Monday Musings: So, why is your chicken crossing the road?

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We all know the chicken crosses the road, right? But the burning question has shifted. It doesn’t really matter why the chicken is crossing the road. Rather, it is to whom does it matter that said chicken is crossing the road? Do we identify with the chickens? Do we care?

While this question was asked in the world of content marketing, the same analogy and questions can be useful in other spheres of our life.

Is it relevant? Do we care? Who cares?

This weekend we cared rather a lot about the fact that we were once again dealing with load shedding! Yup, we’re back in the periodically dark – Eskom load shedding is back until end of August, or so they say. Plus, we had quite the “reality check” with our vaccine programme, as Professor Shabir Madhi, a virologist at University of the Witwatersrand, put it.

South Africa has had to halt the rollout of our million doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine after evidence emerged that the vaccine did not protect clinical-trial participants from mild or moderate illness caused by the contagious B.1.351 variant. If further studies show that the vaccine does protect against severe cases, the vaccines will continue to be rolled out. In the meantime, according to health officials, the country will continue to inoculate our health workers with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which has strong efficacy in preventing severe cases and hospitalisations caused by the new variant. Cape Town pharmaceutical company Biovac is negotiating with a handful of companies to develop vaccines locally.

With our attention turned to local, how’s your marketing going just two months into a fresh year? If you’re worried you made some bad decisions already or haven’t started with a plan, it’s ok. Take stock and have a quick refresh before those chickens decide to come home to roost.

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Here are some easy tips (without breaking your brain or budget) to switch up your content marketing strategy:

  • Create unique content – go wild. But if you’re feeling rather uninspired, think how you can repurpose your most popular piece of content. Perhaps repurpose an article into something visual. Would it make a great infographic or a short and snappy social media video?
  • Write magnetic headlines. Keep it short, emotive, humorous, debunk a myth or ask a question.
  • Use emotive language. Write a strong one-liner or emotionally moving description of the hardship your article’s subject has had to endure.
  • Keep it short. The headline sets the tone for the article so keeping it short and sweet will give readers the right impression. Long headlines make them feel as if the article will be long and tedious to read. Fair enough.
  • Have a humorous element. Make use of puns, for example, to give your headline a kick.
  • Allude to debunking myths: Who you gonna call? Mythbusters! Make it sound like you’re about to go on an adventure. Your headline has got to be convincing enough to get your reader on board.
  • Pose a question: Nothing piques curiosity like a thought-provoking question.
  • Add images – and remember to optimise for SEO.

It seems humour, emotion and being listened to are the keys to our heart, not just in marketing but in all areas. Again, it’s all about who cares about that chicken and why.

Plus, having a plan. Any plan. In the words of Terence McKenna: ‘If you don’t have a plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan.’

PS: Speaking of being listened to, the days may feel topsy turvy but there’s an important one coming up for those not part of the #I’mSingleBecause hashtag trending on Twitter. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. You’re welcome.

Mindful Musings

Here’s this week’s top quote to help you always fail forward…

It’s not about the mistakes and failures, it’s about how you handle them.

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Marketing Musings

This week, our Marketing Musings story of a practical example of the good, bad and ugly from the world of marketing and communications – whisks us to the world of advertising in the US where Superbowl Sunday saw millions of Americans glued to their screens for the 55th year running.

This mega event is said to bring a staggering $300 to $500 million to host cities. One of the most anticipated activities around the event, even more so than the sport itself, are those famous Superbowl ads. But for companies, are they worth it? According to a 2018 study published in Marketing Science, the answer is yes. Superbowl ads are said to reach 1 million viewers and will take a cool $5 million out of your budget.

Here’s how Doritos leveraged their single Superbowl ad in 2007 with minimal effort on their part, all thanks to creating a buzz around user generated content.

Here are all 2021’s Superbowl ads, graded from best to worst, showing who is hitting the mark and who’s way off target in this crazy world we live in.

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What the world was musing over this past week

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Get into the virtual queue

Delta has launched virtual queuing to let customers know when their seat is boarding. Yes, there’s no need to stand and rush when your flight is boarding anymore. Now you’ll get a notification when your seat zone is boarding, helping support social distancing and just making life a whole lot easier.

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Female first during a crisis?

According to new (sure to be controversial) research, women have been rated as more effective leaders during the COVID-19 crisis. Ever heard of the glass cliff? It’s a phenomenon referring to women being handed something that’s broken (e.g. a struggling company) with the near impossible chance to save it.

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Check into your favourite Netflix series

If Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit can inspire a rush to buy chess boards, could it inspire travel? The 21C hotel in Lexington, USA, a town with a prominent role in the hit Netflix show, has turned one of its rooms into an ode to the series – and chess. But did they act fast enough?

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Walk on the wild side

Walking the dogs took a new meaning in the Simbavati Safari Lodge in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park. This remarkable video shows a vehicle of lucky tourists enjoying a walk alongside a pack of African Wild Dogs.

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Goat, you’re on mute

Now you can hire a goat to liven up those Zoom meetings. An enterprising farm owner in Lancashire, UK, is hiring out goats (temporarily), for £5, to pop into your next Zoom meeting. Perhaps it’s not long before one of our South African farms jumps on the trend … What quirky animal face would you like to see in your next Zoom meet?

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The world’s happiest songs

Need a mood lift? Move over Disney. You may have been the happiest place on earth but a Dutch neuroscientist has used ‘careful’ research to find the happiest songs on earth. A playlist for 2021 if ever we heard one! It includes “I will survive”, “Walking on Sunshine”, “Living on a Prayer”, “Dancing Queen”, and “Don’t Stop me Now!”.