For Gen Z, Instagrammable Might Translate to Weird and Ugly (Elevate Connect)

Key Takeaways:

  • While picture-perfect Instagram feeds may be appealing to some, members of Gen Z are beginning to reject the plastic approach and embrace images that are more realistic – even straight ugly.
  • While many brands are hesitant to take a stance on social issues, data show that cultural relevance continues to hold sway with consumers.
  • Multi-sensory experiences result in more memorable brand interactions. When it comes to taste, the physiological mechanism behind this sense makes it an important element for brands to consider incorporating.


How to Appeal to the Gen Z Instagram Audience: Be Weirder (and Uglier)

How to Appeal to Gen Z on Instagram: Be Weirder (and Uglier)

We already know we shouldn’t confuse Gen Z with millennials. They are worlds apart, especially when it comes to marketing preferences and purchasing decisions. When it comes to millennials’ Instagram aesthetic, we get the curated photos and staged “plandid” shots. In what is yet another departure from their predecessors, Gen Z is tending to reject this aesthetic and prefer the opposite. These youngsters are posting nitty-gritty, unfiltered, off balance, messy, and just plain ugly photos. As millennials spend time fine-tuning and filtering, Gen Z is making their photos look worse.

This is important for brands that are trying to understand Gen Z and improve how they are marketing to them. Instead of enticing Gen Z with something picture perfect, brands should consider giving them something a little more real. This Inc article dives deep into this new approach to Instagram, asking if this generational style shift is a larger reflection on how Gen Z’s sees the world.


A Brand’s Cultural Relevance Is Almost as Important as a Strong Image, Study Finds

A Brand's Cultural Relevance Is Almost as Important as a Strong Image, Study Finds

It’s obvious to anyone that, in 2019, the political, social and cultural climate is divided. Some describe our current state of affairs as a mess, with people fighting for (seemingly) conflicting values and beliefs. While some brands are adamant about choosing a side, others have trouble taking a stand. But, for those who do go all-in on a political stance (especially one that aligns with their brand DNA), huge successes can follow.

Consequently, consumers expect brands to be socially-involved, especially youthful shoppers. According to Adweek, 25% of product purchase decisions are led by cultural relevance. As brands fight for mindshare, they have to figure out how to align their brand with a cause the entire company can believe in. Read more to find out what it means to be a culturally-relevant brand.


The Sense of Taste in Experiential Marketing

The Sense of Taste in Experiential Marketing

Did you know what we see as taste is more than what meets the tongue? In fact, when we taste something, we actually “taste with our brain,” as tasting is a mashup of scent, texture, suggestion, and memory. This makes your sense of taste a profoundly integrated mind/body experience. Perhaps that’s why some foods taste like “home?”

As taste activates other senses, incorporating taste in experiential marketing can provide the multi-sensory experience that is so effective in designing memorable interactions. But companies don’t need to rely solely on food products to get audiences to savor their brand. Curating flavors that pair well with your campaign can help your audience remember their experience. If your campaign or product is seasonal, using scents specific to that season can help align a memory to your brand. Read more to learn how you can create a delicious experience for consumers in more ways than one.


Would You Take a Cut in Pay to Have Less Noise?

Would You Take a Cut in Pay to Have Less Noise?

Recently, Uber rolled out “quiet mode” for riders using their premium service, which garnered the rideshare company quite a bit of buzz. The service has been generally well-received, as people appear to love the idea of peace and quiet in an otherwise chaotic world. But this move also prompted the question: could other spaces benefit from “quiet mode?”

Although open office spaces have moved from a trend to the norm, research has shown this type of open floor plan results in decreased productivity. More often, employees are actually in favor of more silence and privacy. If you want to learn more, click here. But do it fast, before a coworker taps you on the shoulder.


How the Humble Ball Pit Became an Activation Mainstay

How the Humble Ball Pit Became an Activation Mainstay

You may remember jumping into a colorful ball pit as a child, making a “snow” angel and thinking that life couldn’t get any better. Apparently, everyone else is equally nostalgic for those little plastic balls, because based on what is happening in pop-ups and brand activations everywhere, ball pits are back! But what seems like good clean fun can actually be pretty filthy, with an average of 170,818 different types of bacteria on each ball.

But despite the fact that you may need quite a bit of extra hand sanitizer, ball pits make for an awesome Gen Z Instagram photo and people can’t get enough. Get ready to find them at bars, business conferences, festivals, and both indoor and outdoor activations. Check out all the fun that ball pits have bestowed upon children and adults alike.


Uber Launches Submarine Rides to Great Barrier Reef

Uber Launches Submarine Rides to Great Barrier Reef

Uber is going down under, quite literally, with its newest “scUber” submarine experience. In support of the protection of the coral reefs, Uber teamed up with organization Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef by offering 1-hour rides as well as snorkel tours. Not only do participants experience the special scUber ride, but they also are dropped off by a helicopter (after being picked up from the airport-via the Uber app of course).

Uber is no stranger to non-traditional marketing and has a resume full of activations that go beyond the car by partnering with cause-based groups. Check them out here.


Pepsi Kicks Off Summer with Instagram AR Filters, 6-Story Inflatable Flamingo

Pepsi Kicks Off Summer with Instagram AR Filters, 6-Story Inflatable Flamingo

Pepsi kicked off their #Summergram campaign in a big way. And when we say “big,” we’re talking a six-story-pink-flamingo-floatie-cruising-around-Manhattan big. In collaboration with Instagram, the beverage giant launched hundreds of summer-themed AR filters to encourage users to live their “best summer ever” and broadcast it on the social platform, hoping to engage with Gen Z on Instagram.

Fans can unlock content with QR codes featured on Pepsi bottles to gain access to exclusive content that makes their Instagram accounts pop. Check out how Pepsi went all in on social media and aims to achieve trendsetter status via their summer brand engagement campaign.


Nars Unveils Sensory-Themed Pop-Up

Nars Unveils Sensory-Themed Pop-Up

Known for tapping into experiences and building community, beauty brands are no strangers to giving consumers more than just a product. NARS has consistently led the industry by playing on their brand personality and offering consumers a uniquely intriguing experience, most notably at last year’s “House of Climax.”

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their iconic, best-selling “Orgasm” blush, NARS offered their fans a blush-themed beauty activation in London that appealed to each of their 5 senses. They divided the senses and designed an interactive room for each, allowing their visitors to immerse themselves in a “sensual” way. For example, the “touch me” room was filled floor to ceiling with latex balloons. Check out how they designed the other rooms here.


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