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New Way to Party!

There is a revolution happening online. Advertisers need to take note. The way consumers engage with each other, the way they spend time and enjoy one another have shifted to the virtual realm during the pandemic.

“What does the Fox say?” …I entered into a Zoom call (Zoom lime) and heard this surprising refrain. I was inveigled by a friend to call her via Zoom because she wanted to see me in person. Online conversations where you “see a person” is now considered to be the closest thing to being in that person’s presence. Unwittingly, I joined the group. “What does the Fox say?” was blasting in the background. A lot of voices were incoherently joined in on the hook, a lot of faces smiling and laughing and bottles of alcohol clinking against teeth.

Online parties and hang outs are where social groups are “letting loose”. I gained entry into a Trini party with 6 other guests without the slightest clue… how wonderful the next 40 minutes of my life would be.

I must admit I was cautious at first. I told myself I was simply there to say hello to a friend and then hurry on to Amazon Prime so I could scroll the familiar halls of movies and T.V. shows. What I ended up finding was a lot of laughs, new friends and a needed stress reliever.

It isn’t rocket science. Socialising is necessary. Music brings people together and no pandemic will eliminate the human need to connect.

Domestic brands are missing the opportunity to engage with consumers in this environment. Feel-good products like alcohol, ice-cream, potato chips and cookies all make an appearance in these virtual music sessions. These products activate our nostalgia for the good times before COVID and the good times to be had after COVID. Why are more brands not leveraging their products in the online party space?

Jennifer: When I attend one of these parties, I laugh and laugh for about an hour. We are just talking, sometimes I cook and sometimes we watch a movie together. It reminds me I am not alone.
Mark: Listen, nuh body gonna stop me from partying. I will party online during corona and I will party offline after corona.

Many alcohol brands are teaming up with radio DJs to throw online parties which excite and gratify their consumer base. Other than fear and anxiety, most Jamaicans noted that BOREDOM was a serious consequence of the pandemic. Online parties are a way to connect to the past as well as remain socially engaged.

Moreover, these virtual gathering are not just mini music fests (though music has been one of the main incentives for these groupings). Families, friends and strangers, form cooking and movie parties. Whatever your interest, you can bring a group of individuals together to celebrate and engage via Zoom, Instagram Live and/or WhatsApp video call. Age, gender, nationality and class are navigated seamlessly in this online setting.

Midway through the COVID-19 era, online parties metamorphosized into epic listening parties or music battles. The VERZUZ battle series, for instance, is where the likes of Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, Ne-Yo and Johnta´ Austin, Jill Scott and Eryka Badu and, Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch, make a positive impact on music.

We must never forget the epic battle between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer which reverberated throughout global popular culture, creating enough memes, catch phrases and sound bites to stimulate music fans all over the world.

If your brand has been absent from online social gatherings or parties in Jamaica, it is time to ask yourself why. Take every opportunity to remind your consumers that pairing your product with such an awesome communal experience is valuable to the quality of their life. This strategy will ensure you cultivate brand awareness post COVID-19.

What are you waiting for?

If I can’t convince you, maybe the millions of views these battles get will.

Check out next week's blog Jamaica's Post COVID Omni-Channel Marketing Techniques.


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