mUmBRELLA: Why marketers shouldn’t twerk

3354bf6Brands – there’s no need to bounce your booty to be noticed in the online world, argues Boom Natives’ Charlie Leahy

As shock, horror and sheer wonderment grip the globe thanks to the rapid and seemingly over-night transformation of Miley Cyrus from pop princess to nymphomaniac nutcase, you have to ask yourself has the world gone twerk crazy?

You only have to check out the Instagram profiles of people such as the American musician DIPLO to see how twerking is having, what could be described as, a renaissance.

Hell, even Clive Palmer and Kyle Sandilands have got in on the act. Beware, this clip could offend:

For those (now few) people out there who don’t know what twerking is, it is a form of dancing that involves the dancer (or twerker) shaking their hips in a certain way that makes their buttocks bounce up and down. Genius.

This is by no means a new kind of dance. Anyone who has been to a half-decent raga of hip-hop sound system in the past fifteen or so years would have witnessed the twerk in some form or another. It is said there are even similarities between the twerk and traditional African dance  – so people may have been twerking for hundreds of years.

But as the twerk becomes the next global viral phenomenon – a set-up posted last week by Jimmy Kimmel that has so far received over 12 million views, a couple of million views short of the reveal that you can find here – it makes you wonder how many creatives are out there trying to piggy back the hype and come up with ways for their clients’ products to twerk on screen and secure them a viral hit?

“I bought a twerk. You bought a twerk? Yeah, I bought a twerk…”

In the same vain as the Harlem Shake and the reasonably fresh ‘Fox’ phenomenon, you can bet your bottom dollar (excuse the pun) that brands are wondering how to hitch a ride on this bouncy viral bandwagon.

Take this satirical clip that hit our screens recently. I’m not saying the brand was involved here, but the similarities between Miley’s oversized pointy finger during her MTV performance and the Coles Down Down finger offered up an opportunity too good to be missed for one creator out there in this quasi-pornographic mash-up clip.

So, why should marketers care? My point is that as this form of bum-wiggling gets increasingly popular around the world its important to realise that you really don’t have to make your product or brand twerk or do the Harlem Shake in order to get it attention in the online world.

My advice is don’t chase the viral. Although great if it happens it should not be your main goal. Don’t waste your time trying to come up with ways to get one-off hits that’ll grab you some short attention.

Instead, you are far better off investing your thoughts, time and money into creating regular, quality content that will help your brand build a dedicated and loyal fan base that will keep growing over time. By looking at the bigger picture you’ll set yourself up for far more success with your content and there’s no-doubt that it will have more meaning to your fans than a one-off quick laugh or the sight of someone’s bum bouncing up and down in the air.

Take a look at brands such as Burberry, Red Bull (I know, I know), Converse and Tourism Australia – all of which create regular content that speaks to their fans on their level, all of which have built up large dedicated followings over time. Examples worth following.

Having said all that, if you can convince your CEO that he or she needs to twerk on camera to get closer to your customers, please go ahead – just make sure you have some heavy bass handy so they can get the most out of the riddim’.

Charlie Leahy is creative director of Boom Natives, the content creation arm of Boom Video.

One Response

  1. Jessie Mills says:

    Love this!! So true, so many are impatient and want instant fame and gratification for their efforts. Becoming big takes time and effort, and the small steps along the way are still very rewarding.

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