How to avoid summer marketing fatigue

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash
by Melissa McNutt / originally published on LinkedIn


Summer is just around the corner and we all know what that means, right? Rosé all day! Errr, about that…For the last several summers we’ve been bombarded with a certain style of cultural cliche, one with a synthetic aesthetic that permeates social media and events created to be used on social- and if you’re feeling what I’m feeling, you’re over it. Like ourselves, consumers are sick of canned moments and lining up for engagements with a more genuine feel. Transitioning away from curated monotony and working to deliver more authentic content for your followers is a great way to stand out in a crowded space no matter which marketing channel you’re using to deliver your message. 

Here are some thoughts on how to keep your brand messaging authentic rather than contrived:

Don’t be a clone

Summer events are hot, fast and fun and can give your brand a real boost if you’re picking the right places to activate. I’m a big fan of attaching activations to cultural moments to bolster brand marketing, but to really make this work requires some deep thought around execution. Nothing is a bigger turnoff than a sponsorship that blatantly lacks the context to tie your brand into an experience or worse, you look just like every other brand on site. You have to come up with a concept that is unique to the event you’re associating with and not an obvious rip off of something consumers will recognize. Tie into the event, but put your own spin on it and make sure you’re approaching the concept with a sense of humor and an appropriate level of self awareness. 

Pick partnerships with shelf life

A well crafted influencer or fellow brand partnership is a great way to give legs to an activation, but you have to ensure the engagement rings true to both sets of followers as this is the audience you’re looking to convert. If you want to give a genuine feel to a partnership with an influencer, you need to agree on a set amount of guidelines that go beyond just promoting things onsite at events. Your partnership should extend pre and post event via channels like social media and any custom content they are publishing. When thinking about structuring your partnership strategy, be sure to factor in activating online and IRL and how you want that to look to ensure it’s an authentic partnership that resonates with consumers.  

Engage on a genuine level

What motivates you to get out of the house on the weekend? Chances are, your Saturdays are consumed with socializing, parenting and dining out like most everybody else. But when I pull up social media, I’m inundated with glamorous, posed families and serene women embarking on wellness journeys and frankly it just ties in to my life less and less. Life is messy and brands can absolutely keep it real while selling a lifestyle. As a brand creating messaging, factoring in your audience to determine content creation can save time and money in addition to helping you stand out. There’s a way to sell an aspirational lifestyle without alienating your audience, it just requires thoughtfulness and authenticity. Your audience wants to relate to you and moments that are too magazine ready just make you look out of touch rather than genuine. 

Authenticity in marketing is not a new concept, but learning how to spread it out over the channels you use to engage with consumers is something that can be a challenge if you’re stuck in a rut or falling down a rabbit hole of clichés. As you evolve your messaging, be sure to weave your polished brand persona amongst efforts that show you’re real people behind the curtain. Your audience is savvier than ever, and updating your experiential channels to incorporate genuine moments is going to result in more loyalty in return. 


Melissa McNutt is a Co-Founder and Head of Strategy at One Two Collective, a consultancy that helps brands enhance their consumer experience. Prior to that, she was Head of Brand Experience at mixed reality startup Magic Leap and Head of Experiential at Samsung. Email her at