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Vulnerability is strength. And brands are taking notice.

Gone are the days of the perfectly curated campaign. The pristine filtered photos. Today's forward thinking brands are pushing the boundaries more than ever. Blame it on TikTok, blame it on fickle youngsters with apps on their phones. We are more intrigued by real life happenstance and are no longer enamored by over engineered perfection. Being raw and perfectly imperfect is what is more relatable and therefore more effective. We are all tired of this filtered utopian virtual world where everything has no semblance to reality. The perfect skin, the perfect hair, seen through the filters of Instagram and TikTok.

Who looks like that? Who lives like that? Seriously.

This is the age of picking up your phone shooting a short imperfect video with purpose and sharing it. That takes courage. To be vulnerable takes strength.

It is easy to sit back on the sidelines of an arena and criticize the gladiator fighting the tiger. But who is the most vulnerable and courageous in this scenario?

I am the first one to be cynical about some creators on social media, lip-syncing and emulating the latest mindless trend, but I also realize that it takes balls to pull off.

We see brands taking huge leaps of faith, such as Coinbase who simply aired a Super Bowl commercial, hmm for the tidy amount of $7 million, that featured a simple QR code. Now that's brave.

Real life is messy and we are coming to terms with it in our virtual lives as well.

Take Ocean Spray as a prime example. All their marketing efforts dwarf to the organic exposure that they received by a guy named Nathan Apodaca, aka DOGG FACE. During the height of the pandemic, he took out his phone, and videoed himself skateboarding with Ocean Spray in hand and lip-syncing to Fleetwood Mac's 1977 song Dreams. Ocean Spray was so happy about it that they even gifted him a brand new car. And let's not forget the resurgence of the band's music. I was in my car one time listening to Fleetwood Mac when my 15 year old at the time, asked me how did I know about Fleetwood Mac.

The world has changed and how we market our brands and companies has changed. But this is nothing new in our human evolution. We as humans relate much better to one's vulnerabilities and imperfections because they are a more accurate reflection of ourselves. So whip out that phone, do your thing and be brave and don't worry. Deep down we all know, you are the gladiator in the arena and we are all merely onlookers.

- Christos Joannides



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