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Digital Marketing // October 10, 2018

How September’s Big Happenings May Influence Your Brand


This past month, Marvel Comic fans have been rather excited for the long-awaited film about one of Marvel’s most prominent villains – Venom.

Ever since Venom’s proper introduction in the Amazing Spider-Man Comic Issue #300 in 1988, fans have come to love the nefarious villain for its symbiotic nature that evolves with a host’s psychological traits. After decades of Venom’s appearance in comics and animated shows, the recent movie trailers had fans excited about how this villain (made anti-hero in the movie by Sony) would swing into full action in its own movie.

What Does This Mean for Brands?

Consumer brands that are looking to inject a playful and adventurous personality could hijack on this trend by studying Venom’s character significance and history in the comics, as well as its overall storyline. There may be a white space to fit your brand in the market’s demands. For example, a case study we can look at is Deadpool’s highly successful marketing, where the character’s persona became the messaging’s main focus. His quirky and unapologetic character partnered with various F&B brands and charitable PSAs (for testicular and breast cancer) to get people excited for the movie.

Given how Venom is portrayed as a highly indestructible villain, brands could also play on Venom’s character to complement similar product traits. Besides this, another way to capitalise on the persona is to portray Venom as purely a villain or anti-hero itself in your brand’s marketing strategy. This strategy was applied when the Annabelle doll – the haunted doll from the movies ‘The Conjuring’ and ‘Annabelle: Creation’ – was used by RapidKL (Malaysia’s train operator) to remind passengers to mind their manners and etiquettes while being on trains. The campaign was highly effective despite the scary appeal, as Malaysian passengers and netizens praised RapidKL for creative strategy.

A Steadily Progressive Malaysia

The recent efforts to ban plastic straws as well as smoking in outdoor eateries are an undoubtedly great step towards a healthier Malaysia, which has fittingly received positive reactions from fellow locals.

In Malaysia alone, 30 million straws are used per day. That would be close to 11 billion straws a year and it will take up to 200 years to disintegrate. Some may ask: Would banning straws make a difference? Though they only make up a relatively low percentage of the ocean pollution, this will be a strategic first step in changing consumers’ everyday mindset on single-use plastic.

Photo Source: IQRemix - Flickr

Many brands and individuals have already been contributing to the efforts of reducing plastic usage, but the general public still has a long way to go in impacting the environment on a larger scale.

On the other hand, the effects of second-hand smoke is heavily detrimental not just to the environment, but to non-smokers as well. The government’s move to ban smoking in outdoor eateries is expected to reduce the rate of asthma, lung infections, and even lung cancer etc. in the country. The public has also recently expressed its desire to dine outdoors without being exposed to second-hand smoke, to enjoy the view and fresh air. Imagine alfresco dining being made a norm in Malaysian restaurants; it’s a scenario that would undoubtedly reinvent Malaysia’s dining experiences.

News sources have clarified that this ban should not be confused with banning smoking outdoors altogether, as smokers are still allowed to smoke elsewhere – just not within the 21 smoking-banned areas. This progressive step towards a healthier experience for locals and tourists alike is bound to eventually benefit Malaysia in the near future.


What Does This Mean for Brands?

Brands can utilise these current practices when carrying out initiatives (like campaigns) in order to educate the public, before the ban effectively begins later. Not only will this demonstrate pro-activeness, it will also show your brand’s desire to achieve the best for your stakeholders.

The Resignation of Instagram Co-Founders

The recent resignation of Instagram’s co-founders – Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger – may disrupt brands that are currently using the platform.

Photo Source: The New York Times

Ever since (at least) seven senior Facebook executives left the company this year during crucial seasons, Facebook has had many to handle the challenges pertaining to Facebook itself, as well as its high market-share products (i.e. Whatsapp and Instagram).

The amount on Facebook’s plate and the absence of its first-generation product developers poses the inevitable question: Will the morale of the Instagram brand be affected, and impact brands using the platform for marketing as well?


What Does This Mean for Brands?

Facebook and Instagram are known to have frequent algorithmic updates that rival other brands across the industry, to push the envelope for both platforms. However, will the resignation of these two key people, along with its accompanying issues and challenges, cause a change in personality and essence of the passionate Instagram community?

Hence, brands on social media are encouraged to constantly keep abreast of news and updates, and be comfortable with adapting to changes that may affect the communication with your target audiences, or data sensitive matters.

So What’s Next?

If you are seeking advice or consultation for your branding and marketing needs, feel free to book an appointment to talk to us! You can contact us HERE.

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