Every marketing department and agency creative has an amazing opportunity right now: to spread joy with content. No meme or piece of branded asset compares to the importance of open-source DIY ventilator schematics, donated meals and supplies, or forgiven debts. Every one of us with the means to do so can donate to organisations supporting our medical workers and those in need. And while we do our best to contribute to the front lines and financially support our most economically impacted, we can also do something else: make people smile.
How can we do that? Create impactful content.
We can still entertain, but we can also educate, empower, and make people feel good because we, as brands and agencies, have the resources and skills to create something amazing out of very little — and quickly. The UN’s 'Kindness Contagion' creative brief asked for ideas that conjure solidarity, humanity, and resilience, and communicating any form of positivity certainly helps achieve those things. In the end, no matter how big or small our audience is, each of us can use our platforms to sew our world with unity, kindness, laughter, knowledge, and joy. This isn’t just limited to traditional creatives.
Here’s why I bring this up: last month, while working on a content campaign, my team and I were creating a series of original comedic assets using nothing but dialogue recorded on a phone and some text on screen. After the content went live on TikTok, each video earned over ten million views. With a few hours of work per video, we brought laughter to millions of people around the world, at a time when we all need laughter more than ever.
Why this is encouraging...
The above is an example of how we leveraged creativity while putting limited resources to work. While we as an agency have access to some of the best platforms, a library of previously shot footage and imagery to re-source, re-dub and re-title, that didn’t matter for this project. We made it out of almost nothing. Now more than ever, anyone with a creative idea and a phone can create content that elicits joy. I don’t think we can have too much of that.
There’s one more thing.
Joy can take many forms, including the feeling of empowerment. Right now, agencies around the world, including Mustache, are sharing free online materials and quick consultations that teach audiences how to easily create digital content. This way, individuals, organisations, and small businesses that may not have the means or skills to do so, can start getting back on their feet with the assistance of digital marketing materials. The shuttered neighbourhood restaurant planning a future delivery service; the clothing shop making handmade pieces soon available for sale. Small and midsize businesses need equally provided relief funds more than anything else. But with our help, they can feel a little relief knowing they have a chance to stand out on the internet, and maybe reconnect with their customer base, so one day in the future, they can get back to business again. That’s joy too.
Here are my tips for creating joyful social content:
- Make something you could watch over and over again.
- Irreverent content can come from everyone, no matter your Brand ID guidelines.
- You can make people smarter, kinder, and more curious, if something is entertaining enough.
Adam Lerman is the associate creative director of original & branded content and chair of sustainability at Mustache, part of Cognizant Interactive.