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Top Themes Seen in Super Bowl 50 Commercials

commercial

Many watch it for the game, others for the halftime show, while some of us like to sit back and enjoy the entertaining commercials. It’s the annual American tradition: the Super Bowl. The New Yorker ranked this year’s best and worst commercials. At an average of roughly $5 million dollars for thirty seconds of air time, the stakes are high for Super Bowl commercials to be funny, memorable and ultimately, to sell a product. This year’s batch of commercials featured some distinct trends, including the use of celebrities, dogs and Public Service Announcements.

Celebrities

Many commercials this year capitalized on the use of celebrities. Bud Light featured comedians Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen in a political satire commercial. The two are unlikely presidential candidates, with Schumer’s good-natured provocative humor and Rogen being Canadian. In the commercial, the two united the nation with something “everyone agrees on”—Bud Light. By poking fun at the divided political climate and using comedians that are extremely unlikely to become president, Bud Light connects to all its viewers and brings them together over beer.

Dogs

No matter how cliché, it seems everyone has a love for all things cute and cuddly. This year, Dorito’s made a hilarious use of dogs trying to get into a grocery store to buy Dorito’s chips. After being chased out by grocery store security, the dogs dress in human-like outfits to buy their coveted chips. The paradox of dogs in human attire is easily a source of laughter for everyone, making the commercial enjoyable and memorable.

PSAs

The NFL aired dramatic public service announcements during the Super Bowl to raise awareness and promote a change in behavior against domestic violence and sexual assault. This commercial featured a simple text conversation between two friends with a reference to one girl’s boyfriend in passing indicating that she was potentially in danger. The NFL has recently been criticized for being too lenient on charges of violence against women among their players. Last year, eight NFL players were arrested for violence against women, and five were arrested the year before. Half of these players still play for the NFL, demonstrating leniency. By creating a PSA against domestic violence and sexual assault, the NFL is combating controversies by publicly standing against violence against women.

Aside from the entertainment value of the Super Bowl commercials, the end goal is to increase sales for products or to raise awareness through PSAs. The viewers—all of us—decide the success of the commercials by how we react to them and this year’s overall response was positive.

Read the New Yorker’s full article on the Super Bowl commercials here: http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/super-bowl-ads-the-best-and-worst-of-2016

Coca-Cola Creates Magic and Smiles Once More

 

Coke Blog

Coca-Cola is at it again. The company that continuously puts forth feel-good videos just released a new campaign titled “Wish in a Bottle.” This time around the video features teenagers at a summer festival event in Israel unleashing the magic of Coca-Cola, literally. With every twist of a cap, each specially designed Coke bottle triggered a shooting star up in the sky. With a little help from transmitters, drones, Wi-Fi and fireworks, Coca-Cola was able to give the party-goers an experience they will most likely never forget.

Creativity Online highlights how Coca-Cola sustains its company’s emphasis on innovation and happiness in its videos, and included a quote from Coca-Cola Israel’s Vice President of Marketing.

“As always, in every event we hold, the emphasis was all about innovation,” said Coca-Cola Israel VP-Marketing Alon Zamir in a statement. “The bottles series was created under the notion of ‘Internet of Things’ and by making a star fall using a Coca-Cola bottle, we could intensify the teenagers’ experience when interacting with the Coca-Cola brand.”

This is not the first time that Coca-Cola has released a video that makes viewers feel fuzzy inside. Coke has a knack for producing videos that create one of a kind interactions between viewers and the brand, making its campaigns hard to forget.

There are a number of things that likely come to mind when thinking of the company’s well known advertisements, and odds are it’s because it restored faith in humanity. Take the “#WishUponACoke” campaign for example, where Coke granted wishes to a handful of workers. It’s difficult to watch this advertisement and not be impressed.

Creativity and heartwarming deeds aside, Coca-Cola does not disappoint when combining music and camera angles to tell a story that generates smiles and goosebumps. That is magical in itself.

Barbie Embraces #GirlPower in New Campaign Video

Barbie Blog

Mattel’s Barbie has always aimed to help young girls use their imagination, empowering them to become whatever they want to be. Though the brand’s image has had its ups and downs in the public’s eye, it has never stopped inspiring young minds to achieve their dreams. The brand’s new ad campaign aims to strengthen these messages with the video, “Imagine the Possibilities.”

Forbes took a look at the positive ways the new campaign could influence consumers’ opinions in the article, “Mattel Reframes the Barbie Brand in New Campaign Targeting Adults.” Barbie’s new campaign was strategically designed to cast the Barbie Brand in a new, positive light. Intended to demonstrate that Barbie inspires children to become whatever they can imagine, the campaign reconnects the original vision for the toy with today’s public.

“Barbie was originally created to show girls they have choices, a fact that most people have forgotten,” said Matt Miller, executive creative director, BBDO San Francisco. “So we set out to show everyone how girls really play and demonstrate that, when girls play with Barbie, they actually play out the possibilities their futures hold.”

The article expands on three key elements in the video that will change the public’s image of Barbie:

  • From Body Image to Self-Image: In the video, the girls have chosen careers for their dolls such as a professor, a veterinarian and a business woman – likely fitting representations of what the girls aspire to become. To the children that play with them, the dolls can be whatever they dream. Many are eager to criticize the exterior image of a Barbie doll, but in this new campaign video that previous idea is eliminated. Demonstrating that the dolls are not about what they look like, but what they are like
  • The Problems Surrounding Barbie Were Adult Problems: Many of the problems society had with the Barbie brand were problems initially facilitated by adults. That’s why the way the video unfolds is crucial to the campaign. It is designed to make adults experience a moment where they think, “Oh that’s how my child plays with the doll.”
  • Real Reactions From Adults Cemented the Message: The adults seen in the video reacting to the girls acting like working professionals weren’t actors, but real adults having real reactions to what the girls were doing and saying. These reactions are organic and demonstrate how seeing the children act like this makes understanding the child’s image of themselves and the dolls simpler.

In a society where allowing children to believe any dream is achievable, Barbie is taking a step in the right direction to empowering future generations of young girls.

For more on the new Barbie campaign read the full Forbes article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/willburns/2015/10/29/mattel-reframes-the-barbie-brand-in-new-campaign-targeting-adults/

 

Oct. 21, 2015: Brands That Leveraged #BacktotheFutureDay

BttF Day Blog

Last Wednesday marked the day Marty McFly went to the future in the 1980’s movie, “Back to the Future,” and brands didn’t skip a beat aligning themselves with the cult classic. Fortune took an in-depth look at how brands like Nike, Toyota and Pepsi  leveraged the day with ads connecting them to the film, while Ford and Universal created mock ads for a Flux Capacitor and Hoverboard. Lyft even added an element to their ride-sharing app called “McFly Mode.” Great Scott!

Here’s how each of these companies used Back to the Future Day to promote their brand:

  • Nike: When Marty McFly arrives in 2015 in the film, he puts on a pair if Nike sneakers that can lace themselves. Starting in January 2015 Tinker Hatfield, the original creator of the concept, said the Nike team was planning to release self-lacing shoes at some point in the year. The concept was again teased to the world this past Tuesday via a tweet. As of now, we still wait for the futuristic sneaker to become a reality.
  • Toyota: Not only does the car in the film travel through time, it is also fueled by garbage. The car company used the date to promote its new hydrogen fuel car, the Mirai, by including actors Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the debut commercial.
  • Pepsi: The drink of choice for Michael J. Fox’s character in the film, Pepsi released limited edition bottles of the soda that were sold on Amazon. However, they may have been a little too limited. Many fans hoping to get a bottle of the Back to the Future Pepsi took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
  • Ford: In honor of Back to the Future Day, Ford created a dummy version of a flux capacitor – the essential part for time travelling in the film. The Y-shaped generator powered by a getting struck by a bolt of lightning bolt or nuclear fuel was released in a mock ad and advertised to sell at a fictional $1.21 million.
  • Universal: Unfortunately not a real product, but Universal released a mock ad for a hoverboard like the sweet ride available in Back to the Future’s version of 2015. Check out the ad here to see how Universal envisions hoverboards in 2015.
  • Lyft: The on-demand ride sharing company offered free rides for up to 15 minutes around New York City in a DeLorean, the type of car used in the film. Users simply had to press the “McFly Mode” button in the Lyft app and the DeLorean ride would arrive minutes later.

Whether a devoted fan who has waited decades for this day or just someone who wanted to take part in the Back to the Future Day festivities, brands successfully engaged audiences through strategically impactful advertising.

For more on how brands utilized the date for product placement read the full Fortune article here: http://fortune.com/2015/10/21/back-future-day-brands-twitter/

 

Extra Gum Pulls At Audience’s Heartstrings

Extra Gum Blog

After what may have seemed like a very long two years since the success of Extra’s first gum wrapper centered video, “Origami,” the company released a second advertisement featuring the brand’s foil wrappers. Quickly capturing a favorable public opinion, the new ad, “The Story of Sarah and Juan,” gained 74 million views within a week of its release.

Audiences have eagerly waited for the Wrigley Company to produce another video for the campaign. With the tag line “Give Extra à Get Extra,” the ads tell stories about how it’s the little things that add up.

Marketing Magazine talks about the “Minty Love” vibe of the ad and the love it or hate it mentality viewers will have. The video starts on the steps going into a high school where students Juan and Sarah first catch each other’s eyes and one offers the other a stick of Extra Gum. As the ad continues, the relationship of the two characters has its ups and downs. However, there is always one constant – Extra Gum.

Whether it’s the love story or the catchy Haley Reinhart cover of Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” the video has captivated the minds of its audiences. In two minutes of video, an emotion can be conveyed that will resonate with audiences, potentially creating  a very positive brand association for Extra.

The ad comes at a time when viral videos are what create an engaging, lasting memory with a brand’s audience. Audiences have taken social media by storm, sharing the ad on their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. Twitter users took to the social media platform to express the emotions watching the video evoked in them. Many also noted that they were initially exposed to the ad through it playing before the YouTube video they were attempting to watch. These various channels are key for reaching the maximum possible audience.

For more on The Story of Sarah and Juan check out the Marketing Magazine article here: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1368588/love-hate-it-extra-gums-the-story-sarah-juan-definitely-having-moment

Compelling Campaign’s Rise to the Top at 2015 Cannes Lion Festival

girl

After all of the results were announced at the 2015 Cannes Lion Festival last week, people noticed a trend in the winning campaigns – advertisements with empowering messages brought home the most prestigious awards.

The Cannes Lion Festival, a global awards ceremony held for top professionals in the creative communications and advertising industry, had a spike in the number of awards given to the campaigns with a powerful message.

There are over 18 different advertising and media related categories and a top prize, the Grand Prix award, awarded to one campaign in each group. In the PR category, the #LikeAGirl campaign for feminine care brand Always created by ad agency Leo Burnett transformed the negative term “like a girl” into a strong message for women. #LikeAGirl won the award over 1,969 other entries in the PR category.

Other highlights included the LifePaint campaign for Volvo created by ad agency Grey London, Lucky Iron Fish by agency Geometric Global, I Will What I Want for Under Armour created by Droga5 and Red Light App for Vodafone by Y&R Team Red Istanbul which all received a Grand Prix award, the highest honor of the ceremony.

Many of the winning campaigns promoted topics like women empowerment, awareness of various issues such as iron deficiency in Cambodia and safety. According to USA Today, many of these campaigns have made a positive impact towards their cause. The Lucky Fish project for example was proven to have improved the overall iron intake of Cambodians, who are prone to iron deficiency leading to diseases like anemia.

Although the 2015 Cannes Lion Festival has awarded many other campaigns for being innovative and original, the creative communications with the most powerful messages were clearly the most successful in their efforts. Will heartwarming and empowering become the next big thing for PR and advertising?

Contagious Kindness: Kleenex Releases New Advertising Campaign

someone needs one

Kleenex® just launched “Time for a Change” a new, touching television ad campaign that is spreading thoughtful positive action across the nation. According to an AdAge article, the campaign features people coming to others’ rescue in emotional distress with the tagline “Someone Needs One.” The video shows a boy giving a girl a Kleenex® because she is crying, reassuring her “people think boys are loud and immature and don’t care about feelings, but they’re wrong.”

“This ad draws on insight from a survey that showed 50% of people in the United States say they’ve missed an opportunity to show someone they cared,” said Eric Higgs, general manager of Kleenex® Brand. “Here’s a brand designed to provide care and uplift.” Kleenex® is continuing the trend of contagious kindness with this ad, similar to video ads launched in February to encourage sharing pocket packs with those in need.

“I don’t think care is ever going out of style,” said Higgs. “I think this has the potential to be the spark that makes caring contagious.”

Kleenex® is going further than television ads with the “Someone Needs One” campaign. On Kleenex®’s website, people can also now share a message of care by creating and sending a personal Kleenex® Careboard message spelled with the soft touch of Kleenex® tissues. Kleenex® “will be demonstrating the importance of timely care through a multi-platform commercial program including documentary-style videos featuring compelling, real-life stories of people showing meaningful gestures of care throughout the U.S.”

The broader campaign includes a partnership with Facebook to target video ads based on users’ demographics, stated interests and time of day. The videos capture people’s real-life moments of care and show that the simplest actions at the right time can be the most touching.

Kleenex®’s new ad campaign is helping contagious kindness go viral as well as testing how effective kindness can really be in advertising.

To view Kleenex®’s ad, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LnuWQgL7Wg

Budweiser Tugs at the Heart with Their New Responsible Drinking Ad

happydog

Budweiser has done it again. Last week, their new ad campaign for GlobalBe(er) Responsible Day which promotes responsible drinking went viral almost instantly after being posted. Using something as relatable as the love we have for our pets, Budweiser managed to turn a commercial into a tear-jerking, emotional message. The video has already shown great success, garnering over 17 million views and countless shares on social media since its release a week ago.

Advertising Age commented on the ad’s success in an article stating:

“The brew is seeking to recapture some of the magic of its popular “Puppy Love” Super Bowl spot with a new anti-drunk driving digital video featuring a man and his dog. The spot uses the same breed — a Yellow Lab — as the Emmy-nominated Clydesdales Super Bowl ad. The dog in the ad is not the same one shown in “Puppy Love,” which actually made use of several pups. But Bud stuck with the same breeder for both spots”

According to AdAge, the spot came out as a promotional tie-in Budweiser has in the works, “The 60-second video will be supported with paid media, according to the brewer. The ad’s release is timed with the brewer’s fifth-annual “Global Be(er) Responsible Day” on Friday, in which the brewer will be “promoting responsible drinking worldwide,” according to a statement.”

Read the full AdAge article here: http://adage.com/article/see-the-spot/budweiser-drunk-drivers-kill-puppy-love/295058/

Watch the commercial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eubWYPhcEEo

Social Big Data

Did you know that an average internet user spends nearly two and a half hours on social media every single day? Not only that, all the information you generate on online is collected as Big Data by social media networks to create personalized  and hyper targeted content.  For example, Facebook features customized content based on  daily interactions, likes and shares. Roughly 2.4 billion global users are transferring data each minute all with the common aim of making information accessible, streamlined and efficient. So where does this Big Data come from and how can you most effectively utilize it?

The Infographic by  Kapow illustrates how various sources of big data originate and how they differ. It also illustrates a technique to measure their velocity, variety and volume. Who knew Big Data could be so simple?

BIG DATA

Promoting A Socially Conscious Brand

Lately, consumers have been drawn toward brands that make a good impact on society, whether through charitable causes or brand alignment with non-profit associations.  Cause marketing goes beyond traditional marketing by creating the necessity to convince the audience that it is a socially responsible contributor to society. This type of publicity, however, works more seamlessly for some brands than for others. It is important to consider the audience and product before considering promoting a partnership with a non-profit or other charitable cause.

A recent PRweb article by Stacey Miller highlights the trend for brands to want to appear socially conscious as a tactic to gain visibility and promote the brand’s image; however it cannot be a universally applied tactic. Here is key advice about how to move forward with a cause marketing campaign:

1) Authenticity is key. 

You must select a cause that supports your brand’s core values. Avon’s “Breast Cancer Crusade” echoes the company’s values, which encompasses the well-being of women. The cause aligns with the company’s mission and connects with Avon’s customers.

KFC’s “Buckets for a Cure” cause marketing campaign did not coordinate with the fast-food chain’s values and ended up being detrimental to brand image. Consumers felt the campaign was a sales gimmick rather than a true concern for women’s health.

2) Integration is an everyday effort. 

The needs of your nonprofit partner should be fully integrated into all marketing endeavors. It’s no longer enough to just sign a check. The success of the “(RED)” campaign and its fight against AIDS is in part due to how big-name organizations such as Coca-Cola, Apple and Starbucks seamlessly merged the foundation’s visions and goals with their own.

3) Are you talking to me? 

As with any PR or marketing initiative, you must understand your target demographic. The audience for your cause marketing campaign may be more narrow or broad than your traditional customer demographic, so it’s important to do the research and get to know them.

Cause marketing has to be carefully articulated to appeal to the desired demographic and product image. Without the right insight, a socially conscious campaign can actually hurt the image and integrity of a brand.