It goes without saying that 2016 has been quite the year. We’ve witnessed a controversial new president become elected, a fairly high number of celebrity deaths, and of course a plethora of great memes. With all of this going on, we wanted to put together five key moments of the year in relation to advertising and marketing. Check out our recap of 2016 below.
Written by Malick and Dakarai.
Instagram’s Competitive Year
M: Instagram made some serious competitive moves in 2016. As any frequent Instagram user would know, the ability to display a photo or video for a limited period of time on their profile (also known as a “Story”) was added into the photo sharing app this year. The addition of this allowed fun instances in time to be displayed to whoever is a part of your network. The significance of this more importantly shows competitive action to Snapchat (who basically invented the idea of the Story). From personal experience, a lot of people in my network use their Instagram Story to link off to their Snapchat handle which seems to be counter productive from Instagram’s standpoint, by adding this function in it allows for insight on Instagram’s development from a competitive point of view.
Recently, Instagram also added in the ability to “like” comments on someone’s photos which was not previously available. With the importance of staying competitive in the social media game, these additions have really allowed Instagram to develop into an all-purpose platform rather than strictly having the app used for photo sharing. That being said, it will be interesting to see how it develops further in 2017.
Pokémon GO Goes Global
D: If you had told me in 2015 that a year later I’d be walking around downtown staring at my phone and catching Pokémon, I probably would have laughed in your face. To the world’s surprise, this is exactly what happened this past summer. The augmented reality mobile game Pokémon Go was an instant success from the day it was released on the app store. It became quite normal to walk outside and see groups of tweens, teens, adults, and even your grand parents walking around with their phones stuck to their faces in hopes of catching that evasive Pikachu. Because of the games early success, we saw quite the phenomenon with large corporations and small businesses getting involved.
Over the summer, retailers began to offer incentives such as discounts, free WI-FI, and phone charging stations for Pokémon Go players. Fast-forward to the end of 2016 and the game is certainly not as popular as it was in the summer. However, the brand is still trying to figure out new ways to keep the game alive! It will be interesting to see what they do in the new year.
M: While we did talk about this in one of our previous recaps, Vine’s disappearance from the social media world was a hot topic in 2016. In 2013, Vine was the most innovative, interesting, and entertaining platforms that I’ve ever witnessed. Users could record short video loops of anything they wanted. This turned into what I like to call “YouTube on crack”. Internet personalities like King Bach (pictured right), Jerome Jarre, and Brittany Furlan figured out how to use Vine for entertainment and used those as extensions to their also popular YouTube channels. For me personally, Vine was a lot of fun but I didn’t get on it until years after it was popular. However, 2016 claimed the six-second social media innovation for its own. With a lack of staying current, the development of Snapchat, and the success of Instagram, there was simply no room for Vine. This is the first time that I was there for the development of a social media platform as well as its end, so for me it came down to one thing: Vine’s lack of progress in recent years goes to show that staying competitive in any sphere of advertising and marketing is a key for success.
The Meme Takeover
D: Every year we have our fair share of memes and viral hits, but for 2016 there were two that stood out. Although completely separate on the surface, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe had similarities. For starters, they were “brand-proof”. Unlike, the “Damn Daniel” meme that was easily attached to Vans shoes, The Mannequin Challenge and Harambe were both created organically and didn’t carry a brand attachment.
The Mannequin Challenge started in November in a High School classroom, and quickly turned into a video fad where groups of people would pose in a typically funny way as if they were mannequins. Simple, funny, and cooperative were the driving factors for this meme’s success.
The Harambe meme was one of those things that came as a surprise to everyone. Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo Gorilla that was shot and killed after a child fell in its enclosure became idolized in 2016. All sorts of merchandise, songs, videos, and candlelight vigils were done in the honour of this Gorilla.
What’s important for brand’s to realize is that they don’t have to be involved in every single thing that happens in 2016. If you have nothing innovative or relevant to contribute when the next big meme comes out, it’s best to just not participate. Leave it for the people to enjoy!
The MAD Mix Won Big!
D: As many of you may know, we took home the “Student Marketer of the Year” award at the CAMP Marketing Awards in November. This was a tremendous accomplishment for us as we’ve done our best to grow The MAD Mix to new heights this past year. What started as a blog that Malick and myself wrote for, quickly extended to a platform that has welcomed over 30 different guest writers across North America. In 2017, we hope to continue to explore new opportunities with The MAD Mix through the addition of new features, team members, and hopefully another shiny award. Check out some of our photos of the event below!
— DAK (@DakTurner) December 30, 2016
That’s our recap of 2016’s best. You can check out all of our previous weekly recap’s here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here. Happy New Year!