Social Chain launches free 24-hour creative idea service

Agency wants to cut lead times on reactive social-first content and disrupt lengthy briefing process.

Deadline 24: offers marketers basic form for setting brief
Deadline 24: offers marketers basic form for setting brief

Social Chain is inviting brands to challenge the social media marketing agency to come up with free creative ideas within 24 hours of a brief being issued.

From today (Thursday), marketers can use the Deadline 24 website for free by filling out a form to tell the agency what kind of brand they are, what audience they want to target and what their level of "fearlessness" is. 

In return, Social Chain’s creatives, including creative director Tim Donald, will post their responses as 280-character tweets from Social Chain’s Twitter page.

Donald told Campaign that the project’s main aim is to cut lead times on reactive social-first content and disrupt the lengthy briefing process.

While Social Chain is looking at Deadline 24 as a permanent fixture in its marketing toolset, the current Covid-19 lockdown is clearly an opportunity to get brands to reconsider social media, given that activity on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter has spiked during the pandemic.

Donald said: "Brands that have historically not been social-first and have focused more on above-the-line or other digital activations are now looking to social, because more people are using it for the first time or for longer periods of time. There’s a renewed appetite for social-first."

Normally, the process is unpredictable in terms of how long it can take to pitch an idea to a client and have it signed off, Donald added. 

"We often get briefs that are quick-turnaround, which is a matter of days; it can be a bit lot longer, but it depends on how reactive you want to be," he continued. "We’ve had briefs that have been left for a while, the client has not been quick to move and missed the opportunity. It’s really about being quick before that moment passes, otherwise it’s not worth doing." 

So how does the creative idea change depending on how "fearless" a brand wishes to be in their social communications? 

"It depends how crazy they want to be," Donald explained. "There’s a lot of different variables. It may be that some things can be more confrontational, or controversial, or it could be about the scale of the idea."

While testing the Deadline 24 process internally, Social Chain set itself a challenge for a vegan burger brand, such as Impossible or Beyond, that would get committed carnivores to switch to a meatless option.

"It’s a really tough challenge, because you’re talking about behaviour change based on an irrational dislike. You can’t go out with a rational message, because you don’t eat burgers to be healthy," he said. 

"If you’re fearless, we might say we want to position them as ‘just as dirty as a regular burger'. It’s still an indulgence, but this option is just better for you… You could then think about using a chatbot that tries to seduce you or picking PornHub as a media channel."