Major (key emoji) for Brands: Staying Relevant

By Kat Pallotta
Over the past few weeks, you may have seen people use “Major (key emoji) to success” in an Instagram caption, Snapchat, Facebook post or tweet. This phrase refers to the popular Snapchat account of hip-hop producer DJ Khaled. More than 2 million people a day watch Khaled’s Snapchat stories that feature what he believes are major keys to success.
Leading brands such as MasterCard and Uber have participated in the DJ Khaled phenomenon by tweeting his trademark phrase in relation to their services. “Major (key emoji) Alert: If you need ID Theft alerts, we’ve got you covered (credit card emoji) #blessup,” tweeted MasterCard. The White House, which recently joined Snapchat, also used the phrase in its “My Story” the day before the State of the Union address, stating: “Major (key emoji): Get some rest before the big day.”

These organizations demonstrate the importance of staying relevant by connecting with fans through current events and pop culture references. Often times, companies get so caught up in adhering to a strict branding formula that they overlook capitalizing on a news item, popular trend, viral video or ubiquitous meme. Staying up to date on current events also allows brands to show customers that they care more about just the products or services they offer.
Here are other timely events that brands used to create major keys to success:

  1. “The Dress”: Everyone remembers the huge buzz surrounding a picture of a dress that appeared white and gold to some and blue and black to others. The Salvation Army was one brand that strategically used “The Dress” to make a stronger impact by focusing on domestic abuse. The campaign asked viewers, “Why is it so hard to see black and blue?” while revealing that “one in six women are victims of abuse.” This powerful campaign transformed the conversation to show people why domestic abuse is an important issue that needs to be addressed.
  1. Gay Marriage: Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was a constitutional right. One of the first companies that jumped on the news was Facebook. Within a few hours, Facebook released the ‘Celebrate Pride’ tool, allowing users to add a rainbow filter to their profile pictures. This instantly portrayed Facebook’s support for the new ruling.
  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A few days before the big premiere, Verizon asked Star Wars fans to share their theories about the upcoming film on social media for a chance to win free tickets. Not only did this create more excitement about the film, it allowed Verizon to offer its customers something special while also staying relevant.

Key Takeaway: Pay Attention to Current Events
A content calendar is a great tool, but you cannot always plan what the next trending event will be. By taking the time to research these topics, your company can take advantage of new opportunities and demonstrate its ability to stay relevant. Although you may have to think outside the box, in the end, relating this content to your brand will lead to major keys to success for your company!