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Heinz is Taking a Special Interest in Chicagoans

America’s favorite ketchup company may have its feelings hurt over Chicagoans refusing to put the delicious condiment on their hot dogs. Whether you’re from Chicago or not, it’s no secret that according to Chicagoans ketchup just doesn’t belong on hot dogs. We love our all beef dog on a poppy seed bun with all the fixens of chopped white onions, pickled sport peppers, one large pickle spear, dash of celery salt, sweet pickle relish, tomato slices and mustard. Ketchup? No, thank you.

chicago dog

Heinz thinks it may have a more inclusive solution to incorporate a tomato based condiment for Chicago dogs. It is being very careful not to refer to this sauce as ketchup, but rather “Chicago Dog Sauce.” In honor of National Hot Dog Day, one of the many days dedicated to delicious food that the world has adopted within the past years (see post here about World Chocolate Day), Heinz went to Chicago hot dog shops and provided them with the new Chicago Dog Sauce. The locals’ reactions were positive until they found out what was really in the Chicago Dog Sauce. Watch the ad below to see how Heinz’s Chicago Dog Sauce experiment really went.

5 Ways for PR to get Involved in ‘World Chocolate Day’

It seems like there is a world or national day for just about every day now. For example, there’s ‘National French Fry Day,’ ‘National Eggnog Day‘ and ‘National Avocado Day‘ to name just a few. Well today, July 7th is ‘World Chocolate Day.’ Today, the world comes together to celebrate one of the most delicious treats out there. PR Daily posted an article today about how PR and marketing can take part in the celebration.

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“Worldwide, roughly $101 billion is spent on chocolate each year.

PR and marketing pros taking part in World Chocolate Day are hoping to increase that number—or at least grab consumers’ attention.”

Read the entire article here!

Uber vs. Lyft

We’ve all been there. You get in your car and drive to meet up with your friends for a drink or two. You tell yourself that you will have AT MOST two drinks and that you will be totally fine to drive home. But as the night goes on you’re having so much fun talking and laughing with your friends that two drinks turns into three and then four and then you know that there is absolutely no way that you can operate a moving vehicle. There are no cabs in your area and you have work at 8:00 am so you really can’t stay the night. This is probably the predicament that Garrett Camp had in mind when he founded Uber.

uber

Garrett Camp founded Uber in San Francisco in 2009. I’m sure we have all heard of and probably used Uber, but in case you haven’t, Uber is a transportation company connected to a smartphone app. The cars come to you and drop you off at your destination and then at the end of your trip you are automatically billed through your credit card that is linked to the app.

Since 2009, Uber has been immensely successful bringing in approximately 6.5 billion dollars. Just a few years later, Logan Green and John Zimmer decided to join the market and founded Lyft. While the companies have the same basic foundation, they do have their differences. Uber is no stranger to controversy. Throughout the years, there have been various incidents of sexual harassment and just recently the CEO stepped down.

lyft

 

However, despite its many setbacks, it seems that Uber is still on top. Recent statistics prove that Uber’s numbers are still dramatically higher that Lyft’s. Will Lyft take over or will it always be stuck in the shadow of Uber?

Just When You Thought Ice-T Couldn’t Get Any Cooler

Ice t ice

Who doesn’t love Ice-T? And to be clear I am talking about the rapper turned actor turned loving husband and father, not the delicious and refreshing beverage (which I also love). Whether you listen to his music or you watched him on Law & Order: SVU, everybody knows and loves Ice-T. He has a down to earth personality and a cool vibe about him. In this interesting article by AdWeek, Ice-T just got cooler by partnering with Sonic.

After 6,000 years of human civilization, it’s come to this: A finely detailed, life-sized ice sculpture of rapper/actor Ice-T will slowly melt, drip-drip-drip, during a live internet event. When its microphone falls the to floor, it will make winners of some lucky Sonic Drive-In fans.

Goodby Silverstein & Partners came up with the chill stunt, which will stream Tuesday on Facebook at 1 p.m. ET. The sculpture, made by David Fong of Ice Illusions in Santa Clara, Calif., will be holding a real mic, and once it drops, the first 100 users to comment will receive a limited-edition Ice-T T-shirt that changes color when frozen.

Read more by visiting AdWeek!

Everyone’s Favorite Ad Man Makes His Big Return

He’s the man you know and love despite his questionable life choices. He’s charming, smart and witty (not to mention incredibly handsome). He’s Don Draper and he’s back. No, the popular TV drama surrounding a New York ad agency set in the 1960s is not coming out with new episodes, unfortunately. But, AT&T Audience Network will be showing all seven seasons of the critically acclaimed series starting June 12th.

 

don draper

 

AT&T Audience Network is available to the subscribers of DirecTV, DirecTV Now and U-verse. Audience Network is the first network to have attained Mad Men’s off-network rights. The show is going to air commercial free with occasional marathons on Saturdays. Chris Long, the head of the network, explains that they have seen a major boost in their viewership because they are commercial free. He also said this gives viewers the opportunity to catch up on a show that they may not have seen without interruption or if you’re like me, an opportunity to re-watch one of the greatest TV shows ever created and swoon over Don Draper. In addition to Mad Men, Audience Network will also be airing Weeds after attaining the off-network rights for that show as well.

 

GROUP - Mad Men _ Season 7, Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

GROUP – Mad Men _ Season 7, Gallery – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

 

Tune in June 12th to watch Don Draper and all of our other favorite ad execs on AT&T Audience Network!

 

Read more on Ad Week.

Is Kik Replacing Snapchat?

Social media comes in many different shapes and sizes. From Facebook to Snapchat to Pinterest to Kik, there are a variety of ways for us to stay in touch with our friends and favorite celebrities every day. Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest are widely known by many, but what is Kik?

I’m sure many of us have heard the phrase, “You got a kik?” but what is it really. Kik Messenger is an instant messaging mobile app available for Android, iPhones and Windows Phone operating systems. Through Wi-Fi, you can send and receive messages, videos, sketches and other content with any of your friends that have the app and register a username. Sounds a little bit like Snapchat with similar capabilities and a focus on anonymity. Kik made its debut in 2010, but why did it get lost in the shadow of Snapchat?

kik

Ad Week recently published an article about Dunkin’ Donuts’ interesting marketing move involving Kik. On National Donut Day this year, Dunkin’ Donuts will create and sponsor the first branded face filter on Kik. This face filter will be in addition to the filter they will be creating for Snapchat. While Snapchat face filters have become increasingly popular in recent years, this is the first time a major corporation will be paying for a filter on Kik.

dunkin

Dunkin’ Donuts could be onto something here. Kik is making its first major comeback in the always evolving world of social media. Will other major corporations follow in Dunkin’ Donuts’ footsteps and create and sponsor face filters for Kik? Or is this going to prove to be a complete waste of money for the coffee and donut company America runs on?

Make sure to grab a donut for National Donut Day!

For more reading, visit Ad Week.

 

Models with Down Syndrome Becoming More Visible

down-syndrome-fisher-price

Over the years brands have stuck to the traditional idea of using regular everyday people to represent their brand’s image. From time to time, advertisers would occasionally feature people with disabilities, but recently models with Down syndrome have become more visible. Fisher-Price recently released a new advertisement featuring Lili Boglarka Havasi, a 2-year-old model with Down syndrome, in a commercial for the Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway. People with Down syndrome have also been featured in ads for other popular brands such as McDonald’s, Target, A.C. Moore, Zulily and have been spotted on New York catwalks.

So why has this trend started? Advertisers eventually caught on to the fact that consumers preferred a broad cross-section of individuals included in advertisements. The response was positive, especially from millennials, to inclusiveness and portraying “authenticity” in advertising. Using models with a physical disability allowed them to communicate their values and connect with customers.

Parents of children with Down syndrome say that it’s about time advertisers noticed the distinctive beauty of people with the condition. One mother, Megan Nash of Buford, GA, has a son, Asher, with Down syndrome and will soon be modeling for the OshKosh children’s clothing line.

down-syndrome-couch

When Nash first submitted his pictures for a casting call she was told they weren’t included in the final round because the retailer hadn’t specifically asked for child models with special needs. Nash shared her story on Facebook, which went viral. This resulted in the story getting back to OshKosh, who then stated it wasn’t the company itself, but rather the talent agency that had turned her down. OshKosh then invited Nash and her son to a photo shoot for the company’s holiday ad campaign.

Numerous brands are continuing to include people with Down syndrome and even groups such as Changing the Face of Beauty have focused on improving the inclusion of models with disabilities. In 2015 they set out to find 15 retailers who would commit to using models with disabilities in their advertisements.

People with Down syndrome are continuing to be featured in acting roles and advertisements. Perception continues to change and Nash continues to have hope in progression for people with disabilities. “They’re not going to say, ‘Oh, that boy has Down syndrome,’” she said. “They’re going to say, ‘Look at that jacket the boy is wearing in the ad.’”

To read more visit The New York Times.

“She’s a Lady” but She Doesn’t Fit the Mold

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H&M developed a new advertising campaign earlier this year that clearly states there is no correct way to be a lady. Set to the song “She’s a Lady” by Tom Jones, the commercial goes against the very misogynistic themed tune. The advertisement by Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors features many women who in the past would not be considered the ideal “lady” that is described in the song. An article by AdWeek describes the implications of this commercial.

There are some very iconic people involved in this stand-out commercial including actress Lauren Hutton, model Adwoa Aboah, transgender actress Hari Nef, Design Army’s Chief Creative Officer Pum Lefebure and Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey. There is something uniquely inspiring about this campaign’s direction, which clearly goes against the societal norms of what it is to be a lady.

short-hair

The new fall 2016 fashion line by H&M is presented in this commercial and it isn’t until after you view it, that you find out there is a hidden message in this fashion preview. The campaign helps to create conversation about the oppression of women in a seemingly entertaining way.

The commercial challenges the traditional concept of what it means to be a lady in a variety of ways. Most people think of women (ladies) as having long, thick, luscious hair, but H&M’s new commercial features a woman who has a bald head and challenges the viewer’s thoughts on what is beautiful. A woman is beautiful and a “lady,” no matter the length of her hair. Throughout the commercial women are curvy, transgender, bald, muscular, and don’t have “lady-like” posture. All of these women are still ladies, no matter what the traditional thoughts on that label are.

armpit

H&M made a strong advertising move by creating a commercial that is not only entertaining, but has a heavy social message behind it. There is sure to be a lot of opinionated talk about this bold campaign.

View the full commercial: https://youtu.be/8-RY6fWVrQ0

Read more at: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/hms-stunning-new-ad-subverts-what-you-think-lady-should-look-or-act-173487

Apple Wins Over Customers with Humor

PPR_Blog_AppleMusic

With iPhones, MacBooks, Apple Music and the newest Apple Watch, it seems that there’s nothing that Apple doesn’t offer customers these days. Through well thought out advertising campaigns and continuous customer support, Apple has been able to maintain a respectable brand image and keep customers coming back for more.

After a recent controversy between Apple and the U.S. government, Apple needed a strategic PR plan to draw customer’s attention away from the conflict and bring the focus back to the products. With a new string of advertisements highlighting various Apple products and their many features, the company was able to do exactly that.

According to Marketing Magazine, “[Apple] has been many things for many people, but there’s one trick it hasn’t tried in some time. Being funny.” The most recent advertisements released by Apple feature two very different celebrities: superstar singer and songwriter Taylor Swift and Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. Both of these spots have been a favorite among the public, each racking up millions of views and thousands of shares shortly after being released.

These ads seem to be paying off quite well for Apple. The Swift ad, which featured the popstar running on the treadmill while rapping to Drake and Future’s single “Jumpman,” under a playlist called “#GYMFLOW,” boosted Apple Music into the spotlight of streaming music. “Jumpman” experienced a 431% increase in sales globally thanks to the campaign and the playlist featured in the ad, #GYMFLOW, has increased by 325%, making it the fifth highest streamed playlist on Apple Music.

After experiencing millions of views and shares, it’s apparent Apple has struck advertising gold.  Marketing Magazine says that all these views combined with the positive press the ads have received, more or less ensures that that there are more jokes to come from Apple in the near future.

For more info, check out the Marketing Magazine article here: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1390080/apple-finds-its-funny-side-again-seals-the-kiss

Always Releases New #LikeAGirl Commercial Challenging Gender Stereotypes

Emoji

Procter & Gamble’s Always brand aims to support girls as they make their transition from puberty to young adults. With their latest #LikeAGirl campaign, the company is redefining confidence by turning the negative phrase “like a girl” into a term of empowerment throughout a series of commercials that have been released over the past year. The first ad in this campaign featured a social experiment that asked people to do things ‘like a girl’ and found that adults took this to mean ‘silly’ or ‘not good enough’, while young girls did them the best they could. The latest commercial for this campaign used research as the basis for the video and found that 67% of girls say that female emojis imply that girls are limited in what they can do and 75% said they want emojis to be more progressive, portraying female police officers and athletes.

According to Mashable, the new video brought together a diverse cross-section of girls and young women, 11 to 18 years old, and asked them “do emojis represent them?” and then captured their authentic spontaneous reactions when scanning the available emoji choices. The video follows the baffled faces of young girls as they scroll through their phone, many realizing for the first time that few women are represented and the girl category is limited to the color pink. “There’s no girl-professional emojis, unless you count being a bride a profession,” notes one of the girls in the commercial.

Executives at Always have approached the Unicode Consortium about expanding the available emojis to more accurately tell stories about how girls live today. Unicode president Mark Davis responded in an email saying, “the Consortium has been working on full representation of gender in emojis. We appreciate the efforts that Always is taking to collect feedback and input into the process for new emoji characters.”

Mashable also highlighted how this campaign is helping to reinvent the Always brand. “At more than 30 years old, it was considered a Mom brand and needed a refresh.” In order to appeal to the next generation of users, Always used young women as the focus of their new campaign. By casting a positive light on the traditionally insulting “like a girl” saying, the first commercial of the campaign made waves immediately. Over 75% of young women had a positive reaction to the phrase, “like a girl,” after seeing the video, when only 19% felt that way before, according to P&G research.” Since the release of the first video, Always has continued putting out advertisements focused on instilling confidence in young girls.

“This generation, they’re not just looking for a p­roduct,” said Michele Baeten, global associate brand director for P&G’s Always. “They’re buying into the values of a brand.” After losing relevance with young women, the release of this campaign was exactly what the brand needed in order to show the public that they are invested in addressing important social issues and dedicated to helping young women be their most confident self.

For more information on the #LikeAGirl campaign, check out Mashable’s full article: http://mashable.com/2016/03/02/girls-emoji-like-a-girl/ – OF7fQQ0nYqqG