,000 followers.
Jerry Garcia's Cannabis Line Collaborates with Holistic Industries
Holistic Industries has partnered with the late Jerry Garcia’s family to create a new cannabis line. The original marketing and launch campaign involved the largest gathering in the country for buying and consuming weed, the Outside Lands festival in San Francisco. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the event has been canceled. According to Adweek, the launch strategy shifted to an “Airstream trailer straight out of a Grateful Dead song that will tour California beginning next month.” After touring California, the trailer plans on making its way across the country. As for who will drive the Bertha (the trailer)? Holistic Industries hosted a contest and, while they did not release a name, they chose a San Francisco resident and long time Deadhead as the winner. This person even has Garcia’s hand tattooed on them, including his partially missing finger! Holistic’s CMO Kyle Barich said about the campaign and the contest, “We wanted to do something Covid-safe that would get attention and launch the brand in a style that would be very unique to the cannabis industry … It’s a tough time for job hunting, and we got some incredible videos from very talented people, probably the most overqualified group you could imagine.”
TikTok Partners with E-Commerce Site Shopify
To further expand their brand and usage, TikTok has recently partnered with e-commerce platform Shopify. Investing in social commerce is a big step for the viral video sharing app, as it will now allow for Shopify to reach a younger audience to ultimately drive sales. This partnership comes quickly after the app has a strong ability to drive merchant traffic and sales, an example being the participation of Walmart in the TikTok-Oracle deal. According to TechCrunch, in preparation for potential merchants, TikTok has already experimented and launched “Shop Now” buttons for brands’ video ads, and introduced shoppable components to hashtags with e-commerce features. On Shopify’s side, the app has been working to deliver tools that highlight small businesses, where they will have a chance to compete with larger companies. TikTok claims that in addition to these newly launched features, these are just the first step.
Facebook Stops New Election Advertisements
This week, Facebook has stopped all new advertising about the election on their platform. The social media site made this announcement in September, and it has since received extensive push back. Democratic political advertising consultant Tim Lim, who works with federal campaigns and social interest groups, said “To have these problems happen at the most crucial time before the election, it’s a real disservice to voters and it’s a real disservice to democracy.” Instagram, another social media site under the Facebook company, announced on Twitter on October 29th, “As we near the U.S. elections, we’re making changes to make it harder for people to come across possible misinformation on Instagram. Starting today, for people in the U.S. we will temporarily remove the “Recent” tab from hashtag pages. We’re doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election.”
TikTok Announces Their Election Integrity Measures
With four days left until Election Day, social media apps are ramping up their participation. TikTok has announced their latest integrity measures to ensure the mitigation of spreading misinformation regarding the election. In an attempt to get rid of false narratives on the app, TikTok is implementing new elements to its Election Guide Resource tab according to SocialMediaToday. This tab provides correct and updated information on polling locations, state voter registration requirements, and general resources about the election. In addition to these new features, TikTok has teamed up with the Associated Press to give direct access to an interactive map which will showcase live results and happenings of the race on the “for you” page. This will also be regulated by fact checkers before being showcased on the app. TikTok engages a much younger audience compared to other popular social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, due to a third of their users being under the age of 14. It will be interesting to see how effective these measures will be, given the fact that a portion of users are not of legal voting age.
Hulu’s “Bad Hair” Campaign Boosts Black Owned Brands
Hulu released their anticipated horror-comedy film, Bad Hair on October 23rd. Leading up to the release, Hulu launched a “Bad Hair” campaign which sent kits to Black influencers with content from Black owned businesses. According to Adweek, these kits included products like “90s-style press-on nails by She’s Pressed Nails; a hair care kit from Tracee Ellis Ross’ company Pattern Beauty; hair clips by 3 Woke Girlz; and hair wraps by Nicole Ari Parker. The kits also offer items that specifically tie into the film’s narrative, including a Cult Live hoodie and a folk tale about the Moss Haired Girl.” The kits are also tied into the film’s 80s theme, using colors like purple, pink, green, and yellow. Marcus Best, VP of Allied Moxy said, “Even though Bad Hair is a horror film, we didn’t want to have that sensibility with the mailer,” Best said. “We wanted to make it lively and upbeat.”
Snapchat Launches Virtual Reality Feature for Halloween
With Halloween around the corner, social media platforms are quickly creating ways to bring the spooky spirit to their apps. Due to the effects of COVID, Halloween celebrations are looking entirely different this year, with many transitioning to online platforms. Snapchat is taking advantage of this by launching a new set of 3D body scan lenses where they can detect and respond to movement in the frame, working with front and back camera lenses. It applies a variety of digital characters and costumes on you, allowing for more user engagement within the app. In a similar attempt, Tim Horton’s is using this new virtual reality feature in ads by providing users the ability to turn themselves into a box of Timbits.