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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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?

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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.

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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.

 

Parallax News’ Daily Brief Offers Three Viewpoints on Top Debates

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Parallax News is a daily email brief that breaks major debates down into multiple perspectives. Each brief shows multiple viewpoints from politicians and experts – ranging from the left, right, center, or otherwise – in one place. This allows readers to better make up their own mind on issues. Parallax explains controversial topics in areas such as the 2016 Presidential Election, national security, emerging tech and the environment.

Recent briefs have looked at: Why Is Trump Saying the Election Is Rigged?/ What Does Donald Trump’s Tax Leak Mean?/ Does Hillary’s Child Tax Credit Make Sense?/ Will the Debates Swing the Election?/ Should the U.S. Retaliate Against Russia?/ Is Wikileaks Good for Democracy?

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America is more polarized today than at any time “in the last two decades.” Recent events such as allegations of the Facebook trending bias, concerns of algorithm bias, and the stark political divide of the 2016 election are a few examples. As America relies more and more on digital media for their news, Parallax aims to fight against political polarization by showing conflicting perspectives in one place.

“We created Parallax to expose readers to viewpoints they wouldn’t normally see, and probably don’t agree with. This can lead to constructive debate and a more nuanced understanding of society, regardless of your political beliefs,” says Michael P. Daley, CEO & Publisher of Parallax News. “The idea behind our multi-perspective approach is that we feel like digital polarization and the so-called ‘filter bubble’ are big dangers to intelligent content and politics. The 2016 Election has been living proof that Americans are not having a cohesive argument.”

“This doesn’t mean that everybody needs to all of a sudden agree with one another,” Daley says that he does not expect that to happen any time soon. “But it’s pretty hard to achieve any progress if citizens are living in completely different political realities. That doesn’t only affect marquee issues like immigration, but also other crucial topics like infrastructure and education. Exposure to multiple perspectives is a healthier way to read about the world.”

Parallax News offers a free daily email brief, Monday-Friday, with the day’s top debate broken down into multiple perspectives. To subscribe to Parallax News daily emails, visit: http://subscribe.parallax.news/

Parallax is on Facebook , Twitter , and Medium as well.

ABOUT PARALLAX NEWS

Parallax News is an e-newsletter that delivers short daily explainers about major issues in policy and culture to your email from three different perspectives. Parallax News offers three, 100-word viewpoint paragraphs to engage readers across all political and cultural standings. For more information please visit Parallax News on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium.

2015: A Year in Review

2015

The holidays are upon us and here at Paramount Public Relations we would like you wish you and your families a happy holiday and joyous New Year. As 2015 comes to a close, it comes time to reflect on the year that has now passed noting the most memorable moments. We decided to share with you 10 of the most memorable news stories from the past year.

  1. “The Dress” Phenomenon: Early in the year, a photo of a dress surfaced on social media and there was one major question: was the dress blue and black or was it white and gold? Society weighed in on the debate, making the picture one of the most shared items on social media. While it was confirmed that the dress was indeed both blue and black and white and gold, the light reflecting off the dress influenced the color.
  2. Same-Sex Marriage Legalized: On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the marriage of same-sex couples in the U.S. was legal in all 50 states and U.S. territories. In the history changing 5-4 ruling, the country joined 21 other countries to legalize same-sex marriage.
  3. Blackhawks Win Stanley Cup: For the 3rd time in the past 6 years, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup. Being based in Chicago, here at Paramount Public Relations we were very excited about this achievement. Defeating the Tampa Bay Lighting, the Hawks brought home the title with a 2-0 win on June 13 to win the 6 game series.
  4. Left Shark Stole the Show: The football players on the field usually draw the crowds for the Super Bowl but this year the halftime show had everyone talking. During Katy Perry’s performance, dancers dressed in shark costumes stole the show and became a viral meme sensation. The Patriots may have won, but Left Shark is who the fans remembered.
  5. I Am Cait”: In June, Caitlin Jenner told the world her story as the cover model of Vanity Fair magazine and reached 1 million Twitter followers in a record breaking 4 hours and 3 minutes. Caitlyn’s original fame happened when “Bruce” Jenner, won an Olympic gold medal for the triathlon. Now she has added another award to her list, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
  6. A New Princess: On May 2, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed their second child. Their daughter, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, is fourth in line for the British throne after her grandfather Prince Charles, Father Prince William and older brother Prince George.
  7. FIFA World Cup: The women’s FIFA World Cup was held in Canada from June 6-July 5. It all came down to the final match-up, The United States vs. Canada. The game ended with a 5-2 U.S. victory. Winning for the first time in 16 years, the U.S. ended the drought and brought home the victory.
  8. Pope Francis: Making his first trip to the U.S., Pope Francis visited 3 cities: Washington D.C., New York and Philadelphia. Giving numerous masses, meeting with world leaders and speaking in front of the Senate, House of Representatives and the United Nations, the Pope spread his message on U.S. ground.
  9. #PrayForParis: On November 13, terror struck the city of Paris as gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, soccer game and restaurants simultaneously. Events of the night left 130 dead and hundreds wounded. The world was instantly saddened by this horrible event and publicly displayed their grievances and support for Paris creating the hashtag #PrayForParis, while major cities shined French colors on national monuments.
  10. Water on Mars: NASA has confirmed that they found liquid water on Mars. Using advanced digital imaging they concluded that certain slopes and seasonal dark streaks are highly correlated with the presence of water on the planet. The news has created an exciting buzz because even if the water is very salty, it could still represent the presence of life on the planet.

Zuckerburg to Donate 99% of Facebook Stock

Zuckerburg Blog

For Silicon Valley’s newest generation of billionaires, the biggest trend in innovation is actually something old – giving back. As someone who is no stranger to innovation, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg is at the forefront of the movement. The 31 year old with a net worth of $37.5 billion announced on Tuesday that he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, will donate 99 percent of their Facebook stock shares throughout the course of their lives. The stocks are currently worth more than $45 billion and will be donated to charitable causes still to be announced, or even still to be created.

According to a recent New York Times article, Zuckerberg’s charitable plans are the latest indication of a growing interest in philanthropy among Silicon Valley’s young billionaires, who unlike previous generations of business tycoons, appear eager to spread their wealth while they are still young.

Zuckerburg and Chan have a new baby girl, Max, who was born just last week. The couple says the pledge to donate the stocks is all about making the world a better place for her generation and those to follow. Publishing an open letter to her, they explain the better life they wish for her to have. The letter explains that they are making the donation because they wish to help advance human potential, promote equality and help create technology to foster change for the future.

“Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges,” writes Zuckerburg. “I will continue to serve as Facebook’s CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work.”

Many industry leaders are showing support for the donation and aim for change including one of Zuckerburg’s childhood heroes and the wealthiest man in the world, Bill Gates. Mr. Gates and his wife congratulated his efforts releasing a statement.

“The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world,” they said. “We can be confident of this: Max and every child born today will grow up in a world that is better than the one we know now. As you say, ‘Seeds planted now will grow.’ Your work will bear fruit for many decades to come.”

Zuckerburg believes that by creating and building new, innovative technology will help drive changes to improve education worldwide. The improved technology would then increase literacy rates and decrease poverty levels in these areas.

To learn more read the full New York Times story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/technology/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-charity.html?_r=0

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/

 

Happy Holidays from Paramount Public Relations, Inc.

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Paramount Public Relations, Inc. would like to wish you and your families a happy holiday and a wonderful New Year. It has been a very memorable year, and we would like to share the top 10 newsworthy events of 2014:

  1. Ice Bucket Challenge: In what quickly became a viral internet sensation, countless people took on the Ice Bucket Challenge which raised over $100 million for ALS. People dumped freezing cold buckets of water on top of their heads before sharing the hilarious videos on social media – but not before nominating someone else to take on the challenge.
  2. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Disappears: Malaysia Airline flight 370 vanished Saturday, March 8 with 239 people on board traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The largest search in aviation history slowly spread from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean but as weeks stretched to months and the numerous reports of floating debris led nowhere. Baffled aviation experts have admitted the MH370’s final resting-place could take years to discover, leaving the missing passengers families to wait without answers.
  3. Polar Vortex: As we head into another winter, it is hard to forget about this January’s negative temperatures which started 2014 with some of the coldest weather across the country since the 1970’s.
  4. All About That Bass: Meghan Trainor stole hearts across America this June with her debut single “All About That Bass” which promotes health body image. The song was nominated for a People’s Choice Award, a MTV Europe Music Award and two Grammy Awards.
  5. Tight Rope Walk Across Chicago: Nik Wallenda, a seasoned daredevil tightrope walker, did the unthinkable this Fall – he walked between two Chicago skyscrapers on a tight rope. The first 454 ft long walk was at an incline and Wallenda completed his second 94 ft walk blindfolded.
  6. #BreakTheInternet: After marrying Kanye West and coming out with her own video game, Kim Kardashian managed to shock the world again this year with scandalous photos for the winter cover of Paper Magazine. The photos sparked countless internet spoofs across Facebook and other social media channels.
  7. The Death of Robin Williams: Comedy will never be the same after Robin Williams, stand-up comedian and well-known TV and film star, died at age 63 from an apparent suicide.
  8. Leaked Celebrity Photos: After a hacker stole thousands of private photos off of Apple’s iCloud of female celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Victoria Justice, the security of iCloud storage was heavily scrutinized.
  9. Ebola: What started with just a few cases in Guinea became the deadliest outbreak of Ebola on record. The virus spread throughout West Africa claiming more than 5,000 lives and in September, the first case of the disease in the United States was diagnosed at Texas Presbyterian Hospital.
  10. The United States and Cuba Mend Relations: The United States and Cuba took the first step in mending diplomatic relations on December 17 after Cuba released two Americans who had been imprisoned for years.

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.

Farmer’s Fridge on Fox Business National News!

This week, Founder of Farmer’s Fridge Luke Saunders appeared on Fox Business National News’ “Money With Melissa Francis” discussing the business behind Farmer’s Fridge.

Luke discussed how unlike other vending machines on the market that sell candy and soda, Farmer’s Fridge’s goal is to have a “more distributed healthy food network.”

Farmer’s Fridge will be installing a vending kiosk every day until the end of February, with the goal to eventually become a national brand.

Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cajqKLNcaNI