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SOCIAL MEDIA

Why ‘human’ and relatable ads beat the slick ones hands-down

By our News Team | 2022

Sophisticated big-budget advertisements may win on TV, but not on social media. Being ‘real’ is what wins the day, says Meta.

Does your brand need slick and perfectly crafted advertisements to effectively engage with social media audiences? The answer according to Meta – the company that owns the likes of Facebook and Instagram – is a resounding ‘no’.

In a recent blog post, Meta notes that there is a shift away from perfection and polish, towards a culture that instead celebrates what’s unpolished and real.

“Culture on our platform is driven by people,” the company says. “And that culture has its own language—relatable, unpolished and above all, human. Creativity here feels like it’s made by people, for people. 

Social Media

Illustration courtesy of Meta

“When brands understand prevailing culture codes, they communicate as peers, establishing relatability and trust through a shared language.”

Among Meta’s recommendations for creating ‘real’ social media ads:

  1. Successful brands have real people telling real stories, inviting employees or customers to deliver their message. Whether it’s featuring your employees or customers, putting real people centre stage gives your story credibility and relatability.
  2. Brands should use the language of the platform to signal their place in feed and, therefore, in culture. Whether it’s adopting a recognised and repeatable behaviour, like a dance or transition effect, or integrating the visual codes of the platform into your content, using culture codes is about communicating with empathy to drive relatability.
  3. Harness the power of creators to establish trust and relatability. Sixty-three percent of 18 to 34-year-olds trust what a creator says about a brand more than what the brand says about itself. It’s no surprise that creators are at the forefront of setting the tone for platform language, and brands that understand culture codes harness the power of creators to tell the stories they can’t tell themselves—benefiting from credibility and relevance by proxy.
  4. Winning brands on social media take us behind the scenes to be part of the process. Brands that understand culture codes lift the veil on artifice. The ‘how I made this’ video is a wildly successful formula for many creators.
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