Today celebrates World Cartoonist Day marking the 124 year since the birth of the very first cartoon by artist Richard F. Outcault. He introduced a small bald child in a yellow nightshirt to the world in an incredibly popular publication at the time, the New York World.
Since then, cartoons have broadened the way stories are told, from comic magazines to news stories they have provided not only great artistry but have also shaped how we as consumers are impacted by visual media.
By 2018 it was estimated that 84% of communications would be visual and video content was estimated to take up 79% of internet traffic, clearly proving the point of the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words. With this surge of image focused media, it is important to asses and reevaluate your PR tactics.
In this ever evolving and fast paced digital culture, what worked last year may not be as engaging to your target audience this year. To avoid being stuck in a PR rut it is always valuable to ask the question: can I tell my story in a different way?
If you feel you are in need of a PR refresh perhaps you can take a leaf out of Richard’s sketchpad and get animated with your PR tactics.
Video killed the radio star
Posts with videos attract three times more links than text only posts and your audience are far more likely to remember your message having just watched it, especially if it is emotionally engaging. Take John Lewis, the department store founded in the UK as an example. In 2009 they repositioned their brand as ‘the home of thoughtful giving.’ Chief strategy officer David Golding proved their message through their annual Christmas campaign, creating a festival ‘film’ each year appealing to their audience’s sense of nostalgia. They’re animated video of The Bear and the Hare played to Lily Allen’s version of Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know racked up nine million views in the first three weeks and has since been viewed by 36 million people on Youtube.
They have continued to succeed using video as the main form of advertising with their latest Christmas video starring Elton John racking up 11 million views across Youtube and Facebook within 24 hours.
The communications agency Third City also proved the power of using video in their PR campaign making them winners of the CIPR Awards 2017 with their imaginative use of digital media. The animated video moved the issue of vaccines up the global agenda through work around the Davos conference in 2016 and secured $350million funding.
Since 2015, Tumblr’s active user base has grown by 120%, Pinterest’s active user base has grown by 111% and Instagram’s active user base has grown by 64%. With such a huge growth in visual consumerism it is without a doubt highly important to manage your social media platforms efficiently and effectively. Carrying out demographic research to see what platforms attract most of your target audience and then maintaining a high level of engagement within that platform is essential. Once you have established the social media ‘language’ spoken by your audience you can afford to get creative.
Internationally renowned clothing designer Gucci have adapted meme culture into their PR strategy when advertising their clothes as the number of younger clientele have drastically increased within the past five years. This evolution in their digital marketing have shown that they are receptive to their audience, not afraid to take commercial risks and conscientious of using the changes in social media to their advantage when relating to customers.
The average person gets distracted in eight seconds, though a mere 2.8 seconds is enough to distract some people. Therefore, attention grabbing advertising is a must when strategising your PR tactics. By attention grabbing this does not mean TO ALWAYS USE ALL CAPS WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!
Instead, it is about thinking of clever ways to engage your audience without overdoing it, whetting the appetite if you will. Interactive advertising is a great way to turn something that can be inherently boring and one directional into something fun and engaging. The sweet brand Skittles made interactive Youtube videos which added an extra layer to promoting their product making it hard for people to just skip past it. People are 85% more likely to buy a product after viewing it, making this animated PR tactic an experimental success.