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Have You Bean An Advertising Influencer?

by Sophie Edwards | 22.05.2015
This blog discusses the link between a Magic Bean and trending content on social media… Yes, I am aware this sounds outrageous!

The book Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell) is a good place to start when thinking about influencers. Clark shoe shop were about to stop a brand of shoe being produced due to it not selling, until an unknown influencer (let’s call him John Smith) was seen wearing them. John Smith made them edgy, fashionable and a must have. Sales boomed. Clarks could never have predicted this change, they were about to discontinue – but then had to increase production. The same is true within advertising, no one is able to predict what is going to be a trending piece of content, so the only way to be prepared – is to be adaptable, quick on your toes and continue producing relevant content.  By looking at different scales of this form of advertising/ marketing we can look at why a brand needs to interact with trends.

Carl (The Magic Bean), started life in a small tin (2 inches wide and 4 inches high). Carl didn’t fill anyone in the PPC team, including myself, with excitement or hope that he would even grow (as I’m sure a lot of content posted on social media also does). Yet, after 7 days of no movement – we had take off! Although on a smaller scale than trending content.. Carl has become an office phenomenon! It isn’t just his unpredictable growing patterns that are captivating.. but also his adaptability to his PPC environment (image below).




Carl has not only grown when we didn’t expect him to, he has wrapped himself along a desk organiser and is now making his way to scale the miniature Eiffel tower! Carl is unpredictability (here comes a crazy link), and so too in trending content on social media.

This unpredictability is one of the aspects of plant growth and marketing which I find most exciting (I know botanical nerd alert)! Being in a fast response company means we have the ability to react to any new trending content, like Carl has done to his new habitat!

Moving away from vegetation, and onto trending content. Remember the blue/ black or white/gold dress (sorry to bring it up again)! How could you not? Well, not only did this take over social media for a few days, SONY were quick to pick up the trend and adapt to it – producing a great fast response piece of social media content (image below).



Black-Blue Dress & SONY


We can see this type of fast response marketing with the release of highly anticipated films, such as Fifty Shades of Grey. A lot of brands adapted to make a trending image. All of which received a large social response, because it was relevant to what people were searching/ discussing and excited about.

Fifty Shades of Advertising


So far we have spoken about small funny trends which have started with the magic bean and progressed to trending content on social media platforms. To scale this up even more, we can look at how social media platforms react to trending events.

Facebook has reacted to the trending news story of the Nepal earthquake and has launched a donate button – which enables users to donate a minimum of $5 to support Nepal. If 1% of users donated $5, it’d raise $70 million!  This donate button will only work because Nepal is fresh in peoples memory, it is trending, and Facebook has done fast response advertising.

So, we can see that fast response content reaction is occurring all around us.. But the main question is why?! Why as a brand do you need to produce this content on social media? And why do you need to respond to trends? Well, for me and Carl the answer is simple. Producing content is a great way to interact with your customers and their friends – Estrella Damm and Bombardier, although both selling alcohol have polar opposite content, due to their different tones of voice. Both of which make me laugh, and who doesn’t want that from a brand? Adding humour to a brand makes it approachable and enables customers to connect with it on an emotional level. By keeping up with trending items, and maybe being lucky enough to make some yourself, helps you get your brand out across social media in a fun way! I have never played with a SONY remote, I can barely switch on the TV.. yet I remember their brand from that small fast response advert they created when the blue/black dress was clogging my newsfeed!

As with the Magic Bean– no one in advertising and marketing can predict what will trend or when it will. But we at TUG are ready to adapt, react and get our creative on to bring the best out of every piece of trending content!