Welcome back to our regular roundup of the stand-out social stories from the month just gone.

August’s social media roundup includes campaigns from Instagram, TikTok and YouTube as they aim to grow their appeal even further. Meanwhile this month, other well-known brands are focusing on causes such as wellbeing and wildlife trafficking, as well as giving a platform to disabled individuals in the lead up to the Paralympic Games.

For a deeper dive into social media platform innovation, head over to The Social Quarterly Report or the Social Media Platform Trends report.

Let’s dig in.

YouTube – ‘The Shorter Side of YouTube’

With the global rollout of Shorts – YouTube’s answer to TikTok’s short-form video format – the streaming platform has launched a new social campaign to boost its usage, which will run across all major platforms. Titled ‘The Shorter Side of Youtube’, a variety of social-led video content aims to encourage TikTok’s core demographic to give the YouTube’s latest offering a go and to get more creative than ever before.

The headline ad demonstrates the numerous ways anyone can drive existing trends, and make new ones, on Shorts. It also features a range of artists including BTS, The Weeknd and Doja Cat, emphasising short-form video’s key connection with music videos and audio, which already account for some of the most popular types of uploads on the wider platform.

On YouTube’s official social media accounts, it is taking the campaign one step further by posting weekly curated roundups (named Shorts Reports) of its favourite uploads. These cover everything from viral ASMR videos to crafting tutorials, recipes and magic tricks.

TikTok – Entertainment. Now on TikTok

TikTok have partnered with entertainer duo Ant and Dec for a new ad campaign which sees them travel back in time to relive the evolution of entertainment through the ages. Fans of Ant and Dec will know they have a following of some 3.1 million on TikTok, which combined with their renowned, lifelong comedy prowess makes them well placed to act as ambassadors for the app.

The humourous spot sees the pair begin as cavemen, then transition into ancient Roman entertainers and Shakespearean performers, before becoming the stars of a classic black and white slapstick film. Finally, after a quick stop at a TV studio, they reach the present day phenomenon that is the TikTok app, where they perform a viral dance routine. The ad then melds a montage of different videos from some of the platform’s biggest creators to demonstrate the vast range of entertainment available to its users.

Instagram – ‘Who we become is yours to make’

This month, Instagram is celebrating creators that are ‘challenging the status quo’, in a new campaign that ‘denounces going back to normal, because normal was never good enough’.

The social channel commissioned popular photographer Bella Newman to take portraits of some of Instagram’s most ‘culture-defining’ creators, which have been transformed into engaging, animated GIFs. Under the campaign slogan, ‘Who we become is yours to make’, Instagram’s content aims to inspire its younger users to display their most authentic selves on the platform as they decide who they want to become in the future.

Featured creators in this campaign include popular internet personality and barber Aaron Turk (@FatsDaBarber), environmental educator Isaias Hernandez (@QueerBrownVegan) and disabled social activist Emily Barker (@Celestial_Investments) among many others. This comes as part of a much larger effort from Instagram to present itself as a space for authenticity, diversity and inclusivity.

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International Paralympic Committee – #WeThe15

WeThe15 is a powerful social movement led by the International Paralympic Committee and the International Disability Alliance which aims to break down the stigma and discrimination that disabled people, who make up 15% of the global population, continue to face.

To coincide with the start of the delayed Tokyo Paralympic Games in mid-August, the movement has introduced a social-led campaign to empower disabled voices as part of a long-term drive under the hashtag #WeThe15. A 1-minute-50-second hero film looks to “build greater knowledge of the barriers and discrimination persons with disabilities face on a daily basis at all levels of society”, the organisation said on its website. It brings together a number of different disabled voices from across six continents and emphasises the commonality between their experiences.

The film will air on Channel 4 and NBC during the 2020 Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies. It will also feature on the movement’s official social media channels alongside other dedicated social video clips and photographic content featuring prominent Paralympians as they share details of their experiences and achievements.

Lululemon – Being well is a journey

Activewear brand Lululemon launched its ‘largest ever’ global advertising campaign in August, which asks what it means to be well in modern times. In particular, the activation focuses on the brand’s growing menswear collection, which has been gaining traction in recent months and has been spurred on by the rise of at-home workouts.

In a series of short spots, as well as a headline film, the campaign follows a number of men as they take on a journey to wellness amid their hectic daily lives and, in contrast, a prolonged period of lockdown isolation. Through these, Lululemon offers a more empathetic perspective on the idea of wellness as an activewear brand – “In order to feel well, first you have to feel” and “being well takes practice” – a far cry from the relentlessly motivational rhetoric some rival brands perpetuate.

This shift in perspective is underlined in Lululemon’s most recent posts on Twitter and Instagram, where it encourages its followers to share their own tips and tricks to maintain wellness beyond physical activity.

Consequently, each of its 15-second spots draws attention to specific item of activewear and emphasises how its design and utilisation makes the wearer feel during a workout or when out and about. While this campaign spans further than the realms of social media, the short format of the content lends itself to social platforms, conveying a compelling and emotive message with minimal branding except for the Lululemon logo and the name of the product.

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National Geographic – #ThinkBeforeYouLike

National Geographic aims to educate its fans and followers on the ongoing worldwide trafficking of cheetah cubs as pets with a new social media campaign titled #ThinkBeforeYouLike.

In a series of stunning and emotive photographic content, the organisation warns social media users to think twice about liking images and videos from accounts that post about their pet cheetah cubs. Speaking to Ad Week about the campaign, National Geographic animals desk executive editor Rachael Bale explains, “The idea behind the hashtag is to just get people to pause for a second and think about what they’re seeing before they decide to like a photo. It’s the one thing people can do themselves to help prevent cheetah trafficking.”

Alongside the captivating imagery, National Geographic is making an effort to share detailed information, educational resources and even newsreels about the trade of cheetah cubs via its official social channels. It also encourages its followers to join in the conversation to help raise further awareness of the issue by asking any questions they may have about the implications of trafficking the animals.

Tiffany and Co – About Love

Iconic jewellers Tiffany and Co. have teamed up with megastar couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z to debut the brand’s new campaign, About Love, which looks to explore ‘connection and vulnerability’ and love in the modern era. The brand has used channels like Twitter and Instagram to share a sneak peek of the activation before it launches globally across other digital media and print, receiving a largely positive response from social media users.

The Carters are the first couple ever to star together in a Tiffany campaign as the jewellery brand looks to tweak its creative direction and brand purpose. Alexandre Arnault, Executive VP of Product and Communications for the brand, said in a press release, “Beyoncé and JAY-Z are the epitome of the modern love story. As a brand that has always stood for love, strength and self-expression, we could not think of a more iconic couple that better represents Tiffany’s values.”

Featuring striking portraits of the pair, the campaign contains even more notable firsts: Beyoncé is the first Black woman to don the priceless 128 carat Tiffany diamond and it is also the first time the jewel has ever been used as part of a brand activation. One image, which features the couple posed in front of a rarely seen Basquiat painting, garnered more than 110k likes on Instagram in 24 hours, while a short video spot on the same platform has been viewed more than 600k times.

As part of the brand’s new partnership with the Carters, Tiffany has pledged $2 million towards scholarships and internship programmes for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Eos – Vagnastics

Finally, we’re turning to Eos for a humourous take on shaving as it encourages customers to continue using its line of shaving cream beyond the summer months. The video ad, which puts a quirky twist on a classic 80s workout video, provides viewers with some tips on positions to use to safely shave their bikini areas. It includes some amusingly named stretches including ‘The Cello’, ‘The Tripod’ and ‘The Dust Buster’, as demonstrated by three cheesy leotard-clad workout coaches.

Adding humour to convey information and advice on taboo subjects, such as shaving intimate areas, “helps de-stigmatize the topic, [unlike] speaking about it in a mysterious way as brands have done in the past”, Eos CMO, Soyoung Kang, explained in a statement.

The paid ad will be run in the US across TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat from August until October.

That’s all for now. For more social media updates, head to The Social Quarterly Report.