26 . 10 . 15

Twentysix do #Engage2015

Engage ConferenceLast week, Alice and I took a trip down south to attend #Engage2015 and rub shoulders with some of the biggest global players in social media and I’ll tell you what, it really paid off! Days have passed and we’re still chatting about our favourite highlights of the SocialBakers hosted event and how we can use our newly imparted wisdom to further help our clients. Instead of only sharing our knowledge internally throughout twentysix, we thought we’d show a little altruism and share the best bits from one of the UK’s best social media conferences for all to see.

Social media detectives and creatives in the audience were stimulated by 18 terrific speakers at Engage, but the sake of brevity we’re only going to focus on the talks that resonated with us most. These stand-out talks were by Steven Mehringer of NATO and Lars Silberbauer at Lego… it goes without saying that neither of these brands warrant introductions!


Lars Silberbauer – Lego

To say Lars made an entrance would be a real understatement. Pre-empting his walk up the stage, projectors covered the back walls with an action packed montage of animated Lego clips, backed by some bass-thumping Dubstep, neatly tied up with a little “Everything is Awesome” to ensure that everyone’s brains would loop those three words for the remainder of the day.


"As you can see I have no idea about what this is…But I’m pretty sure if you asked the kid, he would have an amazing story about it"

“As you can see I have no idea about what this is…But I’m pretty sure if you asked the kid, he would have an amazing story about it”

Lars touched upon some very interesting subjects, such as the importance of their social media team being spread across a number of times zones to ensure optimal reactiveness and service. Lars highlighted truly how receptive Lego are, not just to their audience’s wants and needs, but also how the audience uses its product.

He demonstrated this awareness by showing us an image of a young child, beaming with pride and clutching a strange Lego contraption. Lars went on to explain “As you can see I have no idea about what this is…But I’m pretty sure if you asked the kid, he would have an amazing story about it”. He continued by showing us a statistic which purported that 98% of the audience were creative geniuses at the age of 3 years old (though as an analyst, it’s my duty to point out this stat should be taken with a grain of salt). With the knowledge that children have unrestricted creative freedom, they strategised a campaign called “Kronkiwongi”. What’s a Kronkiwongi you ask? I have no idea but these kids have a much better clue:

What is a Kronkiwongi?What’s a Kronkiwongi? Well, it’s anything a child can imagine! We’re asking children everywhere to build one. Share your child’s #Kronkiwongi with us

Posted by LEGO on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Children, parents and everyday adults Lego lovers alike, were smitten with Kronkiwongi. It was a huge success, particularly on their Facebook page which saw a 61% engagement increase, almost 2 million clicks and hundreds and thousands of shares, likes and mentions.


Steven Mehringer of NATO

As NATO Head of Communications Services, Steven Mehringer was tasked with the important project of bringing NATO’s communications strategy straight into the 21st century. Commenting on their previous approach to digital coms, Steven revealed how blog posts were written: “on this date, this ‘acronym’ met with this other ‘acronym’, to talk about this ‘acronym’ project”. That style of writing would be a hard sell for just about anyone, so upon entering the role he turned this strategy around. Using his previous background in television reporting, Steven tailored NATO a new approach to visual storytelling in order to explain the organisation’s very complicated – and sometimes arguably boring – political priorities.

And this is the result of his storytelling strategy:

Peace Jump Over Kabul (NATO TV Report) from Exclusive Films on Vimeo.

He summarised his approach which he calls ‘communications tangibility’ by highlighting the three key factors he uses when forming creative content:

  • Emotional Tangibility – elicit emotion in the audience by broadcasting a story that hits them in their heart
  • Visual Tangibility – Captivate the audience by using good production values that frames the storytelling in a visually engaging container
  • Informational Tangibility – Give people information that they can take away and use for themselves. Ensure it is interesting and something that people will want to share with their peers

Additionally, you may have noticed that the video above did not mention the NATO connection. Instead, they took an indirect messaging approach, chosen because he determined that the themes and messages of peace and hope for the future were aligned with NATO’s mission and also that by stepping aside and focusing on Fareeq, the video gains much more credibility. After witnessing the eerie silence in the audience of 400 social experts while the video was playing, I’m laying my trust in this approach.

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