Is Social Media breaking old stereotypes in marketing campaigns?

 

Whether or not a person was a consumer of beer, in decades when TV was the main vehicle of communication, he/she might be exposed to commercials of different brands of this drink. Although the content varied per the different countries or regions around the world, most of those marketing campaigns followed certain patterns to reach the

brazilian-beach
Image credit: Tania Gian

audiences. More specifically in Brazil, where it was allowed to consume alcoholic drinks in some public spaces, beer campaigns for TV commonly featured a group of male friends gathering on the beach and drinking beer to celebrate summer. While they enjoyed their time together, they looked at young women in bikinis, exposing their tanned skins.

The results of those campaigns used to reflect in the increase or decrease of sales, but it was complicated for marketers to see clearly how many of the viewers, who could be potential consumers, rejected the brand since they could not identify with the chosen content.  That was because, throughout the TV era, audiences used to have a passive role while consuming the information. So, if they disagreed with the campaign, they were not able to provide an immediate feedback for the brand managers.

 

How have brands found out that they needed move from the one-fits-all to a more diverse range of products?

With  the advent of social media, each consumer can find his/her own voice, participating in dynamic online communities and sharing opinions on a variety of subjects. By analyzing the consumers’ responses in different channels, marketers are being challenged by the fact that many people might not identify with the stereotypes created in campaigns such as the beer’s advertisements described before.

Brands have been adapting their products to this new scenario and a recent campaign that called my attention belongs to the Brazilian beer Skol. Breaking with clichés, the campaign Skolors features natural looking people of different ethnicities and physical characteristics. Playing with image compositions, the video for the campaign delivers the message that colours are metaphors of the uniqueness of each consumer.

The change in consumer behaviour, which can be measured through social media channels , showed to some brands that they needed to update their marketing approaches to avoid wasting opportunities of growing.

In this sense, the campaign Skolors captured the main aspect of the contemporary society, which is its composition of individuals that assume and enjoy being themselves rather than trying to fit in imposed models. The choice for diverse characters was an effort to disassociate the brand from the cult of the body lifestyle and the sequence of images means people can interact in different ways than old standards.

The characters in the campaign are symbols that renovate the brand. And the new products are launched with a message informing that consumers have the choice of buying Skol beer in cans of different colours that match each one’s skin, which means every person’s intrinsic characteristics.  

 

 

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