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REI Would Rather #OptOutside On Black Friday

REI Blog Picture

The national outdoor and sporting goods retailer REI has decided to close all 143 stores on Black Friday this year in a push to encourage customers to #OptOutside and enjoy the outdoors. In recent years the trend has been for stores to open earlier and earlier on Black Friday leading some stores like RadioShack to open as early as 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. This year, REI is taking a stand against the craziness that ensues when customers flock into stores for some of the lowest prices of the year.

An article by USA Today describes how REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke came to the decision to take a step back from Black Friday:

“Any retailer that hears this will be startled by the idea,” says REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke, who admits he was apprehensive about closing at first. “As a co-op … we define success a little differently. It’s much broader than just money. How effectively do we get people outside?”

Other stores like Costco and Nordstrom have taken a stand against opening early on Thanksgiving Day, but no other store has sat on the sideline during Black Friday until now. This is a momentous decision by Stritzke because Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season and, as USA Today points out, Black Friday has consistently been a top 10 sales day for REI.

With its #OptOutside campaign, REI hopes to completely turn the tide of the Black Friday shopping tradition and give its employees two paid days off to enjoy the outdoors.

The Bloomington, MN REI store manager Brian Harrower has already planned an ice hockey tournament for his first Black Friday off in 25 years, USA Today reported.

“Somebody has to be the one to kind of put their flag in the sand and say enough is enough,” he says. “That’s what #OptOutside is for us, is saying we’re going to be the first, we think this doesn’t make sense anymore, it’s not healthy. And an outdoor life is a healthy life.”

Well put, Brian!

In fact, shouldn’t REI fanatics be thanking Stritzke? Because after all, by forgoing shopping altogether, shoppers will score the best savings of the year.

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

Contemplating Content Marketing

Content Marketing

In order to ensure content and messages are reaching the right audiences, one crucial element comes into play – content marketing. This is the concept of directing a message to attract a specific, strategic audience.

We live in a world a where the Internet and social media sites are continuously growing. However, this also means that the volume of information online is expansive. For businesses, making sure their content does not get lost in the noise is crucial.

For content marketing to be successful, each message must contain contextual, connected and interactive points that resonate with the audience. These three elements tie the audience and the content together, bonding the trust between a brand and its consumer.

PR Daily explains the importance for PR professionals to utilize content marketing for their clients. Here are our top three tips to staying ahead of the game:

  1. Become the Media

The digital age allows for a brand to be represented across numerous platforms at the same time. By being the direct source of a headline, the brand’s voice can be heard exactly as they desire and there’s no need to have their pitch picked up by a journalist.

  1. Growth of Social Media

The creation of unique, original content is no longer restricted to written content. With the ever-growing popularity of picture and video sharing, social media platforms have become a crucial tool in communicating information. Have a picture or video that will captivate the attention of your audience? Post it to social media and all of your brand’s Facebook fans, Twitter followers and Instagram savvy users will be more likely to see the content you want them to.

  1. Adapt to Conquer

Since the beginning of time, the human species has been rapidly adapting and evolving to our planet. The same goes for our technology and how we get information. If we want to continue to grow, we need to adapt and develop content that fits with the technology available to us.

Adapting to the ever-changing media standards will make for more strategic and beneficial content marketing. For more tips, check out this article on PR Daily: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/19350.aspx