Category

Lightbox Loves

Lightbox Loves: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

In 1943, the American psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced his theory of The Hierarchy of Needs, a theory that is still relevant to understanding human behaviour today. In this theory, he shows that humans have different levels of needs that motivate them throughout life. Tapping into these different need states can help brands meet the right consumers with the right message at the right time.

In its most simplistic version, Maslow’s Hierarchy splits into five levels, each one needing to be met before a person can go on to meet the next. Level one is based on our physiology – the need for food, water, sleep and warmth. Level two is the need for safety, which includes shelter, financial and job security, and health. Next, psychological needs are introduced. The third level includes belongingness and love needs, such as creating social connections with friends, family and romantic partners. The next level up outlines esteem needs: the need to feel important, respected, purposeful or accomplished. The final level of human needs is for self-fulfillment. This includes any creative activities and, unlike with other levels, the motivation to meet this need only ever increases, even once this level is achieved.

Brands can effectively reach their audiences by feeding into multiple consumer need states. For example, Lidl’s price comparison campaigns tap into both the basic physiological need for food and the need for security of finance by demonstrating lower prices than competitors. On the other end of the hierarchy, Tesco’s “Food Love Stories” campaign focuses on the importance of food shared with others, tapping into level three and our need for social connections with friends and family. Understanding where a brand or product sits within these levels of needs can help to frame benefits for the chosen target audience.

the7stars’ Joydex tool can help to identify when a consumer might be most receptive to messaging around a particular need state. Using IPA TouchPoints data, the Joydex maps emotions over the course of a week, helping to pinpoint times of day when consumers are most happy, stressed, relaxed or feeling a whole range of other emotions. When a consumer is feeling stressed, messaging around basic comforts and securities might be more relevant, whereas in moments of happiness they may be more open to messaging around esteem or self-fulfillment needs. Paying attention to the context and mindset in which marketing messages reach consumers will ensure that they cut through the noise in a cluttered media landscape and land in a way that resonates with individuals.

– Katie Gebbie

Source: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html

 

Lightbox Loves: The One With All the Sitcoms

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

On the 27th of May, after years of speculation, the “Friends Reunion” finally aired on Sky. It has been seventeen years since the final episode which saw the coffee-loving friends move out of their New York apartments after ten seasons, 236 episodes, Ross’ three failed marriages and one iconic couch. Recorded in April, the one and three-quarter hour special saw the cast reunited to take a trip down memory lane, revisiting the characters’ old haunts and recreating classic scenes. For one night only, Monica, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe and Ross were back.

The Reunion, watched by an estimated 29% of U.S. streaming households on the first day, demonstrates how enduringly popular the show is: HBO reportedly paid $425 million for the sitcom in 2019 and it is regularly voted one of the most loved of all time.

It’s a stalwart of popular culture. To mark the show’s 25th anniversary in 2019, Lego launched a 1,079-piece collectible set including pieces to build a miniature Central Perk, Ralph Lauren advertised a Rachel Green-inspired collection and US furniture company Pottery Barn recreated the infamous apothecary table. Experiential installations were constructed across the globe; Primark, for example, installed its own Central Perk in Manchester. Even Google demonstrated its enthusiasm with Friends-related Search results throwing up interactive graphics (a search for Ross, for instance, caused all the results to “pivot”!).

“Friends” is not alone in inspiring such terrific levels of nostalgia. The return of “Gavin and Stacey” in 2019 for a Christmas Day special was watched by 11.6 million people, becoming the biggest festive ratings success in over a decade. Meanwhile, it was announced in April that popular comedy “How I Met Your Mother”, which ran from 2005 until 2014, is getting a reboot. This nostalgia seems to have reached its zenith during Lockdown: “The Office US”, for instance, was Netflix’s most streamed series last year.

In 2019, the7stars’ Nostalgia Report found that most Brits (90%) spend at least some time thinking fondly about the way things used to be, with the 90s, the decade “Friends” was first broadcasted, thought of most warmly. Brands who ride the wave of this nostalgia reap the rewards. Foxy Bingo, for example, was the only gaming brand to see year-on-year improvements to consideration, up 19% (May20), when it sponsored “Friends” on Channel 5.

The recent audience figures suggest that fondness for the past has only increased over the pandemic with viewers seeking comfort in re-runs of sitcoms. Brands can harness this nostalgia by aligning with well-loved comedy shows that offer consumers a shortcut to something familiar and fun amidst such uncertainty. Despite Courtney Cox crying “it’s not like we will do a reunion in another fifteen years,” only time will tell how durable our love for the sitcom will be.

– Emily Blatchford

SOURCES

https://www.adweek.com/convergent-tv/friends-no-holds-barred-anniversary-celebration-isnt-slowing-down-anytime-soon/

https://variety.com/2021/digital/news/friends-reunion-viewing-ratings-hbo-max-1234984547/

https://variety.com/2021/digital/news/the-office-most-streamed-tv-show-2020-nielsen-1234883822/

https://www.the7stars.co.uk/nostalgia-is-it-what-it-used-to-be-the7stars-whitepaper/

https://www.the7stars.co.uk/work/foxy-bingo/

Lightbox Loves: The Video Revolution

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

Time spent in lockdown has rapidly increased consumers’ need to be entertained; last February, the7stars’ quarterly consumer tracking report showed that nearly half of Brits increased their consumption of video streaming services since going into lockdown the previous November. The shift to more time spent in on-demand streaming platforms has sparked major developments in in-app video usage.

In 2021, TikTok took the number one spot in being the first app that 13-19-year-olds open, with the primary reason being to “find entertaining content” (YPulse, 2021). This emphasis on watching video content differs greatly from previous years, where Facebook ranked the highest amongst these age groups for keeping in touch with friends and family.

Besides growing in importance to users, video platforms are also retaining their users for longer throughout the day. A recent study revealed that total viewing in 2019 averaged 84 minutes. It is estimated that this figure has since seen a 19% increase with the average person now predicted to spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos this year.

Platforms, as well as behaviours, are evolving. Since the fast growth of TikTok and short-form video, both Snapchat and Instagram have entered long-form video territory by testing ads in Spotlight and Reels​. Even Netflix has borrowed the TikTok format by trialling their ‘fast laughs’ product​ in a bid to give their users more ‘on-the-go’ content as short as 15 seconds.

As video continues to grow, it’s crucial to stay on top of the latest trends in order to create the best strategies for your brand. Video’s popularity also goes hand-in-hand with users’ expectation for brands to engage with them through this format, as studies show that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support (Hubsport, 2018). Brands who stay on top of the latest trends and formats will therefore reap the rewards.

– Emilie Flanders

Sources:

The QT, the7stars proprietary consumer tracking study​, February 2021

Video marketing statistics to know for 2020 | Smart Insights

How Video Consumption is Changing in 2021 [New Research] (hubspot.com)

The First Social Platforms Gen Z & Millennials Open When They’re Bored – YPulse

Online video viewing to reach 100 minutes a day in 2021 – Zenith (zenithmedia.com)

Lightbox Loves: Staying Close to Home

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

Last week the UK government announced which destinations would be on the ‘green list’ of countries we can visit from Monday 17th May. For those hoping for a long overdue holiday abroad, the list may have been underwhelming. Twelve countries made the cut, with Portugal, Australia and Iceland perhaps the most appealing inclusions. 

Shortly after, YouGov found that just 5% of Brits have booked a holiday abroad this year. This is dwarfed by the 20% who have already booked a holiday within the UK for 2021. While it’s still early days, and there’s hope that more countries will be added to the ‘green list’ in the coming months, this is not yet the overseas holiday boom which some may have hoped for. In fact, online travel agent On The Beach has stopped selling all overseas holidays until September, even to ‘green list’ countries. 

So, even though over 35 million of us have now received a coronavirus vaccine, why are we still so hesitant to go abroad? According to YouGov, it’s not a changed travel experience which is the biggest issue (38%). Rather, almost half claim that the financial costs of having to do COVID-19 tests is a barrier for them going abroad. Similarly, 44% claim it’s the financial cost of travel. This ties in with the7stars’ recent thought leadership piece, The Experience Economy Rebound, which considered the paradox between our openness to experience holidays again and the financial difficulties the pandemic has brought. 

Although this may seem all negative, there’s some conclusions to be drawn. Firstly, it’s evident that the UK tourism industry is again likely to benefit at the expense of overseas holiday destinations. After a boom in the second half of 2020, we can expect to see staycations remain the go-to holiday option for most Brits. Whether the Lake District, Cornwall or Brighton, businesses in popular tourist spots can expect to see heavy footfall in the coming months. 

In addition, it’s clear that many Brits are still feeling the financial squeeze of the pandemic. Although images of busy shops and pubs have become commonplace over the last month, financial insecurity still lingers for many. For brands hoping to reach consumers as they embrace the new frontiers of freedom, it’s worth bearing in mind that many may not yet feel ready to indulge. 

 

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/travel/survey-results/daily/2021/05/12/c25f2/1 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57084732 

https://yougov.co.uk/topics/travel/articles-reports/2021/05/12/nearly-half-british-adults-view-cost-covid-19-test 

the7stars, ‘The Experience Economy Rebound’ 

Lightbox Loves: A League of Their Own

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

Just as the Premier League, English Football League and Women’s Super League announce their four-day boycott of social media from the end of April, we have seen a demonstration of how powerfully social media influences the modern game. Over the past week, coverage of the European Super League, and its demise at the behest of outraged fans, dominated the news.  The role of social media was crucial in this, providing fans with a platform that amplified their voices to clubs, officials, politicians and even non-footballing audiences to gain support for their cause. Ultimately their outcry led to the demise of the ESL in a matter of days. How did social media help fans take down the league? And what can brands learn from this?

The explosion of discussion on Twitter after the Sunday night announcement of the league was immense and immediate. There were 1m mentions of the Super League in the seven days from its announcement, peaking last Wednesday when a third of mentions occurred in response to the English teams announcing their withdrawals from the league. Perhaps surprisingly, sadness rather than anger was the most common emotion among tweets, with 37% of posts expressing this feeling and showing the sense of hurt and betrayal that fans felt. The cry-laughing and rolling-on-the-floor laughing emojis were the most used emojis across the seven-day fall-out from the announcement (tweeted 16,309 and 7,171 times respectively), as fans criticised and made light of obvious flaws in the ESL’s plans. Their humour helped to embarrass the ESL organisers and bring the issue to a wider audience, especially as memes proliferated across social platforms. Despite the entertainment factor involved, there were also serious conversations occurring about the nature of professional football today. Among the most used words in tweets were “community” (10,350), “listening” (5,624) and “greed” (6,881) as fans felt that the ESL undermined the fundamental values of sportsmanship and the traditions of grassroots football.

The ESL failed for a number of reasons, but the lesson for brands from this episode is that brands must understand culture and where they fit within it. It’s hardly surprising that the ESL jarred fans, given the long-standing traditions of the game but also due to more recent cultural shifts that we have seen higher importance on community values across society. Heineken’s reactive ad got this right, combining the right tone of voice and a meme-like sense of humour. Culture is something that brands need to continually consider as part of their communications, especially as it develops so rapidly in the digital world.

 

Sources: BrandWatch data.

Lightbox Loves: Miss You Already?

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

After more than a year of social and travel restrictions, economic uncertainty, and business closures, today is a day worth celebrating. For the first time this year, we can get our hair cut, shop to our hearts’ content and enjoy a well-deserved pint in our favourite local. With two thirds of Brits agreeing that the past year has been worse than a typical year, you’d think we’d be welcoming our new found freedoms with open arms, and never looking back…

To some extent, this is already proving to be true – even with freezing temperatures this morning, the re-opening of the high street was greeted with queues of Brits ready to experience a dose of normality. However, despite there being a huge appetite to enjoy many of life’s pleasures once more, over half of Brits (54%) claim that they are going to miss some elements of lockdown.

So much so, 1 in 5 of us admit that lockdown was better than expected, with this number doubling among 16 to 35 year olds. For 20% of Brits, personal finances have improved as a result of the pandemic, 1 in 3 now feel closer to their immediate families and 1 in 5 feel a stronger sense of community, claiming that they now have a better relationship with their neighbours.

It seems that we might already be starting to look back at the first lockdown with rose tinted glasses. A viral TikTok video which romanticises some of the cultural highlights of the March 2020 lockdown – such as Tiger King, #clapforcarers, DIY hair cut disasters and baking banana bread, describes last year as the ‘good ol’ days’ and ‘#bettertimes’, which has generated over 1 million likes and 35k comments – many of which positively reminisce about when lockdown was novel, recalling the period as ‘fun’ and ‘a vibe.’

As humans, we are very good at looking back with a glass half full attitude, focussing on the fond memories gained during lockdown, whilst allowing the more traumatic recollections to fade away.

Whilst it’s still too early to tell whether some of the fondness held towards lockdown will become part of culture, or if it will be all-forgotten as ‘normality’ resumes, brands who can help us navigate ourselves out of lockdown, by showing empathy towards our experiences over the past year, and continue to focus on some of the positives gained during this time are likely to engage consumers in both the short and long term.

 

Sources:

https://www.tiktok.com/@wil.gos/video/6917607961292508417?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tyla.com%2F&referer_video_id=6917607961292508417&refer=embed&is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/uk-coronavirus-restrictions-lockdown-rules-study-b925875.html

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/policy-institute/assets/a-year-of-life-under-lockdown.pdf

https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/year-life-under-lockdown-how-it-went-and-what-people-will-miss

Lightbox Loves: TV Recap Podcasts

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

Throughout the last year, with many of us feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the impact of the pandemic, we turned to memories of the past for comfort. This involved revisiting old favourite TV shows, films and music as this brought a sense of nostalgia during such an uncertain time.
According to a Nielsen study conducted with Billboard in the USA, which explored the impact of the pandemic on entertainment consumption, it showed that more the half of consumers sought comfort in familiar music and TV shows – with 54% recently rewatching episodes of an old favourite TV show. This trend was also observed in the UK where according to a survey by Uswitch, 45% of Brits rewatched the sitcom Friends.

Looking at what is driving this trend, an article by Stylist discussed how when rewatching old favourites, or listening to old music we are remembering the good memories that are associated with them, whilst also longing for those “better” times.

To accompany this, there as also been a rise of TV recap podcasts. Although not a new trend, it is something that has certainly picked up pace during the pandemic with revisiting of old favourite TV shows. These podcasts are hosted by former stars of the show, such as The Office, where they provide listeners first-hand experience of their production.

One example is the popular podcast called; Fake Doctors, Real Friends, which features Scrubs co-stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison, who relive the hit TV show, discussing an episode of the show each week. In an interview with The Ringer, Braff explained that the podcast happened to appear at a time when people were more likely to revisit Scrubs, as it offers their audience an excuse to focus on something other than the pandemic.

They are not the only ones who have taken advantage of this trend. ‘Talking Sopranos’, debuted last year hosted by former Sopranos stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, and the upcoming launch of “Welcome To The OC, Bitches!” in April with Rachel Bilson and Melinda Clarkes, comes nearly 18 years after the show’s premiere.

Going back to our favourite TV shows and / or accompanying them with a recap podcast, has offered comfort and escapism from the situation we have been navigating this past year. It will therefore be interesting to see whether this trend will continue and offer opportunities, especially as we start to ease out of lockdown.

Lightbox Loves: NFTs – Useless Junk, or the Future of Selling?

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

Earlier this month, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced he was selling his inaugural tweet, in an auction scheduled to end on March 21st, the fifteenth anniversary of Twitter, with proceeds donated to charity. At the time of writing, the highest bid is $2.5m.

The contents of this tweet, you ask? “just setting up my twttr”.

That’s it. That’s the tweet.

The auction is the most outlandish use to date of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a craze which – from video basketball trading cards to William Shatner memorabilia – is revolutionising the collectibles market. NFTs are digital entries on the blockchain – the technology used by cryptocurrencies – and thus cannot be altered. Each token is unique, and the purchaser receives no physical copy. Once Dorsey’s tweet has been sold, it will still be accessible to anyone online who wishes to view it, free of charge.

Much like Bitcoin, the NFT market is booming, having grown by more than 705% in three years to $338m, according to Forbes, as tech entrepreneurs scramble to invest in rival auction services. That growth is snowballing in 2021, fuelled by ludicrous price-tags like the $69m just paid for a .jpg file at a Christies auction.

While these tokens may seem to appeal only to millionaires with cash to burn, NFTs could play a pivotal role in the future of digital media. The technology offers a secure route for creators to sell their work, with buyers safe in the knowledge that they are receiving an authentic item. If the owner sells on their token, the original artist receives a cut, as they do for each subsequent sale, creating a continuous source of income not afforded by physical art.

After a decade of creators protesting over lost revenue fuelled by the rise of streaming services – an issue only exacerbated by the pandemic, as shops shuttered and venues closed – NFTs may offer musicians an opportunity to claw back lost royalties. The acclaimed group Kings of Leon are among the first to experiment with the technology, releasing a version of their album this month exclusively as an NFT.

Print media, too, may look to adopt blockchain technology. Fuelled by a near-terminal decline in advertising revenue, many titles have sought to implement paywalls, with varying degrees of success. NFTs could offer an alternate source of revenue for publishers, where consumers participate in microtransactions for individual articles.

While NFTs represent only digital works for now, this could change. In 2019, Nike obtained a patent which allows it to create blockchain-compatible trainers – where the token would serve as a digital certificate of the shoes’ authenticity. Should Nike’s experiment prove fruitful, other brands will surely follow.

The use of non-fungible tokens is not without controversy, however. Far from a sustainable breakthrough, the carbon footprint of producing an NFT is enormous – one piece of digital art created by the musician Grimes produced an estimated 70 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Furthermore, like any booming market, the risk of investing in NFTs is substantial: many in the financial world have long predicted that the blockchain bubble would burst in much the same vein as the dotcom bubble of the early 2000s. So far, their predictions have come up short.

Whether the recent NFT craze will have a lasting impact on the digital media industry remains to be seen. Yet, after a year in which almost every aspect of life was forced to adapt to a new digital normal, brands should turn a blind eye to this latest trend at their peril.

Lightbox Loves: The Pratfall Effect

By | Featured, Lightbox Loves | No Comments

The Pratfall effect is a theory developed by psychologist Elliot Aronson in the 1960s, and according to the theory you can become more appealing or likeable by admitting or demonstrating your own flaws. The theory was discovered after an experiment where Aronson has recorded an actor answering a series of quiz questions. In one experiment group, participants saw the video where the actor simply answered most of the questions correctly. In the other group, participants saw the actor answer the exact same way but during the quiz he spilled a cup of coffee over his shirt. Boths groups were asked to rate the actor’s likeability and Aronson found that the participants found the clumsy actor more likeable.

This type of study has been replicated with different environments, from people rating other’s attractiveness, to during job interviews or when people are choosing which cookies look more appealing to them. All studies demonstrate the Pratfall effect and the appealing nature of authenticity.

Many brands have already used the Pratfall effect within their advertising, from Stella Artois’s ‘reassuringly expensive’ ads to own up to being more expensive that most pints, to KFC’s famous apology campaign where they changed ‘KFC’ TO ‘FCK’ to apologise for running out of chicken in 2018 using full page print ads. Buckley’s cough medicine ad in 1990 using the phrase “People swear by it. And at it. It tastes awful. And it works.” helped them become one of the leading cough and cold medicine brands in Canada.

The Pratfall effect can have the implications of honesty and fallibility, and by owning these flaws the consumer is less likely to think you are lying about the other messaging they see from you. According to Edelman’s Brand Trust report in 2020, 53% of people say that trusting a brand is the second most important factor when purchasing a new brand, only behind price. Therefore, even though it can be a gamble to openly admit a flaw as your ad tagline, it could also be a great way to humanise your brand and be more likeable to consumers.

 

SOURCES

https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/oct/28/pratfall-effect-brands-flaunt-flaws

https://www.einsteinmarketer.com/pratfall-effect-marketing/

https://www.edelman.co.uk/research/trust-barometer-special-report-brand-trust-2020