Welcome to the eNewsletter you never subscribed to.
Fandom in the Social Age: Yesterday I sat in on an Adweek webinar on Lessons in Millennial Engagement from Tumblr, MTV and Coca-Cola. I’ve always been interested in the history of internet culture, from Lolcats to Anonymous to social media as a form of political discourse. This webinar was an interesting look into the evolution of internet culture in today’s social age. Tumblr, my personal favorite social media platform, has emerged as the social epicenter of fandom today because it gives users the ability to create, remix and recap the things that they’re most passionate about. Unlike many other social platforms, Tumblr does not try to contain its users in neat, white and blue boxes. Tumblr and its community of wonderfully weird individuals encourage and support creativity. This freedom of expression has allowed the birth of fandoms in a way that it totally unique to Tumblr.
Wanting to engage with this creative community of millennials, Coca-Cola teamed up with MTV for their Share a Coke Campaign. Coke specifically designed the Fandom Awards for the Tumblr community around the idea of “shippers.” A version of the word “relationship,” shippers are diehard fans of popular television shows who desperately want two characters to get together (if you listen to the “X-Files Files” podcast, you’ll be familiar with the message board shippers who scrutinize every close touch between Scully and Mulder). Shippers are especially active on Tumblr, sharing fan art, memes and gifs of their favorite television relationship hopefuls. Coke asked shippers to vote for their favorite couple to be awarded the “Ship of the Year” award at the MTV Fandom Awards. Coke and MTV used a cross-platform strategy, which included Tumblr promoted posts, a team of social influencers, on-air content and an experiential festival and sampling. The campaign went viral, resulting in 28 million votes.
What I love about this idea is that it was designed for not only a specific social media platform, but also a specific subset of individuals active on that platform. The idea appealed to millennials’ desire for authenticity because the Coke team found an activity they were already naturally participating in and expanded upon it. Sometimes the best ideas aren’t new.
Speaking of Tumblr: Look to the Nike Women account for inspiration. They have content exclusively created for Tumblr based on what’s currently trending in the platform—quirky gifs, colorful collages and detailed illustrations. This is the next step I would like to take in social. Instead of repurposing content across platforms, we should be creating different content for each.
Is Bernie Crazy?: Regardless of who you’re voting for in the upcoming primaries, there’s no denying the beauty of this website, created by the animation and digital storytelling agency Oxbow. True to Bernie’s trademark campaign style of sticking to the facts, the site boils down complex issues in a fun, engaging way.
Take That Airbnb!: This clever HomeAway ad, narrated by the delightful Nick Offerman, is a not-so-subtle poke at the sharing economy.
Girl Power: Vimeo announced Share the Screen, an initiative to fund, teach and promote female filmmakers.
Stay classy, nerds.