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Unscripted, Unfiltered: 3 Brands Telling It Like It Is in 2024

Published on May 14, 2024

Unscripted, Unfiltered: 3 Brands Telling It Like It Is in 2024
Anastasia Dyakovskaya
Anastasia Dyakovskaya studioID

Authenticity has been the key to best-in-class marketing and brand storytelling for at least a decade, and within that time, we’ve seen the era of polished, scripted content subside. Now, with the transformative impact of social media, the democratization of content, and the impact of broader economic and political trends at large, what it means to be authentic has evolved even further.

With content fatigue stemming from years of focusing on and feeding audiences a trending idea of what’s “real”, today we’re witnessing a seismic shift towards material that’s raw, unfiltered, and refreshingly genuine. 

In stark contrast to the traditionally buttoned-up, high-production-value content we’re so used to seeing, this stripped-back approach gives into a craving for honesty, transparency, and off-the-cuff conversations. As a result, brands that embrace a casual, candid style can forge deeper connections with their audience — as long as they stay true to their identity and values. 

⏩ Related Resource: Into the Funnel | How Do You Use Brand Storytelling to Build Lasting Trust With Your Audience?[Ft. Pfizer] 

Ready to dive in? Check out how three brand campaigns are getting real with their customers.  

Walmart+ Celebrates Mother’s Day with Social Q&A

It’s no secret that the rise of influencers and the explosive popularity of platforms like TikTok have led to increased interest in the relatability of everyday people sharing unfiltered glimpses into their lives. That’s why more and more brands like Walmart are taking note and incorporating this casual, off-the-cuff style into their content strategies. Last Mother’s Day, Walmart+ debuted a campaign dedicated to new moms and helpful life hacks; this year they’re back with a new iteration.

Why it Works 

“Moms Answer Moms” appeared on TikTok toward the end of April, encouraging viewers to comment with any parenting-related questions in a UGC meets ask-me-anything format. And the channel was no accident; about 60% of millennials on TikTok are parents, according to VP of Creative David Hartman, making the platform a natural choice.

With an eye to expand and connect with moms at all stages of motherhood, the initiative offers “an interactive forum…where moms can get genuine tips and advice from influential celebrity moms” like Paris Hilton, Whitney Cummings, Tia Mowry, and more. “We know that moms are constantly looking to other moms for advice in real life, particularly on social,” Hartman explained, “so we decided to take our 2.0 version of this campaign a step further by enabling a two-way conversation for mom advice.” 

With a basic set, light ring, and single camera source, the simple campaign leverages TikTok’s viral nature and the direct and casual atmosphere for which it’s known and loved. And to double down on that, Hartman said that when identifying who to work with, “the criteria that we think is really important, is finding moms…who can tell it like it is, so they’re straight-up and honest in their answers about what it means to be a mom.” 

📽️ Related Reading: The 4 Best Branded Videos We’ve Seen So Far in 2024

studioID Takeaway 

Know your audience — and where they spend their time. Understanding who your audience is and what type of content resonates with them is one thing. Reaching them where it’s most impactful is another. “Despite a reputation as a platform geared toward Gen Zers,” for instance, Marketing Dive reports that “TikTok for years has boasted about a diverse user base with a strong millennial and Gen X following.” 

>>> Want to know what’s keeping your target audience up at night? Access 2024 Audience Snapshots to refine your marketing strategy with expert analysis of our engagement data. 

Mailchimp Presents Gets Up Close and Personal

Mailchimp rose to B2B fame years ago, thanks to a stellar piece of sonic branding: podcast ads that played on the brand’s quirky name and its potential mispronunciations. Since then, the email automation service-turned-martech giant has fully entered the world of video and audio content production with Mailchimp Presents. With eight podcasts — plus 19 series, films, and documentaries — the impressively vast collection “celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit,” and it does so by letting what makes us human shine through. 

Why it Works

With conversations ranging from topics like running a business and working with a partner to musical breakthroughs and the power of listening, Mailchimp’s podcasts are full of warm, genuine, and insightful back-and-forths that feel intimate and personal — none more so than Going Through It

Over the course of four seasons, the program has prompted guests to tell stories that highlight life lessons and pivotal moments like getting important advice from your elders, knowing when to quit and when to keep going, and — as in the latest season — deciding whether or not to have kids. 

Bravely going where no B2B podcast has gone before, it succeeds because the host was also actively in the throes of answering that question for herself, and because of the unscripted look the series provides into topics that impact us all on a human level. 

studioID Takeaway 

Be genuine. You can’t manufacture authenticity, so it’s important to stay true to your unique brand voice. While no longer taboo or even quite as controversial as it once was, the decision to have kids is still hot — and one many companies wouldn’t dare touch. The lesson? Avoid forcing too casual a tone around certain subjects if it doesn’t feel natural.

Salesforce Shares Real Home Movie as It Turns 25 

Salesforce isn’t only the leading CRM tool; the company is a leader in content as well. Between its 360 blog, media hub, and education platform, the company offers a dizzying array of valuable resources as well as podcasts and special events. There’s also #TeamEarth, an ongoing global campaign centered on putting the planet first, an emerging brand mascot in Einstein AI, and a generally steady stream of marketing activity.

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A post shared by Salesforce (@salesforce)

Why it Works

What makes these earnest efforts work so well despite an often volatile landscape? As the brand has stated, “When our world is spinning out of control, we find our footing in rock-solid values.” It’s that kind of clarity and commitment, which Salesforce has had since day one, that’s necessary to craft compelling content and create genuine connections with your audience. 

“We have enough fluffy razzle-dazzle in the world,” says Sarah Franklin, CMO at Salesforce.

We need to get real and focus on saving the planet, helping our society, helping our communities and small business.

Recently, the company shared a glimpse at its small business roots, when it posted a video from March 8, 1999 — the day that co-founder Parker Harris moved in next door to partner and CEO Marc Benioff to start Salesforce.com. 

The home movie, obviously meant as a personal memento and recorded at turns by Harris’ parents, his wife, and himself, shares an uncommonly intimate look into an exciting and emotional day for the CTO and his family — one that seems like any other. More than any modern office tour or live stream, this feels more like a peek into somebody’s family album, and the warmth and recognition viewers feel in turn works wonders for building brand awareness, recall, and preference.

studioID Takeaway 

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Everybody loves to get a sneak peek behind the scenes. Test the waters by diving into your brand archives or testing out some unscripted content. Sometimes the most unexpected idea is the one that makes the biggest splash.