From Audrey Burgess, Data Scientist, Marketing Science Research, at Meta Creative Shop; Mack Reynolds, Creative Industry Lead, Brand, at Meta Creative Shop; and Lily Wyckoff, Creative Industry Lead, Performance, at Meta Creative Shop
Every year Meta’s Creative Shop looks at campaigns from around the globe that broke through on Facebook, Instagram and our other platforms and releases The Creative Forecast, an exploration of creative trends for the future driven by cultural shifts. What we saw in our most recent look at high-performing ad creative was an inflection point: Powerful influences—from activism to the pandemic—changed culture in profound ways and led people to push brands to be more aware, personal, and participatory.
In response, some advertisers took bold creative leaps to better reflect and captivate their audiences. Specifically, we identified five key creative approaches that enabled forward-thinking brands to stand out and drive business impact. Let’s take a look at these ascendent behaviors, the cultural shifts behind them, and how advertisers are leveraging them to break through.
- Build inclusively
There’s been a social awakening across the world, with people rising up and demanding that everyone is respected, celebrated, and seen. Brands are standing out by acknowledging this and building inclusive creative that reflects their audiences in more representative and thoughtful ways.
For example, L’Oréal reimagined the beauty festival by pairing men and women to provide tips via Facebook Live and enabling people to receive personalized advice via Messenger from a diverse group of 122 advisers. The brand was rewarded for this authentic embrace of their audience with acceptance and relevance.
- Create edutainment
The pandemic has led people to adopt new ways of learning—in part because many traditional sources haven’t been accessible. Savvy advertisers are breaking through by also reimagining how people get information: rather than lecturing audiences about their brand stories, they’re building edutainment experiences that captivate.
To encourage early detection of breast cancer, CoppaFeel created Boob Bot, a Messenger automated experience that makes at-home breast checks habitual through an informative and fun experience. The organization then promoted the tool with a lighthearted campaign that earned attention without feeling like a chore.
- Sell with ideas
With COVID-19 limiting in-person interactions, serendipity shifted online. Social feeds have become discovery engines where people find new outlooks and interests. Breakthrough brands have understood this dynamic and relied on ideas not only to stand out, but to encourage action.
When introducing their first running shoe, Allbirds used creative approaches on Stories that mixed product messaging and messaging related to sustainability—a cause dear to the company’s heart. By highlighting their mission while also conveying functional benefits, they were able to establish credibility in a new category and truly sell with an idea.
- Speak platform language
There has been an explosion of creativity online as people have adapted to the constraints of the pandemic and found fresh ways to express themselves. Brands have been turning heads by doing the same and speaking the language of digital platforms—meeting people on their own terms through approaches like lo-fi production and creator content.
Fitness app Sweat launched a new product with a novel creative approach: By using a combination of Live With broadcasts and sticker packs they were able to show how their members worked out. This gave voice to the brand’s community and delivered new levels of success.
- Reward self discovery
People have become digital explorers as entertainment and curiosity have shifted online. Advertisers have driven interest and action feeding this desire for discovery, enabling people to actively participate at their own speed.
Hellmann’s took a long-standing behavior—people turning to their friends for food advice—and brought it to the digital age by developing a Messenger bot that connected individuals looking for ideas of what to do with their leftovers. This participatory community enabled people to engage rather than passively consume content, and rewarded their self discovery.
When building your campaigns keep in mind that all five of these creative trends are fundamentally rooted in people. As culture changes, people are increasingly seeking inclusion, flexibility, and creativity from brands. By meeting these evolving expectations you can elevate your connections with your audiences and create for the future.