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Digital Marketing // September 12, 2018

Go In-Depth with Content Marketing

Celebrating Failures

If you want to reach out to Gen Zs, then get ready to celebrate failure.

It is important to take note of the generational differences in marketing to Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z because it affects how different formative experiences interact with our life-cycle, and how it shapes people’s world views.


Why it works:

“Picture perfect” moments may seem all good and attractive to the mass audience on the surface, but it may be intimidating with the ‘authenticity gap’ in between, and may actually have negative repercussions on our society’s mental health. Many content creators on YouTube and Instagram have proclaimed that they’ve developed anxiety over everyone else’s picture perfect lives, where everything is curated to fit like Tetris. The mass audience also claimed to have developed anxiety over scrolling through Instagram on a daily basis, consuming the world of capitalism and consumerism.

People are generally not only motivated to be better by the good accomplished side of a person, but also by the failures or downside.

By experiencing the full spectrum and vulnerability of an individual or a brand, the public will not only find him or her more relatable, but are also more likely to believe in similar values and life perspectives.

Photo Source: Anna Akana

Anna Akana is an example of a YouTube content creator (or an opinion leader) that embraces her failures and misfortunes in life, so that others can apply those lessons in their lives. She became a well-known mental health opinion leader, creating content that centralises around her depression, as well as other life challenges that she injects comedy into.

Photo Source: SoImJenn

Other than individuals, skincare brands like Clinique Malaysia offer a great example by engaging with a Malaysian singer songwriter and a vlogger popular on YouTube, Jenn Chia (SoImJenn) for their #FilterOutTheBad campaign. In the short film titled: “I’m Sorry, I Cheated.”, the brand facilitated a platform for Jenn to wear her past failures as a badge of honour, and emphasises on the campaign message to filter out toxic thoughts for a healthier mental state. Thanks to Jenn’s openness to share and learn from her past failures, her fans and subscribers can better relate to Clinique’s brand.

Photo Source: SoImJenn

Both Anna and Jenn’s audiences basked in the glory of failure, telling their own stories in the comments section and automatically becoming a part of the community facilitated by Anna and Jenn’s content.




– Samuel Beckett


Although failing forward has been preached and practiced on an individual scale for decades, it’s time for brands to step up, and fully own their flaws and failures to embrace the need for transparency. Brands can even partner with other entities to encourage vulnerability, to make it a norm to fail forward.

Being picture perfect is alright, but what’s bridging your brand to your target audience? People are constantly on the lookout, researching on how to overcome their daily challenges, which may result in their heightened anxiety state. Brands are certainly expected to put in effort to align their philosophy with their target audiences. Today, we invite you to think: What can your brand do to meet your target audiences where their anxieties are? How can you help them feel less anxious by making your brand more humane in connection?

Learning Reformed

Ever feel like education in school was boring when you were younger? Well, maybe it was greatly correlated with the method of delivery from your school teachers. Consumers these days are expecting to learn from whatever they view, instead of just being talked at.

How it works:

They want to first understand the ‘WHY’, the ‘HOW’ and then the ‘WHAT’. In any case, it is our job as advertisers (or as brands for this matter) to provide learning value to our target audiences. It’s beyond DIYs, people expect to learn much more expansively than just education.

Tools such as YouTube and podcasts are becoming a platform where more people tune in daily to learn. Given that in the current generation, television is being substituted by YouTube and Netflix, the number of eyeballs on YouTube poses a great opportunity to educate your target audience while emphasising on entertainment. This is why so many brands are turning to content marketing as their main focus, because it has the highest engagement rates as compared to other marketing strategies.



Brands could explore more educational content mediums and tools that resonate with their target audience. You’re expected to be ahead of your target audience, to give them WOW moments. Participating or hosting podcasts for your brand would be great educational content that is in line with the current trends. People prefer to just listen and multitask on the go these days, especially during their daily commute or when they perform simple activities such as chores or exercising.

What your brand can also do to teach your target audience is to find a niche that aligns with your products or values. You can make it a new norm by forming close-knit communities, where your audiences can educate and advocate among one another. It’s time to figure out how to position your brand as the best, to fit your target audience’s definition of best.

Crazy Rich Asians

On a more micro scale, one of the current Hollywood best selling movies – Crazy Rich Asians – starring an all-Asian cast already has had a bandwagon effect on brands.

The hype for the movie has led many lifestyle consumer brands to leverage on its popularity, using it as an attention grabber to live luxurious lives like the movie characters. Below are some examples of brands that rode on the wave.


Manulife Singapore:

Photo Source: Manulife Singapore

Manulife’s social media post suggested that being rich Asians just isn’t enough. Instead, they would be better off spending their wealth in a sensible and smart way by acquiring insurance, and ultimately, peace of mind. We can’t deny that it’s a smart move on word play!

DUCk Cosmetics:

Photo Source: Star 2

A Malaysian cosmetics brand – DUCk Cosmetics – recently collaborated with the widely loved Hollywood movie. Now everyone can be a part of the elegant movie aesthetics by expressing and treating themselves with this glamorous Beauty Chapter set.

Soluxe Protein:

One may ask, what can protein brands leverage on from a movie like Crazy Rich Asians? Well here’s how Soluxe Protein did it, with a comedic angle. As a result, there was positive response to these Instagram posts, boosting awareness and sales for Soluxe Protein.

Photo Source: Soluxe Protein

Photo Source: Soluxe Protein


While Crazy Rich Asians is still airing in cinemas, brands can leverage on different cultural elements of the movie to fit their product and brand values for marketing and advertising purposes. Perhaps before the next trending movie (we’re thinking Venom) comes out, brands can ride this wave.

So What’s Next?

At FOREFRONT, we strive for engaging contents that will connect personally with our client’s target audience. Looking to do just that? Connect with us HERE.

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