Main Nav

Archive | PR for Businesses

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.

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.

 

Pokémon Go, Caffeine and Data. What More Can You Need?

While playing the ever popular Pokémon Go app, there are few things you need other than caffeine and cellular data to keep your Pokémon catching adventures going. Now Pokémon Go is making it easier for you to get those necessary supplies by partnering with both Starbucks and Sprint.

sprint-and-starbucks

According to an article by Ragan’s PR Daily the popular gaming app by Niantic Labs recently announced their partnership with the beloved coffee company, Starbucks. Starbucks stores will now be labelled as PokéStops and gyms for players to stop in, grab some caffeine to recharge and continue playing their game. Not only will 7,800 Starbucks locations be turned into PokéStops, but to celebrate the partnership Starbucks has also announced a special addition Pokémon Go Frappuccino. This is a high point for fans who can now drink their favorite game-inspired frap and have fun in the new stops catching Pokémon. While announcing the partnership, Niantic Labs also leaked that there are new Pokémon being created for the game in addition to the new PokéStops.

pokemon-phone

Starbucks isn’t the only company partnering up with the hottest gaming app of the year. Sprint has also announced their partnership with Pokémon go, as well as a couple surprises of their own for the players and fans. Sprint stores across the nation will be turned into even more PokéStops for app players and offer charging stations to allow gamers to fuel up their smart phones before heading out to hit other PokéStops. Along with the PokéStops and charging stations Sprint boasts about its unlimited data plan to make sure that players of the app never run out of data, so they can “Catch ‘em all!”

pokemon

These aren’t the first large companies Pokémon Go has partnered with and they definitely won’t be the last. It seems the launch of the app over the summer was just the beginning for the revival of the Pokémon phenomenon.

Read more at: http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/21901.aspx

Crisis Lessons Learned from Samsung’s Public Relations Disaster

Throughout the past few months there has been tremendous backlash against the Samsung brand due to the new Samsung Note 7 batteries exploding. Customers have been infuriated and airlines are even implementing rules against passengers taking these phones on board flights due to a fire risk. Tensions are high and Samsung has been feeling it, but they have yet to take the necessary steps to maintain complete transparency with the public and keep their stakeholders updated.

samsung-1

When facing a crisis it is important that the company assumes complete transparency with its consumers in order to maintain a good relationship through the tough times. There are several important steps which Samsung has failed to perform, and in result, is turning a crisis into a mega-crisis. According to an article from PR News, there are certain precautionary steps that must be taken by a company to resolve a crisis effectively:

  1. Be Prepared

A crisis can happen to any company, it is never expected but it is always important to be prepared. Your company should take time to identify the possible crises that could occur and come up with an action plan for each possible crisis.

  1. Establish the Facts, Apologize and Take Action

It is important to be honest about the facts of the issue right away. Holding anything back will cloud the stakeholders’ thoughts and judgements about your company. An apology should be voiced immediately to the public on behalf of your organization by the appointed spokesperson, then action to resolve the crisis should be taken right away.

samsung-2

  1. Appoint the Right Spokesperson

The face of a brand determines the public’s views and opinions of that company, especially in the midst of a crisis. It is detrimental that the right spokesperson is appointed to help with crisis management in order to diminish the effects of the crisis. However, the person who is leading the actions and response to the actual crisis should not be the appointed spokesperson who communicates with the media. The two jobs should be separate to ensure proper coverage of both.

  1. Listen and Monitor What People Are Saying

Having a social media monitoring application is extremely important in order to know what the public is saying at the time of the crisis and what their opinions are. The monitoring also allows the company to respond to the public through social media which is beneficial for maintaining transparency.

samsung-3

  1. Keep Communicating and Be Proactive

Along with the Social Media monitoring there needs to be constant communication with all stakeholders and the public. There is nothing worse than making vague statements, having the truth come out and your company getting stamped a liar. Constant communication across all platforms will help to keep the relationship and trust between the brand and consumers. Once the crisis has died down, it is important to maintain consistent communication with the public by updating them with business successes and other positive news in the company.

  1. Learn From Mistakes

As detrimental as the crisis may be to the company it is important to view it as a learning experience. The crisis will die down eventually and at that point the company and its stakeholders should talk about what worked and didn’t when dealing with the crisis to use it to better plan for any future crises that may occur.

Read more at: http://www.prnewsonline.com/samsung-maher

 

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

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.

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/