Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.

1. TikTok for Guac

Chipotle launched the #GuacDance challenge on TikTok in honor of National Avocado Day. Why should you care? This campaign shows the power of TikTok. TikTok currently has around 500 million users and is the fastest growing social media platform, but still isn’t a household name. According to Vox, “TikTok is perfectly designed for our love of bizarre humor” and that’s exactly what Chipotle tapped into. For this branded challenge, TikTok users were asked to submit videos of their best avocado-inspired moves set to the viral, “Guacamole Song” by children’s singer Dr. Jean. Overall, they had “250,00 video submissions and 430 million video starts.” [a.list]

2. Recommendations by humans

HBO has launched a site highlighting reviews and recommendations of their shows by humans. Why should you care? This is an interesting counter-point to the algorithm-driven media consumption landscape. Whether articles, videos, music or product consumption, algorithms dominate our lives and drive our choices. However, word of mouth marketing remains incredibly powerful. This is a smart way to use technology to leverage the effects of word-of-mouth marketing to encourage people to watch different HBO shows, especially those an algorithm might be less likely to recommend. [The Verge]

3. Publicizing 1-star reviews

Seth Rogen is using 1-star reviews on Amazon to promote his new series, The Boys. Why should you care? Instead of moping over bad reviews, Rogen, on the advice of a reporter via Twitter, is using them to his advantage. It is an interesting approach, but in today’s world of highly targeted media, it fits. While the bad reviews may have once been seen as a more universal signal of a bad show, the more tribalistic approach to interests and affinities actually makes these reviews more useful. People who agree socially or politically will stay away, but those who disagree, may be more inclined to check it out. And not just to be contrarian or out of curiosity, but simply because the specific dislikes of these reviewers may directly align with their social and political views. [Mashable]

4. Scribbles instead of filters

Teenagers are scribbling out their faces in Instagram posts. Why should you care? While we are seeing a call for greater authenticity and representation in marketing and advertising, social media has changed what it means to navigate the insecurities around growing up.
Having our lives all online for the world to see has only made public the timeless internal dilemma, “I fear putting myself out there online, but I also fear being left out.” As brands do add increasingly authentic representations of real bodies, this will, hopefully, help alleviate some of the added pressures of navigating body image in the social media age, but brands should continue to be diligent in ensuring their images don’t exacerbate body image issues. [Refinery29]

5. Bumble + Fortnite

Bumble is now the proud sponsor of the first all-female Fortnite team. Why should you care? ESports. It isn’t niche (it attracts millions of fans), but it isn’t for every brand as authenticity is key for successful marketing efforts and branded partnerships in this space. Moving into ESports is such a smart move for a brand like Bumble whose mantra is to empower women. Women make up nearly half of gamers in the United States, but don’t always identify as such because of stigmas making it even more difficult to find supportive gaming communities. What better way to connect and empower female gamers than to sponsor an all-women’s professional team? [CNBC]

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