Topics of conversation have become depressingly heavy across most social media channels. What with Brexit, Trumpmania, Climate Change and a general sense of dystopia pervading Twitter and Facebook, not even the #inspiration hashtag of Instagram can compete.

Years ago, when I worked on digital and promotional strategy for McDonald’s, we’d constantly return to the simple premise – what would it take to “surprise and delight” our customers? We would put this at the heart of each and every promotion.

From the surprise and delight, we’d then move onto “play”. We’d ask more simple questions:

  • How do we create or generate a sense of playfulness?
  • What does it mean to “play” with digital?
  • And how do we make this happen?

While exploring these topics, I developed a content marketing framework – PLAY. There are four main elements:

P — for power
L — for learning and curiosity
A — for adventure
Y — the yelp of surprise and delight.

Notice, we still have surprise and delight – but to make this work, you need more. You need to understand that great brands have and can wield power – to influence, engage and stimulate. But our customers have this agency too. We need to build adventure into our brand narratives and promote a sense of curiosity.

And all this comes down to great copy. Fabulous storytelling can change lives.

And a great example is “Eddie on Work Experience” with Southern Rail UK. Single handedly he is breathing life and energy into the @SouthernRailUK Twitter account. And it’s thrilling. And fun.

Imagine if you could do this with your brand.