3 Lessons Brands Can Learn from the Chewbacca Mom - Itani & Company

3 Lessons Brands Can Learn from the Chewbacca Mom

May 26, 2016 | Advertising, Digital, Strategy | 0 comments

Screenshot 2016-05-25 23.25.06

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the Chewbacca mom and her belly-laugh inducing Facebook Live video. In 24 hours Candace Payne achieved internet stardom with her raw and uninhibited excitement about her birthday gift to herself: a Chewbacca Star Wars mask. Her post is now the most watched Facebook Live video ever.

Brands can learn a lot from this video and the unexpected way it spread like wildfire. Here are the top three lessons I learned from the Chewbacca mom.

Be truthful to your brand
The most beautiful thing about this video is how unapologetically herself this woman is. She doesn’t try to hide her excitement and isn’t embarrassed about it. She is completely and utterly herself.

A few years ago I worked for company known for its down to earth, natural brand. Instead of focusing on how to capitalize on this already well established identity, we obsessed over the competitors’ glamorous images and even tried to emulate them until we realized that it was ridiculously stupid to try so hard to be something we’re not. Our brand already had an audience that loved our girl next door image, and that audience was now completely confused by our identity crisis.

Don’t overcomplicate it
Candace didn’t plan this video, and she didn’t record it in a strategically selected glamorous location while wearing a carefully chosen outfit. It was a simple video taken in the front seat of her car after a shopping trip. In fact, her comment on the post was “it’s the simple joys in life.”

Companies tend to overcomplicate and over-plan things. Everything needs to be crisp and produced, and often that results in pieces of content that look horribly forced and phoney. I’m not advocating a complete lack of planning, I’m simply advocating a little less of it. Spontaneity is a great tool.

Have fun
Above all, what attracted a large viewership to this video is the sheer happiness that emanates from Candace. She is beyond ecstatic about her purchase and is obviously having a ball revealing it to her friends (and unintentionally the world!).

Brands need to have more fun, especially on social media. Let your hair down a little, do something unexpected, and I guarantee you’ll see results from your fans and followers.


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