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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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.