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We all get sick of buzzwords. When a word is overused, it simultaneously becomes full of meaning and also meaningless — so much so that everyone has their own idea of what it means. In 2022, ‘metaverse’ has been such a word. Since the term was coined in 1992, its contextual meaning has evolved significantly, but ultimately, it still describes a virtual world. 

In a nutshell, the current iteration of the metaverse is a virtual place where people can use avatars to play games, socialise, shop, and work, usually with VR headsets.

We already live in a world where physical reality and virtual reality coexist; not just with VR technology but with algorithms micromanaging our digital spaces. All of our online behaviours are monitored — from purchasing and socialising to labour, culture, and news. So where does the metaverse fit into the picture?

Some tech giants claim it’s our future. Some gaming experts say it’s just a dull retail space. Many digital media reporters agree it’s not even close to reaching its full potential. So, let’s investigate metaverse experiences; can they live up to their promises? Or are they just bad video games, made by and for people who don’t play video games?

Jump to section:
The promise and the present: what do metaverse experiences look like?
What does the metaverse have in common with video game virtual worlds?
How does virtual commercialism impact metaverse experiences?
Sentiment and science fiction: do consumers prefer the real world?
How can we reach the potential of the metaverse?

The promise and the present: what do metaverse experiences look like?

Facebook’s vision for the next phase of the internet, along with its rebranding as Meta, has been largely responsible for bringing the metaverse concept into public consciousness. Notably, Mark Zuckerberg’s Connect 2021 presentation explored their vision and built hype around a metaverse integrated with everyday life — from playing sports to catching up with friends.

Still from Facebook Connect 2021

Of course, there isn’t really a metaverse yet (as Zuckerberg was careful to point out). The space is constantly evolving as tech companies continue to make substantial investments to develop their ideas. The general vision involves an immersive 3D experience that connects computers, mobile devices, cloud-connected servers, and various other technologies.

However, for now the reality is a handful of bland, video-game-like experiences. They’re primarily focused on promoting brands and selling cryptocurrency, and rarely feel rewarding for the user. The promise of the metaverse feels far from fulfilled. And, importantly, few reporters seem to talk about it in actual human terms; it’s all tied up in technical jargon. So, consumers know it’s meant to be exciting and significant, but the appeal isn’t particularly clear to them.

What does the metaverse have in common with video game virtual worlds?

For the video gamers holding discussions in Reddit threads, blog articles, and YouTube videos, Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse isn’t particularly groundbreaking. Why? They’ve already been living it out… For 20 years now.

Screenshot of gameplay in Second Life (2003)

Launched in 2003, Second Life is an online platform where users create an avatar and go about daily activities in a virtual world. While Facebook’s (or Meta’s) metaverse is advertised as a place where you have a virtual version of your house, attend virtual meetings, and have a virtual workspace. So, is it simply a VR-compatible iteration of Second Life? 

From World of Warcraft to Animal Crossing to Roblox, video games with sophisticated virtual universes are already all around us; complete with their own customisation, currencies, and curated experiences. In fact, many millennials who wouldn’t self-identify as ‘video gamers’ have still grown up spending time in virtual worlds; think The Sims, Habbo Hotel, IMVU, Club Penguin, and even Neopets (#nostalgia). Nowadays, popular titles like Minecraft and Skyrim are delivering greater immersion through VR functionality.

So, what are the first metaverse experiences — like Decentraland or Meta’s Horizon Worlds — offering that these video games don’t? Ultimately (and unfortunately), it seems like the main difference is access to real-world commercialism. 

Fashion Week branded experiences in Decentraland

How does virtual commercialism impact metaverse experiences?

Metaverse experiences in 2022 come with an often-pervasive presence of advertising, brand partnerships, crypto, and NFTs. Not to mention, it costs hundreds of dollars to invest in an Oculus VR headset from Meta and you need a crypto wallet with the game’s token to access Decentraland. All that for a virtual reality version of Second Life?

Virtual commercialism is nothing new. Take Fortnite as an example; its global community of players are able to earn or purchase ‘V-Bucks’ as currency to further customise their experience. Across today’s gaming industry, product placement and microtransactions are mainstays. Particularly for consumers playing mobile games — where two-tap purchases deliver instant rewards and easy wins — the dopamine hit can become almost irresistible.

So what are metaverse experiences and video games doing differently? In general, video games prioritise the player’s experience and immersion; commercial elements are positioned as opportunities to enhance gameplay. In contrast, metaverse platforms often compromise the user’s experience by including disruptive, tedious, or clumsy advertising. Compound that with existing consumer concerns about their data being misused, and the vibe feels even less comfortable.

The outcome is a collection of awkward, blatantly commercial spaces. They feel like the brainchild of people who know nothing about video games, trying to cash in on the game craze. That’s not to say that metaverse advertising is off the cards altogether; but an integrated, ‘audience-first’ approach would likely go a long way in combatting disengagement and creating experiences that more consumers will actually want to have. 

Ready Player One (2018)

Sentiment and science fiction: do consumers prefer the real world?

Didn’t we all want this? The world went mad for futuristic movies like Ready Player One, so why isn’t it working out the way we expected?

Well, for one thing, the current promotion of the metaverse seems to forget that the futures in these science fiction movies occurred after an apocalyptic event — the stories are dystopian. The characters are virtually attending all their everyday activities because they don’t have a choice. For us, now emerging from a global pandemic, being outside and meeting our loved ones in person has become a luxury we don’t want to lose. 

Iceland’s tourism board expressed that very sentiment in a November 2021 video, in which a man with a striking resemblance to Zuckerberg introduces us to ‘The Icelandverse’. The man, called ‘Chief Visionary Officer Zack Mossbergsson’, explains that The Icelandverse is ‘enhanced actual reality without silly-looking headsets’. This parody deftly reflects how many people are feeling about the metaverse – namely, that they would prefer to experience real life. 

According to a Harris poll, only 38% of Gen Zs agree that the metaverse is the next big thing; a perception largely influenced by privacy concerns, ethical considerations, and poor immersion stemming from graphical limitations. As it stands, these early-stage platforms are a long way off from presenting aesthetically appealing worlds. Video games are further along in this pursuit; but as the Icelandverse video makes clear, the real thing is pretty hard to beat. So, if it’s going to be a valuable addition to our lives, the metaverse needs to do more than what we’ve seen in science fiction.

Iceland Tourism Board: The Icelandverse

How can we reach the potential of the metaverse?

The potential of metaverse experiences is undeniably big. And sure; as the tech continues to improve, the spaces will become more immersive and appealing. But it’s just as important that the thinking behind the spaces also evolves in the right direction. 

For the metaverse to arrive at the destination it’s aiming for, it should look to the gaming world. Game developers create captivating virtual worlds that players return to time and time again; it’s all about making the digital experience rewarding, varied, and above all, genuinely enjoyable. If metaverse platforms and brands tapped into gamification through that user-first lens, they could develop truly captivating experiences. 

Advertisers looking to develop richer, more enjoyable branded spaces can do so using the distinct characteristics present in games. Compelling objectives and challenging roadblocks build curiosity and hold attention whilst sparking opportunities for entertainment. A scoring system or feedback loop makes the game rewarding and keeps people invested. 

This gamified approach doesn’t have to be complicated. Just look at This is Perth, a TikTok game-show-meets-content-engine we created this year. Simple guessing games like “Sing This Jingle” tap into branded stories, using nostalgia to spark an emotional response from the intended audience and nurture connections with them. If metaverse platforms used the core elements of an actual game to tap into the playful mindset of Gen Z, the user’s experience could start to feel more like a games night amongst friends and less like a cold, commercial space. 

Ultimately, it comes down to crafting an experience the audience wants to have. As marketers, investigating why metaverse experiences miss the mark equips us with insights we can apply to our own work. Chances are, there’s a way your brand can tap into game theory; that’s a win for both your business and its audience. 

Campaigns have always changed seasonally – just look at this 1912 ad for ‘winter soap’. The sad thing is that they haven’t evolved much over time. If we treated winter in the same way as other trending societal conversations and used it to gain insight into what consumers care about, then maybe we would see more than cold women wearing ‘life changing’ Oodie blankets… So here’s a run-down of where we could start.

Recognising and reflecting consumer experiences in winter

Rain does funny things to humans. What are you trying to protect in the rain? An outfit? Your hair? Do you drive more cautiously? How hard does the rain have to get before you start slowing down and thinking about your own mortality? The best ads are short reflections of our own behaviours that we may never have noticed before (or at least, never put into words). Think dashing between shop awnings to avoid the brunt of the rain, taking a comically long step to pass over a puddle, or walking through the rain because someone once told you that running would increase your exposed surface area. How would you feel seeing these behaviours referenced in a piece of marketing?

Here’s another example. Sunlight becomes a precious commodity in winter; for early risers, 5:30am starts were once greeted with soft pink hues on the horizon. Now, they mean upwards of another hour and a half of darkness. On the other end of the spectrum, more and more workers will be leaving the office at twilight or worse for the next few months. How does this affect us? What does it do to our mood? What are the nice and not-so-nice parts of the experience, and could they be reflected in an ad?

The specificity of these experiences, behaviours, and beliefs are the portals into insights that can connect a consumer with a brand or product.

“You’re like me. You just proved you get me so perfectly; you must understand what I want in a [car/jacket/headphones/shoes; insert product here].”

At the very least, consumers are more likely to believe a brand that gets them on one level will get them on another. As Seth Godin said, “People don’t believe what you tell them, and they rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.”

If a consumer tells themselves that your brand understands them, you’ve fostered a space for connection and loyalty to thrive. But there’s no silver bullet; it’s a cumulative approach that should factor in every touchpoint and design choice along the way. The ad is just one piece of evidence among many that contribute to the consumer feeling understood.

Winter consumer purchasing behaviours

Some winter-specific consumer needs are obvious. For instance: the weather is getting colder, so people will be looking to update their winter wardrobe and buy more blankets and heaters for their home. Let’s take that to another level: people will want to escape the miserable weather, so they might consider booking holidays in sunny locations. Even deeper: online shopping spikes during cold weather. Not only because people want to stay indoors, but because they’re looking for mood-boosting experiences. 

Even if you don’t incorporate winter themes into your campaign, you can still use this information to avoid marketing mishaps. There’s no point blowing your budget promoting an in-store deal when most people will be shopping at home. But how do you avoid becoming part of the landslide of cosy-jacket-wearing, tea-drinking clichés that appear at this time of year? Can you find a way to reflect the not-so-obvious authentic experiences rather than tired stereotypes?

Superdry’s 2021‘The Jacket to Own Winter’ campaign immediately comes to mind as a missed opportunity. The international fashion brand was aiming to present its jackets as the ultimate wardrobe necessity for the season. They enlisted Winter Olympics athletes and boldly claimed that the ad encouraged Aussies to do everything they couldn’t do in the lockdown winters. However, the generic scenes of friends wearing the jackets in various touristy locations across Victoria just felt empty. Perhaps if they had gone deeper than ‘people in winter need jackets,’ they could have created more meaningful connections with their consumers.

Superdry ‘The Jacket to Own Winter’ campaign

Aussie winter advertising vs. overseas

Winter means something completely different in the Northern hemisphere. Over there, it coincides with Christmas, and this influences practically all of the advertising. Brands focus on nostalgia, the importance of family, and the usual holiday clichés; advertising based solely on ‘winter’ is rarely seen. So, when it comes to creating marketing campaigns that are influenced by winter weather alone, Australia is mostly on its own.

Without that ability to look to iconic global brands, there aren’t many innovative winter campaigns Australians can use as inspiration. The closest we’ve gotten to challenging the well-trodden tropes of winter advertising is the 2021 Tasmanian tourism campaign, ‘The Call of the Off Season’. Did it use a lot of familiar wintery scenes? Yes. But the campaign also went in a fresh direction, aiming to reframe ‘off season’ tourism to Tasmania. The two 15-second films urged Australians to embrace the winter attractions, with Tourism Tasmania CEO, John Fitzgerald, claiming the ads showed that ‘winter is when we thrive’.

Tourism Tasmania ‘Come Down For Air’ campaign

And it’s true, the ad makes you feel excited about an invigorating winter adventure in Tasmania. BMF’s group planning director Thomasine Burnap said the ad features ‘the almighty roar of a pagan bonfire, the hiss of a lakeside sauna, the beautiful mess of a seafood feast, or the throb of a festival stage’. These evocative scenes certainly created a strong campaign, but how can we take winter marketing further and connect to consumers on a deeper level?

Innovations around weather-sensitive advertising

One way that marketers can connect with consumers’ weather-related needs is by anticipating changes in the day-to-day weather, rather than creating blanket campaigns for whole seasons. Stella Artois analysed 12 years of Met Office data and found that the actual everyday weather had more of an impact on their sales than the seasons. This insight is a game-changer. When we anticipate weather events rather than reacting to them, we can reach customers at the exact moment they’re most receptive to a specific message. But how do we pull this off?

Take Pantene: they researched the key weather triggers for ‘bad hair days’ and then partnered with a weather channel so they could show ads on the pages that were forecasting these changes. This resulted in a 28% increase in sales. The ads themselves were pretty basic, but the tactic could easily be repurposed into a campaign with more powerful and emotionally resonant creative assets.

A bit closer to home: AAMI used current weather conditions in a 2016 outdoor advertising campaign for roadside assistance. They had a series of digital billboards, which would switch between versions of the ad depending on whether it was sunny, rainy, cloudy, or windy. A stormy version featured sinister lightning bolts behind a family on the side of the road; the caption read ‘a storm travels fast, we move faster’. Typical insurance slogan aside – the ad would have made an impact because of its incredible relevance in that moment.

AAMI digital billboard

Relevant solutions for outdoor weather worries

It’s an obvious connection: when you’re outside, the weather will affect you more. Also, if you’re targeting customers with time-sensitive advertising, then the location can matter too. Outdoor advertising is particularly useful for connecting with customers right when they need your specific solution; even more so if you can reflect the specific experiences they might have in that physical space.

Strategic outdoor advertising like this can position consumers to be much more receptive to the messaging. Ideally, the creative strives to complement a person’s day rather than interrupt it (we see you, YouTube ads). This means outdoor advertising is not only useful for providing in-the-moment solutions to winter woes; it’s also an opportunity to make a lasting impression and relate authentically to consumers.

Creative ways to use the changing seasons to your advantage

So, how do we use these innovations in time-sensitive weather advertising and outdoor marketing to move winter advertising forward? How do we take advantage of the opportunities that seasonal topics provide?

Well, a key takeaway would be that these techniques are all well and good; but if you just use them to target customers with generic content, then eventually the novelty will wear off. Surely, when the first online banner ad was seen in 1994, people didn’t scroll past it with a world-weary sigh like they do nowadays. If we use these weather-sensitive innovations to reflect relatable, entertaining, or emotional human experiences rather than convey a generic call-to-action, then maybe they won’t end up the same way.

Anglicare WA ‘The Cold Campaign’

We’ll leave you with one piece of Australian winter advertising that has succeeded in breaking the mould. Wunderman Thompson’s 2021 campaign for Anglicare WA, ‘The Cold Campaign’, was designed to highlight the plight of homeless people sleeping rough in the winter. Using the idea of ‘temperature contagion’ – where your body temperature cools just from hearing or seeing someone suffering from the cold – they created an ad that actually made listeners feel cold. How? Well, Wunderman Thompson put actor Liam Graham into a commercial freezer before he voiced the ad. It was well-received, winning the Gold and Silver Siren Awards for 2022’s best radio ad.

So, next time winter rolls around, try steering away from over-used concepts and surface-level references. Instead, look at the unique ways winter can affect the experiences of the consumers your brand speaks to. This way, you can create an authentic, emotion-led campaign that subverts expectations and delivers relevant solutions.

Culture hacking is about relevance; keeping pace with what your customers care about when they care about it. Which is something that most brands simply don’t do. Why? Put simply, most businesses think that in order to sell their brand they need to talk about what makes them great. I’m sure you can already see where the issue is here… 

While you’re off bragging about the features of a new product, your customers are dreaming about bettering their own lives; going on adventures, making friends, gaining status, respect, or power, feeling sexy, morally superior, or spiritually whole. Your product might be great, but what does it mean to buy it from your brand? Will it help them express who they are in the story of their lives?

In other words, does spending money on your brand make me more… Me?

That bias comes down to whether or not your brand reflects their worldview; that is, the values, attitudes, beliefs, perspectives and opinions that inform the way they see the world. Proving to your customers that you’re worthy of a place in their story often comes down to how your brand contributes to the cultural conversations they care about. You establish your brand, or the people behind your brand, as ‘one of them’. 


Humans talking to humans

It sounds obvious, but the first step is to recognise that your audience’s identity exists outside of your purchasing decision. They have hobbies, likes, dislikes, fandoms, and political views. They’re far more than their occupation, gender, address, age or any other kind of demographic data they fall into. In our cultural landscape, humans express their identity through the content they share and consume.

Marketers, when you’re not working, what are YOU doing? Are you scrolling Insta, listening to a pop culture poddy, scouring YouTube, or finding the perfect GIF to make your BFF laugh on messenger? When was the last time you took ten minutes out of your day to watch a corporate explainer video?

This brings us to a key question. Can your customer express their identity by sharing your brand’s content?

Let’s look at an example. A standout campaign by the American feminine hygiene brand, Always, joined cultural conversations around the gender stereotypes within society. Produced in 2014, their #likeagirl YouTube video has received over 70 million views since its creation, sparking a powerful global movement tied to their hashtag. That’s pretty impressive! The video has even been used in schools worldwide to educate students on the impact of gender stereotypes.

The business recognised an opportunity in the sociopolitical conversations happening at the time and chose to platform equality; a message they knew their market could relate to and connect with.


Steer clear of self-importance

So here’s what not to do; as we mentioned already, plenty of brands tend to put their product on a pedestal. This is the pinnacle of self-important marketing, where the consumer’s wants and needs are secondary to the brand’s message.

That’s not to say that self-important marketing never works; just that there’s an opportunity to go deeper which many advertisers miss. By connecting your brand to the opinions and worldviews of your audience, you’re developing the kind of affinity that’s essential for establishing long-term brand loyalty.

So what happens when your brand’s message is disconnected from its audience?

In 2017, AirBNB sent out their ‘floating world’ email with the intention to market a holiday experience where travellers spend an entire trip ‘without touching dry land.’

On the surface, it sounds like a pretty cool idea.

The problem here is that Hurricane Harvey was tearing through Houston at the time, causing unprecedented rainfall that submerged much of the area.

The ad came across as insensitive and offensive because it was. Because AirBNB wasn’t in touch with the cultural happenings around their audience. Because their focus was purely on their new campaign bringing in more revenue. 

Think about how you’d feel if your friend made a joke about your house after it was just destroyed. What’s your immediate emotional response?

The fact is, each and every piece of content on the internet will evoke an emotional response of some kind; be it envy, desire, respect, appreciation or even admiration. 

So ask yourself, how do you want your viewers to feel?


Partnering with cultural leaders

The power of cultural leaders to influence conversations is monumental. If you’re not a cultural leader, ask yourself; can you work with one? Can you influence the influencer?

Recently, we worked with our sister agency Lush on a creative campaign for Volunteering WA. The objective? Shed the ‘daggy’ vibes and attract a younger audience aged 18-27 to make positive change through volunteering. 

How’d we do it? We partnered with cultural leaders, of course.

Enter Cold Nips, a community group that meets weekly for a dip in the ocean to promote wellbeing and positive mental health; and Oli Clothing, an environmentally conscious, well-loved clothing label from Perth. 

These two influential local brands already had the trust and attention of the audience Volunteering WA was trying to connect with; partnering with them meant tapping into that audience’s pre-existing desire to make positive change, connecting that feeling with volunteering. 

We documented a social volunteering day at the beach with Cold Nips and OzFish. Attendees received an Oli X VWA shirt and collected seagrass fruit to help restore and regenerate seagrass meadows. It worked; the campaign generated a huge uptick in volunteer applications in the span of just two months. So well, in fact, that the campaign made it to the news.


Become a cultural touchstone

Culture is forever changing. It might seem strange to us now, but people in the 90s genuinely thought the internet would be a passing fad.

More recently, the world went crazy when Will Smith smacked Chris Rock at the Oscars; memes, debates, and commentary burst into our newsfeeds instantly. As a marketer, it is your role to be aware of the conversations, movements, and events going on around your audience, not just what’s going on for your brand.

Where does your brand fit into culture? 

A brand like Pela that sells phone cases made from recycled plastic, a short look at their Instagram page reveals posts about wildlife, biodiversity, world water day and mental health.

Every brand has a unique set of messages and values; so it follows that different brands will connect to different areas of culture. Your content should speak directly to your target audience, telling an authentic story that recognises and contributes to the conversations surrounding them. 

The kind of person that is going to buy a recycled phone case is likely someone that is passionate about environmentalism. That’s why the content that Pela posts sparks emotion in their audience. They feel proud to be supporting a great cause, they feel admiration for the work that Pela is doing, and vitally, they can express themselves through the brand.

So perhaps ask yourself, where does your business sit in today’s cultural conversations? How can you identify people leading your line of culture?


Interested in reading more about how culture can impact your branding? You might enjoy this blog post analysing cultural references in this year’s Australian Lamb ad. 

On a final note, not everything you post has to comment on a current social issue. Sometimes it’s just about having a bit of fun; so on that note, here’s one from Oreo in 2013 when there was a blackout at the super bowl…

Our Creative Director Mike Drysdale was recently featured on 92.9 Tamworth. In the interview, he explores the power of cultural conversations in the context of the latest Australian Lamb ad.

You can listen to the full discussion below.


The Lost Country of the Pacific, a short film by Australian Lamb, is as close as Australia gets to a blockbuster ad. 

Equal parts spectacle and narrative, the three minute epic arrests the audience’s attention with a melodramatic set up and story. It seeks to entertain with almost every cultural reference that could be made about the current state of the world.

An ad like this takes significant time and energy to craft. The campaign video doesn’t look or feel like an ad; it comes across more like a movie. Importantly, lamb is not the focus. Instead, it’s presented simply as a delicious-looking part of the larger story.

It doesn’t matter that the premise is absurd, and the execution feels familiar to Australian Lamb ads of the past. In a way, that further cements their existing brand.

More Easter eggs than the Easter Bunny: cultural references

Ad campaigns that live within the current cultural landscape and allude to current events feel magnetic; it’s hard to look away.

Once you start to see references to topics you’ve thought about recently, you look out for more. You’re transfixed by the next Easter egg and feel compelled to discover if it will mirror your experience. 

So, what did get mentioned? 

Interstate border closures, overseas travel, Westralia, the rise of State Premiers, billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in space, conspiracy theorists believing in Australia being a “fake country”, sport bubbles, Victorian lockdowns, French submarines, fruit picking backpackers, and more. 

Jam-packed with references to current cultural dialogue, the campaign builds connection with its audience. Each of the cues used draws out an emotional response from viewers across a wide variety of world views.

What’s missing? Two notable omissions

Fascinatingly, the ad made no mention of COVID-19 and no mention of Australia Day. Considering the breadth of references tied into this campaign, these gaps are hard to ignore.

Australian Lamb’s ads have come out around this time every year for over a decade. Notably, it wouldn’t be surprising if every previous year’s version had mentioned January 26th.

This suggests that change is afoot. Brands that were previously loud supporters of Australia Day are now reading the change in public opinion around it and adjusting their messaging.

Notably, Australian Lamb’s Youtube channel has videos dating back five years, but their previous campaigns are unavailable. 

This could signal a larger movement away from messaging tied to Australia Day. January 26th was a promotional opportunity for many years, but times have changed. Instead, iconic brands like Cricket Australia, Triple J, and Australian Lamb are now aligning with a general sense of Australiana. In effect, working to make lamb synonymous with Australia rather than Australia Day.

Specific mention of COVID-19 was also notably not present. As a result, we can likely assume this is due to the pandemic fatigue felt by audiences across the nation. Many brands are refraining from tying heavy messaging on the COVID-19 pandemic to their business.

Instead, advertisers show flow-on effects such as lockdowns, State Premiers, and empty airports, as seen in the campaign.

Cultural impact: how the audience responded to the ad

This cheeky, topical piece quickly hit the #1 trending spot on YouTube. It had its audience laughing, crying, and most importantly, talking.

It’s a marketing sweet spot. In re-watching the video and sharing it with their own networks, viewers engage with the campaign time and time again. This builds free awareness for the product and adds to the wider dialogue. 

Here’s a snapshot of the public response:

Marketing that’s fun makes a simple promise to the customer based on emotion and the philosophy of “show, don’t tell”. It simply asserts – this product makes life more fun!

And who wouldn’t like a little more fun in their life? When you take away the pressure of family, work, and finances, fun plays a big role in fulfilling needs around belonging, self esteem, even self actualisation. Imagine a product that could do all that. We’d buy it.


Snapshot: 5 reasons why fun marketing matters.


How can marketers create fun campaigns?

It’s no surprise that fun is generally colourful, nostalgic, cute, and energetic. All things that rarely if ever incite a fight or flight response. Instead they trigger the emotional, inner-child part of our brain that wants a little less responsibility and a little more enjoyment. A space where many purchases are made.

What your customer deems fun might be vastly different depending on their worldview. But generally speaking it’s things that make us laugh and feel good; and as marketers we can utilise our knowledge of our audiences to tap into their unique perspective of fun.

We’ve curated an assortment of marketing campaign examples that make use of fun in different ways, appealing to diverse audiences; keep reading to check them out.


Examples of fun marketing campaigns

Darth Vader Volkswagen

This commercial is built around the fun of imagination; adorable childhood conviction alongside a familiar character turns a moment of wide-eyed wonderment into an advertising piece that genuinely makes viewers laugh.


Home Alone Again

What do you get when you combine Google Assistant with the one-and-only Macaulay Culkin and an undeniably fun content concept? A sixty-second advertisement that became the number-one trending video on Youtube, that’s what.  


Who will save the Oreos?

This integrated campaign takes a sense of play to a whole new level, encouraging fans and other brands to get in on the fun of protecting OREO cookies at any cost. The mission sparked conversations all over social media and generated over 100 million impressions.


Alexa’s Body with Michael B Jordan

Here’s one way to create an ad that viewers want to watch over and over. Clever, humorous scripting all the way through the video and quality talent work together to deliver a simple brand message in a fun, memorable film. 


Belt Up by Dear Storyteller

Proof that a serious and important message can be effectively delivered in a fun way, this campaign encourages local sporting clubs to develop a stronger appreciation for seatbelts using a playful concept for promoting road safety.


Mechanical Rock: Go with the Data by Dear Storyteller

Taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to craft a memorable narrative around the importance of process, this content piece parodies some of the biggest backfires of all time to entertain and inform an audience rapidly accruing tech debt.


Shareable content that gets remembered

As Maya Angelou once famously said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Fun is something that sticks with you; it’s an emotion you want to share, almost like a gift. And when your customers go to look back on who gave them that feeling, they’ll hopefully grow that same affection for your brand.

If you’d like to take the next step with your brand and create a marketing campaign built around fun, we’d love to talk strategy with you.