Meta Lists 6 Culture Codes For Advertisers

Meta recently shared an analysis of how professionally produced content performs compared to “everyday life” content.

Data suggests that lo-fi content is a major contributor to ad recall and content views for brands.

Why are we seeing this culture changing now?

Meta suggests that this may be due to the availability of smartphones, giving us a potentially unlimited audience.

Another theory is that brands need to share content more quickly and frequently. After all, our attention is limited!

Additionally, today the social media culture has changed dramatically. More and more users are celebrating “real life” moments and stories. They don’t want to see perfection and polish from brands.

In fact, a study by YPulse found that 79% of users “Tired of seeing perfect pictures in ads.”

Let’s dive into six culture codes shared by Meta that brands can benefit from.

#1: Real People Telling Real Stories

As mentioned above, users are sick of seeing perfection in ads. The fantasy does not match the reality that most of us live in our daily lives.

Brands that showcase their own employees or real-life customers can provide credibility; More important – relatability with your audience.

By telling someone else the story, it brings more authenticity to their experience with the brand.

#2: Using the language of the stage

Saying that brands can benefit from using the language of a social platform doesn’t mean the language has a literal meaning (English, Spanish, etc.).

This means brands adopt and post recognized behavior on the platform. Examples of this could be:

  • Creating your own rendition of a viral dance or routine
  • Using popular transition effects or VoiceOver in video

The reason language culture is so important is user credibility.

#3: Building relationships with creators and influencers for credibility

In Meta’s research, he cited that 63% of adults 18-34 trust a brand’s manufacturer’s point of view.

Also, these people trust the creators more than the brand itself.

One reason that brands can benefit from maker relationships is its relationship with context.

Many a times, creators have a way of telling a story about a product or brand that brands cannot.

It helps to make your brand more authentic. You are asking customers to listen to other customers – not yours.

Using an outside source such as a producer or influencer helps build credibility for you and them.

Take this example from Cerebral, an online mental health company. Cerebral has partnered with former US Olympic medalist Simone Biles to advocate for mental health.

Cerebral partners with Simone Biles on mental health advertising.Image credit:, Screenshot taken by author, May 2022

This ad uses an influencer to help normalize the conversation about mental health. Anyone can struggle with mental health, celebrities and athletes alike.

#4: Taking users behind the scenes

What this Culture Code meta talks about is directly related to the YPulse study mentioned earlier.

Users are completely tired of seeing buttoned up images and unrealistic lifestyle depictions.

Some users may find the perfectly polished imagery and video unprofessional.

Taking users “behind the scenes” in some way helps them relate to you more. Whether it’s a “day of life” with different departments, start-ups, and founders, you can go a long way beyond just showing off what you’re working on.

You are showing them what is needed to create complete (or incomplete) content. It’s a lot more effort than they thought!

#5: Using Lo-Fi Editing Techniques

Brands that use lo-fi editing and production tools have an advantage with the modern consumer. These types of tools help paint a more handcrafted image rather than a polished, airbrushed look.

It also helps from a relativistic standpoint because users don’t want to see absolutes.

If lo-fi editing is new to you, some brands offer special classes on how to use lo-fi techniques and equipment.

#6: Using humor to break boundaries

Brands that use humor in their content are more relatable to audiences.

Humor can help dissolve a perceived rigidity for brands and the need to be perfect.

An example of a brand using humor in its content is Charmin. He participated in the going viral #DollyPartonChallenge and made it relatable not only for his brand, but also for his users.

Charmin brand using humor on viral content.Image credit:, Screenshot taken by author, May 2022

As a general reminder, if you’re going to use humor, there’s always a chance it could unintentionally backfire. take this chase bank Example,

Chase Bank attempts humor in tweets but doesn't go by,Image credit:

If you’re going to use ads, be sure to read your user base ahead of time and map out any potential negative feedback. It’s always a good idea to have a customer service plan in case things go awry.


The culture of social media is always changing. It could be argued that the culture community has largely shifted due to the pandemic.

By keeping up to date on today’s society’s social norms and culture codes, your brand has a better chance of staying trustworthy with your users.

Featured Image: DefianceArt/Shutterstock

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