Though the sheer volume of viral meme material ostensibly declined last month, that didn’t stop March from producing some of what is sure to 2016’s most poignant marketing moments. From rogue chatbots, to surprise number one albums, to the ever-resonant elections narrative, March offered more than its share of social media spectacle. In our efforts to keep marketers abreast of the goings-ons around the social web, here are the most viral moments in social media throughout March.
Whether you’re a sports fan or not it’s nearly impossible to escape the vortex of discourse around the NCAA’s annual basketball Battle Royale. Everyone from brands, to players, to the huddle at the water cooler has something to say about March Madness. In all likelihood, this will continue to be the case until the summer.
The Passing of Legends
Between David Bowie and Alan Rickman earlier this year, and Patty Duke just days ago, it’s been a year of hard news regarding many creative vanguards of our time. Malik Taylor, better known as Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest fame was among those lost to us last month. Fans from all walks and professions—from New York City government officials, to fellow musicians—flooded Twitter with condolences, and Taylor’s passing remains a popular topic on social channels even now, weeks after his abrupt passing.
In a stroke of viral marketing genius, a fervent fan who’s also a news anchor delivered his entire traffic report through quotes from the late musician’s music.
AI and Marketing
It’s likely we’ll this trend continue to evolve throughout the year, but March saw a notable uptick in marketers’ attention on machine learning; especially in artificial intelligence. The most popular arc in this narrative surround Microsoft’s Tay, an AI chatbot modeled after a teen girl, who was warped into a nihilistic xenophobe by Twitter trolls.
Much like Kanye West did in February, Kendrick Lamar made marketing headlines with the surprise release of an EP called “Untitled Unmastered.” Unlike Kanye West, Lamar was completely mum about his new project, even in the wake of critical acclaim and massive commercial success. This abrupt release was another in a slew of recent albums to garner critical and commercial praise with little or no marketing.
Batman v. Superman
Warner Bros.’ Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice remains the talk of social as of this writing, but the chatter was loudest the week of the film’s release. Unfortunately, little in these conversations has been positive, especially when it comes to the film’s exorbitant marketing, and subsequent follow-up strategy.
Though early in the month, Super Tuesday proved a pivotal driver in the direction of political discourse throughout March. Indeed, each week seemed to offer its own variation on the trend, to the point that the impact of such landmark days seems somewhat devalued by social media commentators.