Making Marketing Pop (Culture)

The Super Bowl was this week! This year’s game marks the most-watched live program ever, sparking numerous conversations – not only about the game, but also about the commercials. Check out what the team had to say about the ads here. Commercials aired during the Super Bowl have an air of prestige, using celebrity cameos and lofty budgets to tap into pop culture in a way that not many marketing campaigns can. This raises the question: How can you cash in on pop culture without breaking the bank?

One common misconception is that having a celebrity or influencer tied to a brand is the best way to integrate the brand into pop culture. However, there are multiple brands that are at the forefront of pop culture without shelling out big bucks to celebrity partners. Duolingo and State Farm are two brands breaking the mold by creating their own celebrity instead of relying on an existing one.

With its cartoon owl mascot, Duolingo doesn’t have to worry about scandals tarnishing the partnership, they have total control over the character, and they’ve created an icon that people immediately connect with their brand. If an animated creature isn’t your speed, check out insurance agency State Farm and their spokesperson, Jake. They’ve created a character that they can use for just about any marketing purpose, and it’s not a character that’s tied to one actor. Both brands have created a versatile spokesperson that they can use however they need, without being reliant on a celebrity’s availability.

If a spokesperson isn’t quite your style, try cashing in on trends! If there's someone on your team who’s up to date on what’s popular on social media, use that knowledge to maximize your social media’s effectiveness. By joining in on trends, you’re putting your brand’s name in the conversation more often while also giving the brand an air of relevancy. It’s also a good grounding technique, as it reminds people that your brand is approachable. Think of Wendy’s when it started mocking other fast-food chains online – Wendy’s was starting an entertaining trend, playing off what others were doing online.

Pop culture may seem daunting, but staying up to date on trends is half the battle. Tapping into pop culture is a great way to reach a younger audience and make your brand seem more approachable. If researching trends isn’t something you have time for, reach out to one of our account managers for help! can make sure you’ve got a long-term, winning social media posting plan that resonates with the current culture.

Posted by Austin Spaulding - February 14, 2024