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The Fifth wins two blogosphere awards

We were the Beauty Creator Campaign Winners for our work with fenty beauty

By Esra Gurkan

Monday, 26th of September 2022

We’re absolutely over the moon to have won two awards at the Blogosphere Awards last week.

We were delighted to be announced as the Beauty Creator Campaign Winner for our collaboration with Fenty Beauty and their Fenty Icon Lipstick. A special shout out to the incredible creators ALICE x T, Danielle Marcan, Candice Brathwaite, Anchal, Ava Welsing-Kitcher, Alice Dickson, Michaela and Lisa Potter Dixon who helped bring this campaign to life. THE FIFTH’s Charlie RossFreya Sheard and Milan Charles also deserve a special mention for working tirelessly on the campaign and for sourcing the perfect creators.

Not only that, THE FIFTH TALENT’s creator Tasha Bailey also won Health and Wellbeing creator of the year. If you don’t follow her already, Tasha is a qualified therapist and creator who uses her Instagram platform to talk about all things mental health, anxiety and wellness.

Bringing a modern and intersectional perspective to the topic of wellness, Tasha openly reflects on her experiences as a Black British, plus-size woman navigating a field which lacks diversity. Tasha is passionate about systemic change for mental health and intersectionality, and enjoys working closely with brands to encourage this. As a qualified creative psychotherapist, she brings her expert knowledge to the social media space in a “real talk” way.

Congratulations to the Fenty Beauty team, to Tasha and to all nominees. What a night!

Shuffles: Pinterest’s worst kept secret

The new collage-making app that is already trending everywhere

By Laina Claydon

Friday, 16th of September 2022

Shuffles by Pinterest is a new app designed for collective collaging. You can ‘unleash your creative energy’ and build your own aesthetic scrapbook-esque mood board using photos from Pinterest’s library or photos you’ve taken yourself.

Soon after it was released, Shuffles managed to have its own trend on TikTok, where these “aestheticcollages were then set to music and posted. This helped create a buzz around the app and is also where a lot of people found out it wasn’t as easy as just popping into the AppStore to download it. 

Interestingly, Pinterest decided to go down the ‘invite only’ route with Shuffles. If you’re lucky enough to receive a code from somebody who already has the app then you can download it and share a code with five others. If they’re too late and your five exclusive codes have already been used up, they’ll receive a ‘we’ve reached the limit for this invite code’ message.

Understandably, this exclusivity tactic has led to more of a buzz around the app and created FOMO for those that can’t get a code. When something seems limited, time-sensitive or exclusive, it only makes you want it more, however this strategy doesn’t always work. Clubhouse, for example, launched with a similar technique but hasn’t been able to sustain its popularity since. It does, though, give Shuffles more time to fix any bugs that emerge and make changes to the app before it’s available to the masses. Pinterest was originally released in this format back in 2012, and there are already TikTok accounts dedicated to Shuffles such as @pinterestshuffles_ and @pinterestshuffles.x whose only posts include giving out codes for others to get on the app. It’s like a secret club!

Admittedly, this is an interesting marketing strategy from Pinterest. Last year they introduced an in-house team, called TwoTwenty, whose sole focus is to grow the user base through innovation, and they are the same people who released this app. It’s safe to say that this was a success as Shuffles has already spent time as the No.1 Lifestyle app in the US App Store. There are even videos on TikTok showing users how to create their very own Shuffles and people sharing their love of the app

On Shuffles, users can choose to add effects and motion to the images to make them shake, spin, pulse, swivel and more. You could, for instance, add an image of a record player and then animate it so that it actually spins. Other cool features include being able to ‘reshuffle’ someone else’s Shuffles, meaning you can take another user’s design and customise it to make it your own.

Like with any other trend or creation, once something is popular on one platform, it then spreads across others in similar forms. We aren’t, for example, just seeing this collage content on Shuffles anymore. TikTok users are already jumping on it and calling it the ‘collage trend’, and people are using apps such as Canva, Capcut, and Magic Eraser to create that similar ‘cut-out’ style and put it to music on the platform.

Shuffles is also very similar to a new iOS 16 feature from Apple. Here, you can effortlessly crop an object from one of your photos and then paste that cutout anywhere you choose – like in an iMessage chat. You only need to touch and hold to lift the image away from the background. Cool, right? This style of content is also becoming more common on Instagram ‘Reels’.

Even since beginning writing this article, Tiktok has now created a filter to give a very similar ‘cut-out’ effect which feels eerily familiar.

Shuffles is targeting a younger demographic that’s using social media in a new way: for self-expression, not just networking. Why the app is resonating with Gen Z seems to be a combination of the technology it uses to simplify collage-making, coincided with the desire for creative expression tools that serve that demographics’ social habits.

The app also opens up new social commerce opportunities. The objects in users’ collages, for example, are linked to Pinterest and a tap will bring you to a dedicated page for the item in question. In the case of items that are available for purchase — like fall fashion or home decor, for instance — users could also buy the item by clicking through to the retailer’s website.

Shuffles has provided users with a great way to get creative and people are using this app for a variety of reasons, from creating their dream outfit to their dream home. It might even be the new platform to create memes such as this beauty. And despite its soft launch, Shuffles is currently placed number 21 in the lifestyle section of the UK AppStore. Will it fall out of popularity, or will it continue to rise as more users are allowed access to the platform? Only time will tell.

NEW GENERATION OF MUSIC  SAMPLING

modern day tribute to our favourite guilty pleasures

By Nana Akosua Frimpong

Monday, 12th of September 2022

TikTok has proven itself as the go-to place for discovering new music. We have seen songs that trend on the app go on to top the Billboard charts, and it’s become evident that TikTok has been at the forefront of generating new trends – as well as reintroducing old ones. With the app’s continuous push of music from challenges to TikTok-specific sounds, there has been a surge in old songs being sampled on new tracks. 

Music sampling is nothing new. The concept first originated in the early 70s and is a technique popularised in hip hop which saw up-and-coming producers take a section of a completed or uncompleted track and repurpose it to make it fresh. 

Over the years, more and more producers have learned to splice and reuse old tracks to create their musical pieces. Some have even perfected the art by adding their unique signature to blend and piece different tracks together. Kanye West is a great example of a producer who puts his signature on the art of sampling.

In our current digital age, with computer-based workflow used in creating music, the ethics of sampling and fair use is a topic that is greatly debated even before the involvement of technology. But as we have heard from popular artists such as Doja Cat, Drake and many more, musicians are much more lenient towards sampling usage now than when it first came about.

Currently, UK artists have a bit of an obsession with sampling 00s pop songs. In recent months, we’ve heard homegrown rappers jump on beats that lift heavily from old-school garage songs to Eurodance hits. Brighton-born new age rap artist Ardee, featuring Digga D, leaned on rapping over a heavy sample of T2’s bassline classic Heartbroken, and Tion Wayne’s drill version of La Roux’s ‘In For The Kill’ saw him chart in the UK Top 10. 

Turn of the century hip hop and Rnb are also fair game, as Digga D’s latest mixtape pays homage to 50 Cent with three reworks of his tracks. 

Based on the definition of sample music, some of these samples may not adequately fit the term. Many can be categorised as a cover version rather than a meticulous and creative music production. Irrespective of this, the UK sampling trend has escalated to the point that it is being credited as a sub-genre called ‘sample drill’.

The trend is indicative of fans’ interest. The nostalgic-yet-modern sound has meant new audiences have been introduced to old sounds. The trend of sample music banks on the cultural mainstay of guilty pleasures with some new music becoming a guilty pleasure of their own. 

TikTok creators such as Jarred Jermaine and Doc Boj are an example of people who not only educate their followers on new singles with sample tracks but also cherish the guilty pleasure aspect of them. Creator Lua Lua has a YouTube channel dedicated to reviewing music – including reviews on sample music. 

Sampling has grown and developed since its inception and with the help of the internet, it has streamlined the process making it more accessible as an educational tool for artists and music fans. While some sample music can be used in poor taste or isn’t utilised to the best of its ability, it has always been about paying homage to the artist and producers. 

With ‘sample drill’ being indicative of the new era of sampling, it’s also about the nostalgic memory of being a teen in the 2000s and going to dance raves, updating your MySpace account and pairing up your Bluetooth on your Sony Ericsson to be able to share the latest single streamed late at night on LimeWire.

With all that being said, all trends have an expiry date but the more intriguing question is: what guilty pleasure song from the 2000s wouldn’t you mind being sampled and which artist would you want to see jump on the track?

How authentic is bereal, really?

the ‘anti-instagram’ photo-sharing app everybody is talking about

By Bella Hales

Friday, 26 of August 2022

Recently, it appears Instagram’s day of being ahead of the curve has approached its end. Celebrities like the Jenner/Kardashian clan have become increasingly publicly disinterested with the app as a result of its TikTok-esque changes, and it seems that social media has been calling for something innovative and fresh to change things up for a while.

BeReal, a photo-sharing app that has now famously been dubbed ‘anti-Instagram’, was created by French founders Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau and designed to encourage users to be their real selves.

Want to know how it works?

Once a day at any given time, users receive a ‘warning’ notification indicating that it is ‘time to BeReal’. A 2-minute window is then offered to take your photo, using both your rear and front camera. Once you’ve shared your snap-of-the-day, you are then allowed access to your newsfeed, displaying everything your friends are doing in that same timeframe. Users can add captions and interact with friends’ posts through comments and RealMojis (emojis in the form of a selfie). Your feed only updates itself once a day, with all uploads expiring when the next notification is sent out, and only you are allowed to look at your past posts – which is very resemblant of the ephemeral nature of Snapchat. 

The restraints of only being able to post once a day poses us with less reason to aimlessly scroll; you only need to check the app once or twice a day to stay updated which is undoubtedly a lot less time that avid social media users spend on the likes of Instagram and TikTok. Importantly, BeReal provides no filters, means of editing and notably, you cannot track metrics like followers and likes, thus removing the widely criticised social performance pressures that Instagram has been accused of catalysing. 

With this philosophy in mind, it is clear that BeReal has made a great attempt at filling the void between social media and authentic reality. 

But how authentic is it?

@bee.austin matty healy didnt kniw what a bereal was #mattyhealy #the1975 ♬ pass the dutchie sped up - vevonix

Whilst BeReal does provide guidelines on how to best utilise the app, these are very malleable. Despite the two-minute time frame, you can still post any time after the notification, with the only consequence being that your friends get a notification to say you posted late. As a result, users are able to wait until they are looking their best, or doing something they feel is more ‘fun’ or showcase worthy to their friends. Ultimately, this fluidity of the app’s rules, defeats its own mission to shun social performativity.

The emphasis on only being able to take unfiltered and untouched images of oneself is certainly one of the most true features to the app’s core vision, but it does come into paradox with itself when highlighting the fact that users can take unlimited retakes of their photos. Surely this encourages the same rose-tinted reality posed online that Instagram does?

Undoubtedly, BeReal has set a new precedent – a unique, new way of online photo-sharing. But as they have blurred their values with those of the more traditional apps, so have their users. BeReal snaps are now also making their way onto the mainstream channels, in an attempt from creators to cement their social status, centre-staging aspects of their ‘mundane’ livelihoods. 

Examples of this can be seen on influencer and celebrity channels including the likes of Chloe Frater and Tyler the Creator. These are just two of the famous figures including BeReals in their photo-dumps. Mashable’s Elena Cavender has seemingly rightedly coined that BeReals are the new selfie”. In her eyes, this makes the app “now just another way to commodify your life.” 

It’s not only Instagram that’s had BeReal creep into its feed, multiple TikTok users’ for-you-pages have been bombarded with young girls attempting to get celebrities to feature in their snaps, such as Bee Austin, posting her BeReal with the 1975’s Matt Healy which has garnered 546k views to date.

Despite the numerous arguments to be made against the platform, its fundamentals are in the right place and it is clear that the principle is founded upon good intention. Nonetheless, it has not yet achieved the ultimate goal of online authenticity and is still offering a social platform with the means to contrast and compare with peers. 

My takeaway from this: do I think that BeReal has been a positive force in social media? Yes (regardless of the ‘buts’). Will I keep using it? Absolutely.

Clean Beauty Aesthetic

the lifestyle trend that has over 300 million views on tiktok

By Nana Frimpong

Wednesday, 10th of August 2022

#CleanGirlAesthetic is the latest lifestyle trend taking over TikTok, with over 300 million views. #CleanMakeup even has 400million views on the platform. 

Both hashtags showcase natural or minimal makeup looks that creators like Tasha Green are known for and according to creators like Geena Hunt, to achieve the ‘clean girl’ look you only need tinted moisturiser, light concealer, eyebrow pomade, lip balm, tints and oils. It sounds simple and achievable, but is it?

As you scroll through the hashtag, you’ll notice that #CleanGirlAesthetic is not just about makeup – it covers all things lifestyle and having the perfect organised life. You may also notice one common anomaly under #CleanMakeup and that is that most, if not all, of the advocates of this beauty trend seem to have poreless, clear skin. 

Like with any trend, there is always the question of appropriateness and inclusivity. With the premise of the #CleanGirlAesthetic being about slicked-back hair, minimal makeup over glossy, buttery skin and gold hoop earrings, some creators have questioned how the trend caters to those with acne and hyperpigmentation.

Others have even come forward to critique the choice of wording. On first look, the term “Clean Girl” alone represents those with clear glossy skin and perfectly placed hair, suggesting that those with blemishes, texturised skin and untamed hair are ‘dirty’. Creators such as Uche Natori went as far as to tweet that the beauty trend is ‘anti-black’ as Black girls need “coverage and structure”.

TikTok creator Katouche Goll explained further that the “clean girl look relies on prerequisite terms of how you are supposed to look”, which vilifies those who fail to meet those terms. It further asserts that people who don’t fall into this westernised beauty standard are not worthy of being celebrated. 

Beauty influencers like Rikki Sandhu and Izzie Rodgers, however, are championing and reimagining the so-called ‘clean girl make-up’ and ‘clean girl’ aesthetic. 

And it is worth celebrating those taking the trend in the right direction. 

Creators I am Dodo and Neenz have also taken the opportunity to adapt the trend to fit their own aesthetical needs with the creation of #cleangirlaestheticblackgirl and #cleanmakeupforblackgirls. These hashtags were created to allow accessibility for Black creators to join a popular trend – and therefore show that it can be inclusive too.

Taking into consideration what it takes to achieve the ‘clean girl’ look – with everything from facials, brow tints, lash lifts and more to good lighting and filters – it begs the question: do you have perfect skin or did you buy it?

We often need to remind ourselves that some of the beauty videos and pictures we come across on social media have a cleverly-used lighting trick, a natural-looking pre-set filter or in some cases permanently purchased tweaks.

With more and more people embracing no-makeup and wellness trends, it has therefore been exciting to see people embracing their authentic selves. And with the rise of BeReal encouraging no-filter photos, it’s intriguing to see how it may change our view on beauty standards in the future. 

Gen Z audiences prefer authenticity over everything and have found a home on TikTok where they can truly be themselves. On the app, there is everything from the #CleanGirlAesthetic to relatable and accessible beauty content. And they both live side-by-side in a way that doesn’t seem to exist on other platforms. 

By embracing TikTok, Gen Z has made the platform their very own news and trends source, which makes it even more exciting to keep up with the next beauty trend that emerges on there. What do you think it will be?

It’s Disability Pride Month so why is nobody talking about it?

I explain how and why we need to be more inclusive to Disabled people.

By Disabled Eliza

Friday, 22nd of July 2022

July is Disability Pride Month. A month to celebrate all Disabled people regardless of gender or sexuality. Disability Pride is for all Disabled people and even has its own flag designed by Ann Magill. The reason it takes place in July is because the American Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 so the month coexists with that. It is a worldwide event that happens every year in July. 

But why do Disabled people need a pride month? The simple answer is: we don’t have equal rights. 

Disabled people in the UK (and around the world – however I am talking about my experience here) are more likely to be in poverty and have issues with accessing housing, work or funding, healthcare, education, self care, carers. The list is endless. In fact, it costs on average £500 more a month to be Disabled.

I speak from experience. I am a 25-year-old Disabled person, I am a wheelchair user and I have various health issues which impact me every day. Let me tell you it is expensive. One of the worst things for me about living in a world only made for non disabled people is I can’t get into most of the shops in my local area because they are simply not accessible. This isn’t rare either, I’d go so far as to say most places are not accessible for me. So, until Disabled people have equal rights, we are going to need Disability Pride. 

But if you are non disabled or a brand, why is it important to talk about Disability Pride Month? Well, for starters, it’s important because a LOT of people are Disabled – the estimate is around 14.6 million in the UK alone. That is one of the biggest minority groups. It is also a group that anyone could become a part of at any time. Yes that’s right, anyone could become Disabled at any second of their lives, and many will! 

As our age increases, unfortunately for many our health may decline. So when we don’t talk and learn about these things, it means we are leaving out a large group of people and shows we are not educated on the topic. A topic that could directly impact us at any moment. That isn’t to ‘scare’ anyone into caring about Disability rights. It’s just a simple fact, but as a society we often hide disability away. It’s something to be scared of, ashamed of, a ‘negative’ but that isn’t the case. It is simply neutral. Disabled people have always existed and will always exist. So rather than shaming us for our existence, we should love and embrace the community and show that Disabled people exist too.

Many brands don’t talk about Disability. We don’t see many Disabled models, actors or presenters and we are often pushed out of the spotlight. But Disabled people are wonderful and, speaking from experience, we are pretty cool too. Disabled people want to support companies, events, shows and more but so often we are not given accessibility or feel we are not represented by brands. This is only highlighted further when companies don’t mention us at all during Disability Pride. The silence feels empty, as if Disabled people are not valued consumers.

This is made evident from inaccessible shops and the lack of inclusion – which aside from everything else is a terrible business model (please be aware the reason for supporting and including Disabled people in business should not amount to money, however I am aware that money exists and is important when it comes to business so here we go…). 

The Purple Pound is the spending power of Disabled households and is over £249 billion in the UK alone. That is a lot of money. Keeping us out of your business model is not only discrimination, it’s also losing you a lot of pennies! Access and inclusion helps everyone! Not just Disabled people. The more accessible and inclusive you make your business the more people will want to shop and support your company. 

Disability Pride is the perfect time for brands to be showing their support for Disabled people, paying Disabled content creators, donating to charities and publicly saying that you support the community. 

Question yourself: how accessible is your business? How could it be improved? Could you pay for an accessibility consultant to make it better? 

Remember, this isn’t just about words or a simple Instagram post. It is about making your brand more inclusive, about championing Disabled voices and being pioneers in a vital movement. It is about listening to a mix of Disabled voices and educating yourself on a topic. 

Always remember to pay your Disabled employees and creators fairly because we have high overheads and it’s hard to get work out here. 

Happy Disability Pride Month.

Find out more about Eliza and the work they do here. 

HAS AI KILLED OFF THE CREATIVE?

dall-e 2 takes on the role of creative and designer

By Joel Newman

Thursday, 14th of June 2022

AI has taken another scalp, and this time it’s come for us Creatives.

This might not be wholly true (cue a collective sigh of relief), but OpenAI are getting mightily close. They’ve created a system called ‘DALL-E 2’ that uses AI to create images and art based on a collection of descriptive words inputted by its users.

The service has already seen its first brand involvement with Cosmopolitan, the entertainment magazine, using it to create a bespoke front cover for their latest edition. Although the service is still quite clunky – it took Cosmo quite a few hours (and a few hundred prompts) to perfect the combination of descriptive keywords – it does take on the role of both Creative and Designer. This streamlines the creation process and opens us up to the possibility of endless outcomes mere mortals may never have considered.

For years I’ve fought the case that Creatives are a sacred species (admittedly I am perhaps a bit biased) and something AI could never replace. The creation of DALL-E 2 however, has potentially derailed my theory, bringing it crashing down to earth in a burst of flames, sharpies, and precious tantrums – creative stereotypes the OpenAI team have overlooked for some reason.

This doesn’t necessarily mean the end is nigh for us Creatives. I’m sure when services like Photoshop were first launched, similar questions were likely to have been asked. Similarly throughout history whenever new creative innovation came about, uncertainty arose on the necessity of the older, less shiny version, but ultimately it just creates the opportunity for collaboration between the two.

For example, DALLE-2 can be used by us as a creative tool; hours of endless searching on Google Images for that one incredibly niche, impossible to find, reference for a pitch deck has now been reduced to a quick search and a few key words. In the same vein, this could also be a quicker, sleeker, partner to specialist skills such as scamping and storyboarding – both of which are seen as necessary requirements for all Creatives to have in their arsenal.

Ultimately the OpenAI team have created more questions than they’ve answered, which I suppose is the goal when launching industry defining projects. The big question though, is what is next for AI in creative? Personally, I’ll start getting worried when the waitlists to use services like DALL-E 2 are shorter than my lifetime. 

The Fifth talks community at cannes

wHAT’S NEXT FOR THE CREATOR ECONOMY?

By Esra Gurkan

Wednesday, 29th of June 2022

Last week, THE FIFTH held a lunch for leaders from across the industry to discuss what’s next for the creator economy.

Our guests joined us waterside in Antibes for an afternoon escape away from the mayhem of La Croisette and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. 

One hotly debated topic during the lunch is what to call the people, animals and even robots we work with. One thing we all agreed on is that we’re clearly all too hung up on titles. ‘Creator’, ‘Influencer’, ‘Talent’, ‘Social Content Producer’ all have a place and each represent a category within the ecosystem.

Another subject heavily discussed was of course the #Metaverse. No one was in dispute over the fact that creators will be key to building it.

“Cannes confirmed what we have long known” explained THE FIFTH’s CEO Oliver Lewis, continuing, “creators will shape the future of creativity, disrupting traditional advertising as their cultural role strengthens across both real world and virtual”.

Reflecting further on Cannes-conversations Oliver said: “Community is often the word missing from conversations in influencer marketing meetings. Qualitative metrics will begin to overtake followers, impressions and engagement rates as the value of the craft is realised and paid media and brand channel asset generation become the primary vehicle for audience acquisition. In the near future, we will see transactional campaigns replaced with partnerships as creators establish themselves as brands in their own right, boosting creativity.

“The Metaverse is the word on everyone’s lips; it must be built by creators, not techies and big business, or the community will never arrive. The vision for the Metaverse should be one of inclusion, human connectivity and blended reality. Brands will increasingly lean on creators when building their experiences in the Metaverse, creating worlds that represent and reflect their communities.”

We’d like to say a big thank you to Meta’s Becky Owens, Brandtech Group’s Oliver Walls, Influencer Marketing Trade Body lead Scott Guthrie, The Barber Shop’s Dino Myers-Lamptey, New Digital Age’s Justin Pearse, Storyful’s Lisa McDonald and T Brand Studio’s Arif Durrani for your contributions. We’re looking forward to continuing the conversation at MAD//FEST LONDON next week! 

The Fifth wins four awards at the influencer Marketing Awards

iNCLUDING GOLD FOR BEST CAUSE LED CAMPAIGN

By Esra Gurkan

Friday, 10th of June 2022

THE FIFTH has won four awards at the Influencer Marketing Awards 2022. 

🏆 GOLD for Best Cause-Led Campaign for our work with YouTube for Pride Month

🏆 GOLD for Best Use of YouTube for our work with YouTube for Pride Month

🏆 SILVER for Best Team in Influencer Marketing

🏆 BRONZE for Best Large Influencer Marketing Agency

It was an evening filled with good food, great company and huge celebrations all round. 

Describing why we were chosen as the winners for the Best Cause-Led Campaign category, the judges said we had an “Out of the box approach for a very relevant topic which is at the centre of a number of campaigns in the last months, well executed”. 

When talking about our Best Use of YouTube win, the judges commented: “What a fantastic campaign – bringing together diverse talents, creativity and a strong strategy, all with an important purpose. 

“The results speak for themselves. Well done YouTube and THE FIFTH!”. 

We are absolutely delighted with the results of the night and are happy that we were recognised for both the Best Team and Best Large Influencer Marketing Agency categories with Silver and Gold. 

As always, we want to say a big thank you to the entire FIFTH team for their hard word and to our clients for entrusting us to tell their brand’s story. 

It was a real joint effort and the awards were an amazing celebration of the work that we do. 

Congratulations to everybody who won and was shortlisted. What an industry to be a part of!