Three beautiful examples of culture hacking

One of the things that fascinates us most at Treeshake is Culture Hacking: an awareness of the culture that we’re operating in, and how people are finding ways to hack it. When we come across a particularly beautiful example of culture hacking, we want to share it - here are a few of our current favourites.

Meme to Billboard Number 1

This New York Times Diary of a Song video is seven of the greatest minutes you’ll spend online this week. It explains how Lil Nas X took ‘Old Town Road’ from a TikTok meme to Billboard number 1, and it is solid gold. One warning before you listen to it: this song will be stuck in your head all day long.

Our favourite part? When Lil Nas X explains that he was feeding the internet ‘Old Town Road’ memes for months ahead of time. While technically unemployed. “This is no accident, I’ve been pushing this hard. The internet is basically my parent in a way. I was raised picking up on stuff, and I learnt how to use it in my own way,” he explains.

What tools did he use? Twitter, Soundcloud, TikTok and Reddit. With great style.

One-on-one Influencer Marketing

Last week, South Africans strolled to the polls for the 2019 National Elections. On top of the same tired billboards on every lamp post, this election included a lot of unsolicited SMS campaigns, some pre-recorded phonecalls and a lot of social media urging people to make their mark. Yawn. But the most successful example of election marketing, in our opinion? President Cyril Ramaphosa of the ANC making one-on-one video calls to key influencers on Voting Day.

Translation: The ANC is at another level.

Why this works is that the influencers are so obviously absolutely thrilled, and don’t really know what to say. They are totally un-cool about it, in the best possible way. And CR comes across so well - personal, friendly, human. Followers could comment instantly, feeling part of the moment, and it showed that even though he’s president, he’s not too busy or important to call the ‘common people’. Well played, Mr President, well played.

Finding the creative in all of us

If there’s one brand who has a vested interest in everyone believing they’re creative, it’s Adobe. That’s why their My Creative Type quiz is so ingenious. Through a series of truly fun, whimsical and beautifully designed questions, it spits out an answer: what kind of creative you are. The answers are uncannily accurate (our whole team did it, and sent it on to our friends to do!) and the whole process is a joy… It reminds us of the quizzes we did as teenagers in magazines, only come to life and tapped into deeper meaning.

Culture hacking creative types

A really smart way of showing that brands can do so much more than advertise to get us to like them and pay attention to their products. And a beautiful showcase for Adobe: the designs are next-level.

There’s a lot of noise on the internet, but in between that noise there are some truly beautiful, surprising moments. Thank heavens for those.