Our Studios team also picked up a ‘Highly Commended’ for Social Agency Team of the year!
This week, we’re also nominated at The Drum Agency Business awards for:
– Agency Of The Year
– Best Place To Work
– CEO Of The Year
– Entrepreneur Of The Year
We’re so proud of the full team for these nominations and can’t wait to see if we can bring home another win! 🎉
We won ‘Greatest Creative’ at the TikTok for Business Ad Awards, and it’s all thanks to our fantastic collaboration with Accenture Song, OMD UK and our client Lidl GB!
How did it work? At the heart of the campaign was a re-recording of the iconic 90s hit ‘Set You Free,’ with a delightful twist. The lyrics were crafted based on real customers’ tweets expressing their adoration for the Lidl Bakery. This unique approach not only resonated with the audience but also set the stage for an engaging and interactive experience. To amp up the excitement and encourage user participation, we introduced the Open Verse Challenge. TikTok users were invited to duet with the song, adding their own creative spin to the lyrics.
The result? A harmonious blend of nostalgia, community, and the undeniable love for Lidl’s freshly baked goods. Our strategic approach didn’t stop at the creative; we also implemented a multi-faceted advertising strategy and the metrics speak for themselves:
- 20.9 million impressions
- 39K likes
- 15K shares
- View-through rate of 39%
- Click-through rate of 1%
But the success story extends beyond the platform. A comprehensive brand lift study revealed an astonishing 32.3% ad recall uplift. The campaign not only captured attention but also positively influenced brand favourability and recommendation for Lidl’s bakery offerings.
This achievement is a testament to the power of collaboration. Working hand-in-hand with Accenture Song and OMD UK, we orchestrated a campaign that struck the right chords with the audience and left a lasting impression.
Well done team Lidl GB!
The lower text panel will now be gone – there’ll no longer be an auto-generated header or preview text snippet. You’ll just get an image preview, and that’s it.
The idea is to keep more engagement on the platform, condense the feed-scrolling experience, and put the onus on users to create X-specific posts (as opposed to relying on the article link to convey relevant info).
What this means for YOU
I’d imagine this is likely to affect publishers and journalists, as well as anyone else who depends on regularly sharing external links as part of their content strategy. If you currently depend on preview cards, you’ll have to adjust your approach to ensure optimal display for your shared links. This update might also affect your previous posts, extending to all current content. Since your link posts are likely to display as a standalone image, this may potentially lead to the loss of significant context from your original tweet (your original ‘X’?! Na, not happening – they’re tweets.)
The link-sharing update is currently in testing and it’s not yet clear when it will be rolled out on X. Reportedly, the early feedback from brands was quite negative, but Elon is likely to go ahead anyway.
👀Meanwhile, at Threads..👀
Mark Zuckerberg and Adam Mosseri are reportedly about to launch the web version of Threads. This could really help the platform get back on track – after an initial boom of a launch, the active usership numbers have been dwindling. Most have pointed out the lack of key features – content isn’t searchable and there’s no dedicated ‘trending’ feed. Having a dedicated web app will especially help publishers and journalists, as they’d be able to monitor activity in a separate window, or publish while they manage their other platforms.
📲 What this means for the wider industry 📲
I’m not writing off Threads just yet. Despite having a lull since it first launched, the app is only just getting started. The web app alongside other new features can breathe new life into the platform, and there’s a high chance that we’ll see paid integration with Meta Ads Manager in the future, brining advertisers onboard. With that in mind, brands and publishers that are active on both platforms will likely start comparing the click-through and engagement rates between the two, which may result in some deciding to prioritise Threads over X.
Social moves fast, so it won’t be long until we see how far-reaching the effects of these updates will be.
By Mark Shpungin – Senior Social Strategist
We hosted our third Coolr Session: “Unconscious Bullsh*t: It’s Time To Break The Barriers In Creativity.”
Find our key takeaways below. 👀
➡ The importance of lived experience. 👫
🔸 Nothing can beat the actual lived experience of someone from a marginalised group. If looking to target a community, make sure to include insight from people who have had first-hand experience and play a part within these communities.
➡ Brands need authenticity. 🌈 ⬛ ❌
🔹 Everyone wants to be doing DE&I the right way. Honesty is key and so is being authentic, but it needs to come from a genuine place. Brands doing rainbows and black square simply isn’t enough anymore and lacks any genuine intent, but who is in the room to tell you otherwise? It’s important to recognise when diversity is not represented in your sounding board.
➡ Diversity in leadership. 🌍
🔸 Leadership needs diversity. People from marginalised groups need to see themselves in senior roles. If your team isn’t diverse, ask yourself why? and as a bare minimum, do you have allies within your team? It’s up to companies to lead the change but this can’t happen overnight. Create mentorships, a DE&I focused committee, and schemes to build up diverse talent from the inside out.
➡ Compassion in the workplace is key. ❤️
🔹 Creating a safe space for people to ask for what they need is vital with regards to creating an inclusive workplace. Not everyone has the same way of working and understanding this will allow companies to get the best out of their people.
▶ To summarise, there isn’t a one size fits all approach to DE&I. One person’s experience can be vastly different to another, however small changes can create big impact to help individuals feel seen and heard within the creative world.
Threads, What Is It?
Threads is a new platform that was released overnight by Meta as a rival to Twitter, the launch coincides with a period of dissatisfaction with Twitter since Elon Musk’s takeover.
Coolr Initial Thoughts
– Combining users’ Instagram followers was a smart move, as it has already allowed over 10 million users to join the platform!
– The algorithm means verified accounts get feed priority and the most engaging posts get shared to more people. Other than that, you’ll see a chronological timeline of posts from the people you follow.
– We’ve already seen a number of brands start posting on the platform, the content they are posting currently mirrors their Twitter content with creative and tone of voice. Our current recommendation is cross-posting certain twitter content and creating some bespoke Threads content.
– The content is short-form whilst everyone works it out. It’s a straight copy of Twitter where quick wit is important.
– The ability to post images could take focus away from Stories.
– There are no trending feeds yet, meaning it’s difficult to keep track of the current conversation users are having. Although we expect something like this to be included in an early update.
– There is currently no pay to play model for the platform, which means brands need to capitalise on the initial excitement around the platform and post engaging organic content.
5 First Threads We’ve Liked:
What Should Your Brand Do?
It’s a good idea to get a few posts up on there to secure the initial rush of engagement and following, as the platform evolve look at bespoke strategies.
By Jack Hyslop
My name is Jack, and I came out as transgender at the age of 29. A year later, I started a full-time job at Coolr. This article will explore what Pride means to me…
How Did I Realise I Was Transgender?
During 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, I was made redundant from a video editor role I was in for eight years. I decided to freelance which meant I was working in my bedroom for nearly two years. It ended up being the most separation from society, my friends and my family that I’d ever had.
One day, what felt like out of nowhere, I was hit with the questions:
“Why have I never felt like a woman?”
“Am I transgender?”
It was the first time I had ever asked myself these questions. After some research, reading and listening to other trans people’s stories, my whole life suddenly started to make sense. Every piece of the puzzle was there, I just hadn’t put them together yet.
I was eleven in 2003, it was the same year I finished primary school and began secondary school.
This means during the first eleven years of my life, my teachers couldn’t even legally talk with me, my friends or my family about the possibility of me being transgender. They couldn’t talk about anyone in the LGBTQI+ community, as though we were all totally alien and the only “right” way to be was either a straight male or female. Even once the law had changed, the community still wasn’t spoken about throughout the rest of my education.
Though my childhood was filled with a lot of love and beautiful memories with my friends and family, I carried a lot of pain and confusion with me. I used to cry a lot and beg to wear trousers instead of dresses at school. I used to beg to be allowed to use boys changing rooms, to use their toilets. I wanted my hair cut short. I wanted to join scouts. I only wanted to wear boys clothes. I didn’t want the same body parts. I was even faced with being rejected by staff when asked to be given the boys toy in a happy meal in the days where there were separate ‘boys and girls’ toys.
My best friends were boys and any time that gender divided us I felt so deeply pained and distressed, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t live my life exactly how they could.
The absence of education and words spoken about anything LGBTQI+ related during my childhood, subsequently meant I had no idea what being transgender was, I didn’t even know what it meant be gay. This presented me with a life-long battle with low self-esteem and never understanding why I felt so uncomfortable in my own body.
The Highs And Lows Of Social Media And Being Trans
When I realised I was trans, I had no idea how I could come out to everyone I know, let alone meet anyone new and have to tell them too.
I hit the lowest point of my life not long after I realised I was trans. I finally knew I could be a lot happier and overcome all my struggles to end up more comfortable in my skin but I was so scared of the journey I’d have to go on and I had no idea how the world around me would treat and perceive me. I felt like a burden making people use different pronouns and call me by a different name.
I found a huge amount of amazing transgender people on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube sharing their journeys. I honestly don’t know how I would of coped without their content. Being able to see other trans people living their life happily, being in happy healthy relationships, seeing how amazingly hormone therapy and different types of surgeries could change someone’s life for the better – was essential for me to have the confidence and strength to come out as trans.
On the flip side, hate crime towards transgender people in England and Wales rose by 56% between 2021/2022. 16 year old Brianna Ghey was murdered in a park this year for being transgender. 99% of trans people have experienced transphobia online. There is continuous anti-trans policies being put in place by the government and very negative comments being made towards us on a daily basis.
Social media can be a very harmful place for trans people, next time you see an article posted by a news outlet that has anything to do with being trans – read the comments – and you’ll see what I mean. Although I am the happiest I have ever been now, it does come as a bit of a battle to not let the hate in the world towards trans people get on top of me.
Getting A Job As A Trans Person
When applying for my first job out as a trans person, the following questions were at the forefront of my mind:
Would my chances of getting a job be compromised because I am trans?
Will my colleagues accept me? Will I be bullied? Will I be discriminated?
Which toilets do I use?
If I start testosterone do I have to tell anyone?
Will I be able to get time off if I choose to have gender affirming surgery?
Working At Coolr
I joined Coolr in February 2022 as their first in-house Video Editor. I have been editing and making films since the age of twelve – it’s my biggest passion in life.
I applied with my old name and pronouns out of fear that my chance of getting the job would be compromised by being trans.
After having an interview with Ben Jones, Head of Coolr Studios, the comfort and vibes I got from him made me feel so comfortable and safe. I got offered the job and told him my chosen name and that I am trans. Ben was so accommodating and reassured me that I would fit right in at Coolr and that I had nothing to worry about. He was right.
From day one, I felt completely accepted and at home. I noticed other queer people in the agency and could instantly recognise how welcoming and diverse Coolr is.
Working here for the last year and a half has been a huge part in me finding my ultimate happiness and confidence.
I have never experienced any form of transphobia at work and it has not compromised my position here in any way. I have been able to thrive and made so many wonderful friends. I’m so proud of the team I am part of and the work I get to do daily.
If a younger me could see myself now, this would all seem way too good to be true. The younger me who could only live my life as Jack, by making characters on video games called Jack, and pretending it was me.
For the first few months of working at Coolr something as simple as hearing lots of “Morning Jack” and “Bye Jack” made me leave the office with the biggest smile on my face every single day.
Coolr will always hold a very special place in my heart and is a lot more than just a job to me.
What Is Pride Month To Me?
Pride to me is not waving a rainbow flag or being happy to see a brand with a rainbow in their logo for one week or month in a year.
Pride isn’t just a month to me; it exists every day of the year. Pride to me is feeling proud of myself and every other person in the LGBTQI+ community for getting to where we are today despite the challenges the rest of the world throws us.
Pride to me is being able to exist happily. I started testosterone in January this year and I am now by far the happiest I have ever been, I am bursting with joy every single day, I love myself more than I ever have and I feel so much more confident.
Pride to me is showing appreciation for our allies and the people who love us and allow us to exist peacefully and happily. To my family and friends who have supported me endlessly with more love and understanding that I could ever have hoped for.
Every time I discuss my journey, I remind myself of how far I’ve come and how long I had to hide from who I am. There was once a time I could never have imagined I’d ever speak about my truth to anyone let alone on social media or the company I work for.
Trans lives should never be up for debate. Coming out as trans is one of the hardest and bravest things a person can do and it’s purely for the purpose of living a much happier and comfortable life. It’s hard to comprehend why this affects anyone else’s life whatsoever and why our lives are made harder by people who have nothing to do with us.
I hope we will one day live in a much more accepting and loving world, but until then, I am proud to be who I am and for living my truth and I will be proud for the rest of my life.
We spend a huge chunk of our lives at work, so feeling I can exist peacefully at my workplace has proven to be completely life changing. At Coolr I am safe, I am welcome, and I am accepted.
Charities and Organisations that support trans people:
Lidl has appointed us as its new retained social agency! 💥
From June 2023, we will be Lidl’s social agency of record with a broad remit covering all social media content and influencers across Lidl GB’s channels.
Coolr is tasked with bringing a social-first approach and will lean heavily into content, innovation and driving cultural relevance in equal measures.
Speaking on the win, Coolr CEO Adam Clyne said: “We are thrilled to be working with Lidl. Not only is it one of the biggest and most relevant brands in the UK today, it’s also a brand with a huge appetite for creativity and innovation. We can’t wait to start!”.
Claire Farrant, Marketing Director at Lidl commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Coolr on the next phase of our social journey and were very impressed by them throughout the pitch process. They demonstrated passion for our brand, creativity and compelling social first initiatives! We’re looking forward to bringing many of those ideas to life.”
Bring it on!
We can’t predict the future, but we like to be ready. While social media is an always-on, chaotic space, it’s possible to make an educated guess about where it’s going when you look at user behaviours and emerging platforms.
What’s also common practice is large platforms
stealing borrowing features from smaller ones:
- In 2016, IG borrowed stories from Snapchat.
- Reels were a response to TikTok in 2020.
- Recently, Instagram has also been testing ‘IG Candid’ – a feature similar to BeReal.
With this in mind, let’s explore some user behaviours and emerging platforms to predict what the mainstream social media landscape might look like in the near future.
1. The future of social is user-owned
Web 2.0 empowered us to share, the advent of web 3.0 will allow us to own. This is something that we’re already seeing with NFTs and cryptocurrencies, however in the near future this is likely going to become much more mainstream.
Octi is an early-adopter platform that encourages its users to upload their own filters and AR-elements to be used in videos. The more people use your AR creations or engage with your videos, the more in-app currency, Octi-coin, you earn. You can then spend your octi-coins with top retailers such as Nike and Glossier.
There’s a shift among the big platforms towards enabling NFT trading, which we only expect to grow. Meta are working on a digital marketplace functionality that would allow users to create and own NFTs. There are also reports revealing that twitter will allow users to display NFT marketplace listings from certain platforms, including a button to let them buy and sell collectibles. Add to this the option of easily converting your crypto assets into real-world value by shopping with large retailers, and the technology will become ubiquitous on social media.
2. The future of social is cause-driven
Not only that, it combats endless scrolling by having a curated feed that can be scrolled in its entirety within 8 minutes each day. Other players such as Supernova have also been entering the market, and while the latter is yet to grow, WeAre8 has already been downloaded over 100K times from the Google Play store alone. Early adopters among brands have seen the likes of Nike, Heineken and Mondelēz advertising on the platform.
The apps’ unique feature is that everyone can make money on it, 6p-25p per watching a video. There is of course a catch – users are served a very limited number of ads they can watch. Add to that the buffer time of 30 days to receive the money in the in-app wallet and the real value will only be felt only over a very long period of active platform use – it’d take nearly three months to earn around £230.
More recently, after Elon Musk has acquired twitter and the controversy that ensued resulted in more than a million users leaving the platform (MIT technology review). While Musk claims that the drop in numbers is a result of getting rid of dormant accounts and bots, the emergence of twitter alternatives such as Mastodon suggests that there is a demand for a democratic, user-run platform whose policies are not dictated by a single person.
The industry has taken a lot of heat over the past few years, from the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the negative effects of Instagram on Mental Health. With that, the public’s attention has turned to how big platforms operate from an ethical standpoint. This will result in the continuous emergence of new, smaller, cause-driven platforms, which will put the pressure on big players to keep adapting their practices in line with these new standards. Meta and other social media titans will focus on improving their business transparency alongside their mental health practices. The change will come even sooner if brands choose to place their ads elsewhere.
3. The future of social is integrated.
What springs to mind when you think of ‘social media’? Is it Instagram? TikTok? Facebook? All of those are correct, however social media is much bigger than just social media platforms. In reality, it’s ‘any interactive technology that facilitates the creation and sharing of information, ideas and interests through virtual communities and networks’ (Kietzmann).
Chatting to your buddies on Roblox is as much of a social media interaction as unfollowing your aunt for posting cringe on facebook. WhatsApp group chat? Social media. Writing an Amazon review? Social media. Everything from Slack, Wikipedia, Twitch, Minecraft can be considered social media.
Social media enabled us to build communities around various niches and interest points. The flipside of that is all these social integrations mean that the fight for user attention has gotten enormously competitive. On top of that, there are growing concerns among GenZ about the amount of time spent on social media – 37% worry they spend too much time on it, and 24% are using it less than they used to (GWI).
As social media becomes increasingly more chaotic and fragmented, it’s possible that there will be a new, user-friendly way to combine and curate all the different feeds (kind of like Hootsuite, but for personal use). It could take the form of an app or will be a built-in software feature that allows users to sift through the chaos of social media on their own terms. This will put even more pressure on brands to carefully consider how, where and why they’d be showing up on feeds in the ever-growing competitive medium.
Key lessons for brands
Social media landscape changes constantly, and no rules are set in stone. You can future-proof your social strategy by keeping an eye on emerging platforms and trends:
- Think about user touch-points with your brand beyond the biggest platforms. Make sure your tone of voice and content are tailored to each platform while still having brand consistency, from TikTok to Twitch and beyond.
- Plan beyond getting noticed on crowded feeds, and think of retention. Make sure your content is adding value today, and consider how it could continue to do so in the user-owned economy, where getting noticed in feed is only half the battle.
You might have seen a new platform at the top of the social media charts … BeReal. With its quick rise to fame there are many questions that brands must answer before they consider joining the platform.Â What is it? How does it work? More importantly, how will it add value to your brand? Let’s dive in.
What is it?Â Â Â
BeReal’s mission is to be the antidote to traditional social media. No influencers… no filters… no likes and most importantly, NO ads. It promises `a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life`.Â Â As of April 2022, the platform has over 2.9 million active daily users and has seen a 315% leap in downloads since the start of the year (Social Media Today). So, what is it that has drawn so many people to it?Â Â
How does it work?Â
The BeReal app is simple. It sends a daily notification at a random time, to `BeReal`. You are then prompted to take a simultaneous snapshot from both your front and back-facing cameras, showing what you are doing and what your reaction is.Â Â It allows only two minutes to respond, and you can’t see anyone else’s BeReal until you have posted your own.
The random timing of the notification and the fact you can only do it once a day adds a game-like quality to the app that reminds me a lot of other popular apps such as Wordle. You can either share your images with friends and followers, or post onto the `discover` page to help increase your reach and gain new followers.Â Â
How can brands get involved?Â
Having brands and adverts on the platform goes completely against its’ ethos, and although there are currently no pay-to-play advertising options, it doesn’t mean there won’t be any in the future.Â Â
Chipotle was the first brand to create an account. As their VP for Digital Marketing said, `We see a massive opportunity to highlight our brand’s transparency in fun ways for our fans on BeReal`. Ryanair and Duolingo used the same approach with TikTok – focusing on fun and transparency. When approaching a new platform, it’s best to see what users are doing first, and experiment with how out how you can best fit in.Â Â Chipotle joined the platform by posting a discount code giving the first 100 people who used it a free meal. They have taken the platform’s values to heart by ensuring the content they put out isn’t glossy, prioritising the lo-fi nature of the platform instead. The brand identifies with promoting raw, authentic content, by being transparent about their ingredients and the way it operates. This tactic is particularly effective with Gen Z consumers as they demand humanisation, humour and honesty from brands.Â Â
What does it mean for other social platforms?Â
Chipotle has managed to make BeReal a success because they make content that feels native to the platform. This doesn’t mean that every brand should be rushing to open a BeReal account yet. Instead, we think there are 3 key lessons that we can take from BeReal and apply to the platforms you’re already on:
- Put your audience first. Your brand doesn’t have to be on every platform – instead, you should pick your channels based on where your audience spends their time. Â Â
- Would I engage with that? (Be honest!) So many brands create content that just sits on their channels with little or no engagement because it doesn’t appeal to their audience and the way they interact with on social.Â Before you join a platform, make sure that your creative strategy doesn’t revolve around broadcasting, and instead is geared towards harnessing genuine relationships with your followers.Â Â
- Time to be real [sorry ðŸ˜³] when it comes toÂ creator partnerships. Some brands are particularly weak at building genuine partnerships with the creators they work with. Choose creators that genuinely fit your brand. Don’t just chase followers and prioritise long-term exclusive partnerships over one-off ads.Â
One of the reasons Chipotle has been so successful when tapping into BeReal is that they add value. Ryanair and Duolingo have had a similar success on TikTok, because they think about everything through the eyes of their audience.Â Â Â
Ever wondered how Coolr creates social content for the world’s leading brands?
We took part in the Channel 5 documentary, ‘Burger King – How Do They Do It?’ to share some of our social secrets. We run all of the social accounts in the UK for BK – from TikTok to Twitter – and talk through some of the ways we develop content for maximum engagement.
Our relationship with Burger King first began four years ago when we signed a contract to be their social media agency in the UK. At that point, we were just a start-up agency with three employees. A small team with huge ideas.
It wasn’t long till we created the most liked tweet from a brand of all time…
Since then, we’ve worked with Burger King on hundreds of social activations, including promoting independent restaurants during lockdown. We turned old plastic toys into new trays in a brand-new recycling scheme. We’ve created paid strategies to support the opening of hundreds of Burger King restaurants across the country and we even launched them on TikTok – one of the first brands in the UK to join the platform!
Four years of many big wins, shared successes (and, of course, challenges) along the way.
Here’s to many more!