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How Lime is tapping into the self-aware ad trend

Electric scooters. We’ve seen them around London, zipping past pedestrians attempting to shave minutes off users’ journey time. Unfortunately, there will be naysayers to every new trend. The main qualms of regular pedestrians being scooters weaving in and out of normal commuters with no sense of awareness of others.

However, in an era of hyper-honesty and self-awareness, Lime (the same people who brought us the Lime Bike) have addressed the concerns directly. Their new campaign in Paris is an acceptance of the reality of their situation: as much as electric scooters are a great idea, pedestrians hate them…


Lime’s new campaign

The marketing team behind this campaign have an ingenious method of quelling non-user concerns. The asterisk censoring each profanity highlights the other side of the coin. Each poster contains a response to the criticism, starting with “not applicable to” and a solution to the individual complaint.

By putting the complaints of non-users at the heart of their pitch, they play to the current focus of brands being self-aware and being transparent. This isn’t dissimilar to other examples of brands promoting transparency in advertising:

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Brewdog’s “The most honest ad ever” campaign


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KFC’s worst fries advert

However, this raises the question, how original is this? Is this a great example of a brand understanding the complaints of those who are subject to its users’ misbehaviour, or simply an example of shameless piggybacking? Has this really resonated with the public because the brand can understand why people are unhappy, or does this marketing campaign fall foul of the exact issue they were hoping to address: the cynicism of the public to advertising that they deem disingenuous?

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Probably (not) the best beer in the world (Carlsberg)

Either way, this campaign is an example of the hyper-awareness of self that brands are becoming more normalised to. Some could argue that in some respects it should be lauded as an example of understanding the changing values of the next generation. A generation who are not as easily swayed by flowery language and hollow promises, and instead value transparency, honesty and an understanding of their own individualised issues.

David Jacob

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