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June 10, 2020

What Brands Can Learn From Quarantine’s Best Creators


Ads and commercials feel pretty hit-or-miss right now. And it’s not their fault. The truth is, it’s hard to say something unique or helpful or comforting about the current state of affairs. So we’ve found a few educators, comedians and entertainers who are hitting the mark and making the quarantine content that breaks through the noise. Below, we’ve unpacked the secrets of three creators who have mastered their platforms. 

Yoga with Adriene 

Lockdown’s most popular fitness craze isn’t a bootcamp or a bikini body regimen or—dear lord save us—a push-up challenge. It’s Austin-native Adriene Mishler’s Youtube Channel, Yoga with Adriene. 

So what’s her secret? The first ingredient to her yoga-empire-alchemy is plain old SEO. When you search “yoga” on Youtube, her channel is the first result. The second ingredient is hyper-specificity. Mishler organizes and titles her so her fans can find exactly the type of workout they’re looking for, whether they’re seeking an emotional release (yoga for vulnerability) or a physical one (yoga for hips). And of course, the third and most important ingredient is Mishler herself. From her goofy jokes to cameo appearances of her dog, Benji, Mishler brings a warm human touch to our contactless lives. 

Meg Stalter 

Stalter is the unofficial queen of the Instagram comedy scene. Her front-facing comedy videos of eccentric, but oddly familiar characters have earned her 37K followers and a write-up in the New York Times. So how has she been able to pivot from live comedy to the online scene so seamlessly? And what does it mean for other creators trying to break through? 

The first thing to know about Stalter is that she’s prolific. She fires off new videos every day and does a new Instagram Live show nearly every night. The second is that her work is messy—and that it doesn’t detract from it one bit. Her videos aren’t perfectly styled, lit or edited. But none of that matters when they’re side-splittingly funny. Stalter isn’t letting production value slow her down, and we’re all the better for it. 

Boman Martinez-Reid

Lockdown has few bright sides, but TikTok is one of them. It’s given us gems like the “bored in the house” song, the ride me challenge, and so, so many dances. It’s also given us Boman Martinez-Reid. After making an account in December, the Toronto-based college student already has 1.1 million followers. 

The key to his success may be his subject-matter. Martinez-Reid’s videos are always light-hearted and just-barely quarantine-adjacent. He has perfected the lighting, music and sound-effects of Reality TV shows, and uses their technique to dramatize his own life in lockdown. His work is a perfect example of how to address the realities of lockdown without getting bogged down in preachiness or sentimentality. 

It’s ok if your brand voice isn’t that of a twenty-something TikTok star or an eccentric character actress. The point is, each of these creators is leaning in to what they’re good at to create content that provides a service, whether that’s teaching people how to perfect crow pose, or just give them a good laugh. So often, we’re either focused on helpful brand actions, or effective brand video. But what if video itself could be a helpful service to viewers? That’s the way these creators are thinking, and it’s the way the rest of us should too.