#writerscrawl2018 - The power of the # | DMA

Brand conversations; the good, the bad and the ugly.

As part of our #writerscrawl festival week, production company, Cherryduck, joined by Rebecca Abigail’s Head of Social, Kaitlin McKay provided their insight into the hashtag’s history, as well as a closer look at those who got it right, and those who got it oh-so-wrong.

‘The hashtag was created in 2007’ opened McKay on where it all started, quoting Twitter’s initial perception of the tool as ‘geeky’.

Who was the first to take on a hashtag campaign?

‘Audi braved it for the superbowl, but blink and you’ll miss it’ said McKay, playing the 2011 ad with a milli-second flash of their hashtag.

‘People were nervous of it’ she continued ‘but when it took off – it took off: cultural and political movements, personal passions, breaking news and then the involvement from brands. The conversation had begun.’

‘For brands, it’s about talking to the community’ Delving further into specific campaigns, Cherryduck company director, Kim French addressed the room, asking what made a hashtag successful ‘it is about being relevant and knowing that people will have something to say’

The Good

  • #IceBucketChallenge – Generated $100 million in a thirty day period, funding new research
  • #LikeAGirl – After the campaign, almost 70% of women and 60% of men said it changed the way they see the phrase ‘like a girl’
  • #Solidaritea – Racked up nearly 2,000 posts on Instagram with incredibly quick turn around, speaking to the right audience, at the right time

The Bad

  • #SayGoodNytol – No social conversation driven and the brand had no social media channels

The Ugly

  • #Susanalbumparty – an unfortunate oversight…
  • #Cairo – fashion brand jumps inappropriately on political hashtag around Egyptian revolution

‘Ask yourself, would an actual human use this phrase?’ spoke Cherryduck creative director, Jez Furlong ‘and if so, then why? These are they key questions to starting a culturally relevant conversation’

Calling on McDonald’s #McDstories as an example of ‘bashtagging’ he said ‘do not open yourself up to this – timing and brand consideration are imperative’

‘It’s about tapping into consumer insight’ continued McKay ‘Charmin’s #tweetfromtheseat and the #thisgirlcan campaign are great hashtags because the research was done to discover the conversation – that is why they work, they aren’t just a hashtag for the sake of being a hashtag’

The workshop came to a creative conclusion with the task of the room being asked to create their own hashtag campaign created around a historical event i.e. Noah’s Ark, The Big Bang, with results presented by teams.

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