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A Place for Pop Culture in Your Marketing

Evelyn Ritzi
Evelyn Ritzi
BY: Evelyn Ritzi ON August 8, 2023

From viral TikTok trends to must-see movies (looking at you, Barbie!), pop culture is a never-ending cycle that’s become a wildly interesting and influential part of our lives.

As marketers, ignoring pop culture is not an option, especially in the digital age. 

Marketing is all about understanding people, and to understand people, we need to be aware of how popular events, topics, and trends shape how they think, behave, and communicate with one another.

Personally, a love of media and pop culture is part of the reason why I wanted to enter the marketing field in the first place!

But whether or not you’re an active participant in pop culture, it’s worth paying attention.

Here’s why:

Pop Culture Humanizes Brands

Incorporating pop culture references into your marketing can help you build stronger connections with your audience, especially when it comes to social media. People want to engage with brands that feel approachable, relatable, and familiar.

Think about the brands you follow and interact with on social platforms. Chances are the ones that grab your attention tap into your shared cultural interests and experiences.

Knowing Pop Culture Means Knowing What to Avoid

Pop culture is nuanced. Sure, some internet trends are totally harmless, but it’s not always easy to predict what might spark backlash and controversy.

What’s a marketer to do? Ideally, you want to know as much information as possible before deciding to jump on a trend or sharing a “hot take” on a cultural conversation. However, wait too long, and a pop culture moment may pass you by!

Ask yourself:

  • Does this trend resonate with my brand’s values, voice, and personality? (We can’t all speak with Wendy’s-level snark!)
  • Does my target audience know (and care) about the trend or topic? Are followers participating?
  • What are similar brands doing?
  • How could this trend be perceived by those who aren’t “in the know?”

Leverage the Latest Lingo (Before it Fizzles Out)

New slang words have been springing up even faster with social media’s ability to spread information. Being pop culture savvy ensures you can read the room and use the right language in the right context.

In other words, stay up-to-date so you can stay “slaying” and avoid a “flop era” (so cringe!)

Ready to Harness the Power of Pop Culture?

Bottom line: If it fits your brand’s personality and voice, it makes sense to look for creative ways to engage in pop culture moments. 

On the flip side, if participating in the latest trend feels inauthentic or inappropriate for your brand, ignore it and wait for the next one to come along.

At Ohlmann Group, we strive to stay on top of the latest topics and trends to provide the most relevant and creative advice to our clients.

If you’re interested in exploring new ways to reach your target audience, drop us a note! We’d love to talk about the dynamic intersection of marketing and pop culture.

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