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Say hello to Clubhouse: The invite-only app

Say hello to Clubhouse: The invite-only app

The Innovation team at Instinctif harness the best of the future to deliver market-leading ideas in the present. The team’s specialism spans digital strategy and marketing, data & analytics, and strategic brand. With the world and news agenda fast-changing around us, now’s the time to get agile in how we think and work.

This newsletter brings you the best of the week in the ‘new normal’, straight from the desk of the Innovation team.

Innovation’s Account Director Ellie Day explores why now’s the perfect moment for Red Nose Day 2021’s campaign of laughter.

Step foot onto certain corners of the internet and you’ll be pelted with aesthetic quotes about the importance of laughing.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted”.

“Laughter is the sunbeam of the soul.”

And, the much-parodied favourite, beloved of wall sign and printed pillow afficionados: “Live, laugh, love.”

But behind the hackneyed, mass-produced Instagram posts on stock sun-dappled backgrounds (#inspiration), the sentiment stands true – and never more true than in times of adversity.  For, to throw another quote into the mix, laugher is the best medicine* (*not scientifically proven).
And that’s the message Red Nose Day is leading with this year, as it launches its ‘Funny is Power’ campaign.

The campaign video features a host of familiar faces who merit – dare we say it – “national treasure” status, from Judi Dench to Benedict Cumberbatch.

Each of the celebs shares their own view on laughter, with the ever-twinkling-of-eye Dench admitting that, “I have got myself into trouble more times that I can tell you by laughing in very serious moments.”

As for Cumberbatch? Despite his serious LAMDA background and the Sherlock/Patrick Melrose screen titles to his name, he understands the effectiveness of a good, old-fashioned chuckle.

“When you make light of something, often then it can just release the tension enough to breathe. To just have a moment’s respite from it. And that relief is much-needed right now.”

While it can feel like there’s not been a huge amount to spark joy (thank you, Marie Kondo) over the past months, Comic Relief’s campaign tells us that that’s exactly the reason why now is the time to lean on laughter as therapy.

The Richard Curtis-founded charity shows us that laughter is a tool for connecting us. Something we can share from afar; something we can use to defuse situations filled with anxiety. Harking back to the old saying (cue quote klaxon) about not knowing whether to laugh or cry, like love and hate, the two sit side by side; flip sides of the same coin.

This year, Comic Relief has announced its Share a Smile programme, which encourages people up and down the country to post their favourite joke in their windows. Building on the pandemic movement in which people placed rainbows on their homes in a show of appreciation for key workers, the aim is to create streets filled with humour, expression and humanity.

Rolling with the times, this year’s noses are plastic-free, instead made with plant-based materials, and a choice of 10 different nose options on offer.

In 2021 money raised will go towards tackling issues such as homelessness and will support people facing abuse and mental health issues. Funds will also be donated to help those hit hardest by the pandemic.

And to top up the laughter quote-ometer, we’ll leave you with this thought from Mark Twain: “The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter”.

So, tune in to Comic Relief on 19 March to find some escapism in humour; to laugh in the face of adversity. And then, if you’re able, turn that laughter into lasting change, by donating to an excellent cause.

Find out how you can get involved here.

Social media is here to stay. That’s no headline news – but did you know that the lockdown saw social media users grow at the fastest rate in three years? This brings global active users to a staggering 4.2 billion.

It’s a dizzying landscape, and to help guide us through this brave new world, social media management platform Hootsuite and the kind creatives at We Are Social have produced their latest global overview report for 2021.

The report gives us the 411 into how people around the world are using digital.

Take a look at everything from broad brush trends – such as the embrace of online shopping – or a deeper dive into more niche behaviours, in the full report here.

This week’s tip comes from the German team’s Head of Digital, Susanne Theimer.

The invite-only audio chat app Clubhouse is the latest rising star in the German social media landscape.

On the surface, it comes at exactly the right time. After endless months of COVID restrictions, people are longing for contact, personal exchange and – above all – variety, amid the monotony of life in front of a screen.

People are social creatures; we want to chat.

And if Twitter is based around words and Instagram around pictures, Clubhouse is based around audio.

It’s a voice-led platform that allows users to follow live chats, and contribute with questions, thoughts and debate.

Audio media forms are enjoying a vogue that few of the doom-mongers of the death of radio would have predicted a few decades ago, particularly among millennials.

But let’s see if anyone in Germany will still be talking about this app next month, or if the interesting functionalities will simply be copied by already established social networks like Twitter or Facebook and then used there. Much is still unknown.

Are we facing an existential problem of the digital age, where we are provided with new channels and tools with which to express ourselves faster than we have anything new to say?

As far as the German-language discussions on Clubhouse are concerned, we can identify one main group using the platform right now: journalists and PRs. They talk about what kind of event should be organised on Clubhouse, how important good moderation is. Expertise and rules for the new kind of conversation are developed before anyone has said anything. For example, it is considered impolite to ‘pitch’, to talk at length in order to promote something that you do yourself. Monologuing participants are dangerous for such a spontaneous audio format, so they are discouraged.

The question automatically arises: will people who earn money with their communication skills and who have real influence be active on Clubhouse if you chat there for free?

We will continue to observe the development. In the meantime, the Clubhouse party with illustrious media personalities continues, and we are happy to follow the fun.

Perhaps that is the most important message in these unusual times: enjoy the journey.

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