2016 has been the year for great marketing strategies in Pakistan. With brands like Gai Power Wash breaking the advertising norms, many other brands have stood out with their strong campaigns. The greatest highlight has been the use of hashtags to convey powerful and concrete social issues that have been neglected lately.
It seems like marketers have realised their responsibility and the fact that they can make a massive positive change among the masses with the powerful tool of advertising.
Hashtags are not only being used at weddings but also to attract customers by adopting a soft selling approach. Brands use hashtags to connect with people and to create conversations to interact with friends and fans to promote their product in a much more meaningful way.
Recently, Ariel has been leading the hashtag competition. Whether it be their #sharetheload or #washthelabel, Ariel did not only succeed in gaining popularity on social media but also at the same time they dealt with important social issues too.
‘Share the load’ was a TVC from a father’s perspective highlighting the prevailing gender roles issue forcing thousands of other fathers and men to share the load.
They have mirrored the way society imposes their subjective opinions on others. Also, their recent hashtag has won many hearts. ‘Wash the label’ is another very powerful campaign against unveiling how we often stain characters by applying labels without understanding, and Ariel has initiated to eradicate it.
Every individual has a right to pursue their dreams and this could be anything from being a fashion model or becoming a doctor. Ariel has taught us not to rob the confidence and happiness of people around us by imposing our prejudices. Thumbs up to Ariel for that!
UN Women has also been up in the game. Their ‘#beatme’ campaign brought an unconventional twist to advocacy on women’s rights.
In a compelling paradox, the campaign showcased a woman inviting a man to beat her – but at things she is good at. The campaign aims to inspire women to reaffirm that they are stronger than they are made to believe and aims to shatter the perception that a woman is weak, taking her from someone who is ‘beatable’ to being ‘unbeatable’.
Coca-Cola has also clambered by their call to action hashtag #shareacoke campaign. Consumers were encouraged to share their own stories and photos on the social media and it established harmony among the society. The campaign was a hit with tweets numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
The latest marketing tool has been somewhat stigmatised in popular culture, they really do play a crucial role on social media when used correctly.
Hashtags give users the incentive to categorise their own social posts, making it easier for other users to find content relevant to what they’re interested in. However, it’s not always a success as much thought and effort is invested in designing one. An example of that is the controversial hashtag #girlsdotheirownthing of a new clothing brand had outraged thousands of people on social media. Even though the message was unique and bold it wasn’t executed properly hence resulting in great resentment and criticism.
No doubt, hashtags can definitely make a huge difference but there’s no guaranteed success. One needs to design it carefully focusing on the concept, creativity and execution itself to grab the viewer’s attention.