My Creative Hack 4: Social media word trends and mashups

Jun. 6, 2019
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My creative hack is a series of articles that introduces tips, practices, techniques and know-how that our experts use every day in their work to come up with new ideas, pinpoint the best ones, foster team work, etc. Our fourth writer, Kavin Sitsayanaren, Chief Creative Officer at Spicy H in Bangkok, Thailand, is known as a master of integrating digital, social and traditional communication design. Here, he discusses two tricks for fabricating ideas that work.

The world moves so fast these days and even faster in the world that people live in, where everything is connectable. In terms of connecting, it is fair to say that Thais are really fast-paced, as they are highly active on all social media channels. Whether Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Twitter, Thais are core users who rank near the top in terms of user growth.

More users means more content being generated every second. Sometimes the core competitors we are fighting are not the brand’s competitors, but gossip news, celebrity news or even cooking videos. All are fighting for attention.

Thus, to earn people’s attention, we need to identify triggers to break through news feed flooding. Here, I introduce two tricks—one digital and one analogue—that work in today’s world.

#1 Ride consumer word trends

Thai people are highly active on social media. They not only watch and read but—and this is key—they also participate actively. They post, they tweet, they comment and they express their thoughts by hashtagging a slang word. This allows us to observe and sometimes even borrow those #xxXXxxxXs to feature in our communication idea.

Since the #xxXXxxxXs mostly come from true insights, by using their terms we are already half way to connecting with social media users. Besides, it helps us keep abreast of the current trends that people are riding. The more you watch and read, you’ll find that sometimes people are themselves really creative! The way they coin the slang terms they use among themselves is very insightful and they can be very humorous.

To capture this word trend, we monitor and observe social media every single minute, as we know they are a great source. For me, Facebook feeds work best, as they contain everything, every interest and every behavior, that we can follow easily.

#2 Pinpointing and mashing up

Another trick that I use constantly and also encourage my team to apply is the mashup. Being creative, we’re often asked to create something new, something different from everyone else in the market. Often, narrowing yourself to the information you have at hand is like limiting yourself in a box. So we need to find a way of thinking that will allow us to come up with fresh ideas and break through the ice wall in the head.

My method is really simple and might seem old-school, but it’s really effective. For instance, say I was given a brief to sell a car with high speed performance as its key benefit. I will keep the key benefit in mind, then open up a magazine and randomly pick a word or visual and mash it up with high speed performance. Sometimes the results are weird, but many times they are weird in a good way that can be a springboard to coming up with a new approach or new communication method. The only thing required here is you need to be open minded because mashups open the doors to many possibilities that can lead to new ideas.

I have used this technique for years and it has really helped me explore lots of ideas that I would not otherwise have thought possible or a good fit for the brief. But, the more I do it, the more alternative ideas come floating in.

That’s why I also encourage my team to try this technique when they feel like they’re at a dead-end or have a mental block. It’s becoming a very productive starting point that allows us to develop ideas further.

Kavin Sitsayanaren
Chief Creative Officer
Spicy H Co., Ltd., Bangkok, Thailand
Kavin Sitsayanaren is a 41-year-old creative from Bangkok, Thailand, with over 20 years of experience in the advertising industry. A renowned specialist in integrating traditional and digital communications, he has won awards at various international and Thai competitions, including Cannes Lions, Clio Awards, New York Festivals, Spikes Asia, ADFEST, Adman Awards and B.A.D Awards.



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