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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.

 

Starbucks and Microsoft Outlook Mix Work and Play with New e-Gift Cards

Starbucks Marketing

Starbucks and Microsoft Outlook have joined forces to make the first email check of the day a little more exciting. Users can start sending Starbucks gift cards over email to friends, family, coworkers and clients using Outlook 2013 and 2016. Now, rather than traveling to a store to purchase a gift card to give, the giving can happen in a matter of minutes with a single email. This type of marketing could change the way gift cards are given and expand the platforms on which brands can be advertised.

According to Microsoft’s website, Outlook wants to use this new feature to emphasize the importance of personal relationships in business. “Outlook now makes it easier for you to have that personal connection by enabling you to meet your customers, business partners or study group at your favorite Starbucks location,” says Microsoft’s website.

This e-gift card feature is possible because of a free add-in that Outlook now offers.  As part of Starbucks’ plan to expand digitally, users can download the add-in and not only send gift cards over email, but also attach gift cards to future emails and schedule meetings at a nearby Starbucks. For a short time, these e-gift cards give back, too! Starbucks is offering $5 gift cards to Outlook users who send Starbucks gift cards of $5 or more.

Both Microsoft Outlook and Starbucks stand to benefit from this partnership. Last quarter, nearly 12 million Starbucks users were a part of the rewards program, and about 25 percent of transactions happened over the Starbucks app. Starbucks now has a new digital platform to expand their sales on, and the option to schedule meetings at a nearby Starbucks with the add-in will further direct traffic to the store.

Likewise, Outlook has started allowing add-ins to help the program run smoother, with useful functions like filtering spam and connecting to other services.  This Starbucks add-in could be the first of many as other companies follow the trend and market their product digitally over email servers like Outlook.

For more information about the Starbucks and Outlook partnership, read the full article here: http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/06/20/instant-analysis-starbucks-partners-with-microsoft.aspx

Budweiser Taps into American Patriotism with New Branding

PPR_Blog_Bud

The countdown to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio has officially begun and with just under 3 months until the opening ceremony brands big and small have the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most watched sporting event in the world. Budweiser is doing just that with the introduction of their new beer cans and bottles they have aptly renamed “America.”

According to NPR, summer is the best selling season for beer with about one-third of all U.S. sales happening between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Combine the busy beer season with the 2016 Summer Olympics and Presidential Election and this summer is primed for what Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques says will be “the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen.”

In addition to the new name, the beer the cans will also feature phrases from the Pledge of Allegiance and lyrics from “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” The summer cans and bottles will hit the shelves on Memorial Day and will run through the November election; a seven month period in which every Budweiser sold in the U.S. will read “America.” Marques addressed the name change saying “Budweiser has always strived to embody America in a bottle, and we’re honored to salute this great nation where our beer has been passionately brewed for the past 140 years.”

To go along with the new look, Budweiser is introducing the “America is in Your Hands” campaign. This summer long campaign will focus on “reminding people from sea to shining sea to embrace the optimism upon which the country was first built.” The new cans and bottles will be featured in a national TV spot that is set to premier June 1.

The rebranding of Budweiser’s cans and bottles hopes to capture the patriotism of U.S. consumers. With the 2016 Summer Olympics, Presidential Election and the Copa America Centenario, U.S. patriotism will be running high, and Budweiser hopes this new branding will attract even more U.S. consumers. Despite the mild backlash by many after the announcement of the name change, Budweiser is taking advantage of a unique opportunity this summer and only time will tell if the campaign will strike success.

For more about this topic check out NPR’s full article here: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/10/477499942/budweiser-will-call-itself-america-for-a-limited-time

Companies Look to YouTube Stars to Promote Products

PPR_YouTube

Companies are ditching Hollywood A-Listers and turning toward a different kind of celebrity to promote their brand to the public. YouTube video bloggers, also known as “vloggers” have become some of the most influential marketers over the past few years. Since YouTube was introduced in 2005, the site has helped bring about a new wave of celebrities. Seemingly ordinary people just like the rest of us, many of these stars reach celebrity status overnight and gain a loyal flock of followers who listen to their every word.

Twenty year old Australian YouTube vlogger, Troye Sivan, has built quite the loyal following of subscribers during his time on the site. What started as him talking to his camera three years ago has turned into a full time job for the young star. With close to 5 million subscribers on YouTube alone, his videos get an average of a million views each and his channel has been viewed by over 240 million people.

Like many popular YouTubers, Sivan often promotes products through his videos, one of those companies being Audible.com. Sivan flawlessly incorporates the company into his videos in an unforced manner and also gives viewers the opportunity to get discounted products with personalized codes. The company is so seamlessly marketed into the video that some may not even realize there is any kind of promotion going on. YouTube stars talk about the products they are promoting with enthusiasm and excitement, which often leads viewers to believe they are genuinely invested in these brands.

According to The New York Times, YouTube influencers are a sought after breed. “When you enlist an influencer to market your product, you get an audience that is very well disposed to that influencer’s opinions because they are fans,” says Paul Verna, a media analyst for the research firm eMarketer in New York. These YouTube stars’ opinions are so valued that they are often more influential than big name celebrities.

Using YouTube stars to promote products is an innovative technique to not only increase brand awareness but boost product sales overall. By using YouTube vloggers, companies are able to reach a more refined audience that may be more interested in their product than the rest of the world. Using smaller celebrities to promote products also instills a level of trust in the viewer that this person is actually invested in this product. Using YouTubers to promote products might be exactly what a brand needs to get in the limelight.

For more info check out the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/business/smallbusiness/getting-youtube-stars-to-sell-your-product.html?_r=0

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