The Scoop: 10.13.20

As we see and track such an influx of happenings on digital and social media each week, it can almost feel overwhelming to identify clear “trends.” But this week, we can establish a firm trend: more brands are taking an indirect political stand in 2020. Digital and social media platforms and advertisers are working to help control the spread of #FakeNews and conspiracy theories. That’s why we simply want to use this opening statement to recognize the outstanding work that Facebook, Twitter, Etsy and Peloton have taken to ban or crack down on extreme conspiracy theories impacting our future. 👌

In It to Win It: TikTok Joins Twitter and Facebook in Providing Election Guide for Users

Following the launch of its COVID-19 resource hub, TikTok has created an in-app election guide to provide information in response to election-related searches. The guide is also linked to the bottom of videos with content relating to the election and on videos from verified political accounts. While more than one-third of TikTok’s daily user base is under age 14, a large portion of its users are first time voters who spend their time scrolling on the platform. This is an opportunity to engage younger users, so they are more informed when they do come of voting age. Platforms tailored to younger users such as Snapchat have already seen success in these efforts, prompting 400K people to register to vote in 2020 via its in-app pushes. As younger audiences turn to social platforms for their news, it’s important to provide them with key information where they’re already looking.


Changing Landscape of Brand Marketing and Influencers

The current COVID-19 digital landscape has brands and influencers alike taking a step back to re-evaluate their content approach to that of a more “unfiltered” aesthetic, creating greater relatability to their followers and their respective new routines. With obvious “work from home” limitations, companies are minimizing production efforts when partnering with influencers to create content that is quick and easy to produce – think Zoom/mobile phone videos and interviews. The result is a sharp contrast to previously over-produced and manicured content. Instead, we’re seeing raw cuts of real people. And consumers are loving it. Earlier this year, Eva Longoria worked on a L’Oréal campaign, promoting a $9 hair cream that she shot on her iPhone, from the comfort of her home. Fast forward to today and this same tutorial is a national TV commercial.


Trust in Facebook is Wavering among Users and Legislators

Despite Facebook’s recent efforts to combat extremism on their platform, Facebook recently ranked last in producing a safe online environment among social media platforms, according to an eMarketer survey, as 32% of U.S. Facebook users did not have confidence in the platform to protect their data and privacy. The mistrust expands beyond everyday users to regulators, with Facebook’s own content monitoring program CrowdTangle not covering posts from individuals or private groups and evading any tracking. Additionally, Facebook is further integrating the systems of its platforms (Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger) rather than remaining a set of complementary apps, which may make it more difficult to break up into separate entities in the future. What does this mean for health marketers? It’s unclear, but we do know that any changes in Facebook will greatly affect the digital advertising landscape.


TikTok Combats Body Shaming Culture

TikTok recently shared new policies around weight loss products advertised on the platform, including banning some ads and adding stronger restrictions on others, particularly around targeting users under age 18. The announcement came ahead of the National Eating Disorder Association’s Weight Stigma Awareness Week, which featured many influencers, models and others across social media posting about their journeys with body positivity. Conversations over body image online have been part of platforms for as long as social media has existed, but TikTok represents a specific concern due to its popularity with teenage users. This showcases the continued need for healthcare marketing to maintain authenticity in marketing and ensure messaging is appropriately and properly targeted.


It’s Programmatic Time

The healthcare industry has been increasing ad spend on programmatic buys more than ever before, and we’re seeing a significant shift from direct display buys to programmatic display buys. eMarketer forecasts programmatic buys in 2021 will be 86.5% of all digital display ad spending, coming out to between $79.61B and $94.97B in 2022. Not only is programmatic display spend skyrocketing, but programmatic podcast ad spending is expected to see ad spend triple, from $31.3M in 2020 to $106.5M in 2022, according to eMarketer. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen medical and pharma advertisers, specifically, increase their ad spend. Brands are now turning this spend toward programmatic for better return on investment, in addition to control and transparency over the ads they are serving. It will be important to keep an eye on the growing programmatic trend and shift spend in our own display campaigns when necessary.



As high schools pivot to hybrid models and students spend less in-person time with friends, teens are missing a way to build stronger bonds with their classmates. HAGS is building a social network designed around high school networks, based largely on Gen Z high school socialization. The network began earlier this year as a digital yearbook built onto Snapchat’s Snap Kit SDK, allowing high schoolers torn from the last weeks of their school year by the COVID-19 pandemic to leave messages for friends in a virtual yearbook. While the HAGS team kicked things off with the yearbook format, it’s staying open-minded about what comes next as it plans for the next feature launches inside its app in the coming months.


Colleges are hiring their own students as COVID-19 safety influencers. Like, subscribe and wear a mask.

Are you moving more or less these days? Learn how the pandemic is changing our exercise habits.

Unedited beauty: CVS now labels all photoshopped images in its beauty aisle while other stores are still covering up.

W2O’s The Scoop is brought to you by an editorial collective, featuring industry updates and insights from subject matter experts across social media, digital and influencer activation teams.

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W2O Social Team
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