Keeping pace with the slowdown

Twitter Canada tracks how brands are leaning into consumers' new creative pastimes

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Find yourself baking more these days? Now that there’s time, maybe you’ve finally taken up painting. Is the garden looking especially lush? If so, you’re not alone. Canadians are flexing their creativity in all kinds of ways during the pandemic, according to new audience data from Twitter Canada. And brands are indulging this slower pace of life by encouraging that creativity.

By measuring sentiment, key words and emoji use during the summer months, Twitter Canada has tracked a dramatic uptick in creative projects across the country.

In the latest “h/t Twitter” (heard through Twitter) video, the social platform highlights brands that are fostering customers’ creative sides to great effect. Getty Museum, for example, challenged its followers to recreate famous works of fine art using everyday items. Tim Hortons’ DIY Dream Donut Kit, meanwhile, let people make their own donuts at home, creating content and positive sentiment for the brand in the process.

But it’s not just art projects popping up in social feeds. Creativity is emerging through household activities as well; garden-related conversations increased 344% between January and June 2020. Cooking and home renovation discussions have also seen double-digit increases.

This creativity bump is happening as many are leaning into the slower pace of lockdown life and making the most of their time away from workplaces and crowds. Emojis that express appreciation for natural surroundings (such as sunsets and landscapes, among others) have increased in use by 36%.

“As a researcher, I of course always look to the data to confirm what we think is an emerging trend,” says Alyson Gausby, head of research at Twitter Canada. “But in this case, just looking at my own life – I started a mini garden on my condo balcony for the first time – and hearing from my friends who are baking bread and sharing shots of beautiful sunsets, it just made so much sense when we saw this coming through in conversations & sentiment on Twitter.”

Gausby says brands should “embrace the slowdown” and make sure the tone and style of customer communications don’t disrupt this calmer way of life.The latest “h/t Twitter” learnings expand on these insights for brands looking to stay connected with consumers during the pandemic.

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