Fast Cars, Hot Clubs, and Digital Step-and-Repeats; Marketers Find Deep Engagement in the Age of Corona

RTDD at the House of Yes

Consumer Behavior Provides New Opportunities for Deep Engagement

Social media is where most of us focus our attention these days. According to Similarweb’s data hub, Facebook visits are up 25%. TikTok and YouTube have seen a 15% increase in visits. While community app Nextdoor is up an incredible 75%.

No real insight here, right? We are stuck at home, many of us not working. With our index finger we flick the infinite scroll of our feeds sharing details of our lockdown with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the occasional celebrity. We also find ourselves in front of a camera more often. Zoom, Facetime, Houseparty, Google Hangouts, and Webex all are introducing a new level of digital engagement. One that feels more like how humans really communicate verses the liking, sharing, and commenting on Facebook posts.

Where are the marketing strategies that leverage this real-time, digital dialogue (maybe that should be trademarked)? What are the brand opportunities created by digital dance discotheques and Zoom happy hours? Perhaps the answers are being provided by a few brands that have embraced the current situation rather than just publishing a COVID-19 statement and hitting pause on its marketing activities.

eSports F1Take for instance Formula One Racing. When COVID-19 waved the Red Flag on the first eight races of the 2020 season, Formula One immediately began promoting eSport races that pitted current and former drivers alongside celebrities. Analytics firm Esports Charts reports that the race viewership averaged 289,000 concurrent streams that peaked at 359,000, with 199,000 on YouTube, 180,000 on Twitch and 18,000 on Facebook. Formula One’s investment in eSports event effectively future proofs the brand by creating an opportunity to grow a younger audience that will happily buy pay-for-view packages when real racing returns to the streets of Monaco.

Fashion brands like Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander McQueen are also experimenting with streaming content as a way to engage their loyal customers. They are hosting musical performances, offering live guided drawing sessions, and creating Spotify playlists. Similarly, House of Yes, a New York dance club and artist collective has tapped into a Virtual Clubbing trend that has quarantined club kids putting on customs and shaking their thing with 100s of their tribe.

Want an easier strategy to engage stay-at-home audiences? How about Zoom virtual backgrounds? What started with picturesque landscapes, iconic landmarks, film sets, family photos, and even memes has transformed into a hot trend of self-expression and creativity. Brands are getting on board with this new consumer touchpoint by offering beautiful logoed backgrounds in an effort to reach loyalists and new customers.

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