The ‘Decade Challenge’ trend has footballers reflecting, but was this a missed opportunity for marketers?

Social Media trends can pick up pace very quickly, especially if a celebrity gets involved and begins to engage with the public with their own contributions. As we ended the decade and ventured into 2020, the ‘decade challenge’ has got people talking and reflecting on what the last ten years has had in store for them as they took a photo from 2010 and compared it to a moment in 2019.

A few footballers, particularly Liverpool players who have had a lot of success in recent months, took to Twitter and Instagram to look back at their journey from 2010.

The posts above are just a few examples of many players who got involved in a trend that went viral – and while it’s perhaps just a little bit of fun, it does certainly illustrate the power and influence of these professionals who are constantly in the public eye. Footballers, like other celebrities, fan the flames of these online trends when they get involved, encouraging others to take part. It happened with the ‘ice bucket challenge’, a campaign footballers Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs got indirectly involved in, which ended up being a charity campaign to promote awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). You wonder whether a sponsor or charity of some sort could have foreseen an opportunity for the decade challenge and maybe attached their brand or an awareness campaign to it in a similar fashion to the icey task of 2014.

Footballer Andy Robertson’s post has hit a staggering 29k retweets. His three posts prior reached just 2k, 9k and 6k, so it’s a huge increase in engagement. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s post has reached nearly 60k, compared to his other 2019-tribute-post which in comparison has been retweeted just 6,000 times.

In fact, all decade-challenge posts earned significantly more engagement on social media than generic posts by the same footballers.

In 10 years time this trend will surely reemerge and once again everyone will look back on their greatest moments of the decade, but I think marketing departments need to be ready for this in future. The trend was wonderfully reflective and a fitting way for social media to end the decade, but it was also painfully obvious that something like this might go viral, yet no one saw a branding opportunity for it.

At a time where Christmas adverts dominate, this does seem like a missed opportunity. This decade was the first in which social media and phone footage and cameras really thrived, but the next will only upgrade on all that. The Decade Challenge, sponsored by xxx, could certainly coming at the end of 2029. At least there’s not too long to wait and find out if it does!

Image: Flickr – by Clarence Ji via Wikipedia.

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