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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.

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!

4 Professional Athletes with Excellent Branding

With talent comes fame and with fame comes criticism. Along with our favorite singers and actors are those men and women who play for our favorite sports teams. While many children look up to these talented individuals, they do have their flaws. Think Lamar Odom, Ray Rice, Aaron Hernandez, Tiger Woods… the list goes on. The media tends to focus on the athletes with the bad reputations rather than highlight those that are using their fame to make a positive impact. Here’s a list of four professional athletes with great branding.

  1. Jordan Spieth– While his talent has been compared to Tiger Woods, they are very different off the golf course. At just 23 years old, Spieth has already had 10 PGA Tour wins, became the face of Under Armour’s golf attire and launched his own line of golf shoes. Spieth created The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation in 2013. With his younger, special needs sister as inspiration, the foundation increases awareness and provides financial assistance for those children with special needs, military families, and youth golf.

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2. Martellus Bennett– While he is known as a professional football player, Martellus Bennett claims he doesn’t really view himself as a football player. Rather, he is a creative and an entrepreneur. Known for his funny personality, what people might not know about Bennett is that he founded his own multimedia production company, The Imagination Agency. At his company, he has written children’s books and created educational mobile games and toys. He says that he was inspired by his young daughter and wanted to create books with lead characters with features similar to her.

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3. JJ Watt– Fellow football player, JJ Watt, has a passion for giving. Shortly after signing his contract with the Texans, Watt bought his mom a brand new car. In 2010, Watt launched the Justin J. Watt Foundation. His foundation’s mission is to provide middle school-aged children with the opportunities to get involved in athletics. Watt hosts multiple events, such as the Charity Classic, to raise money for his foundation. He is also known for his efforts supporting the troops.

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4. Serena WilliamsSerena Williams will go down in history as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. Not only has she won 72 career titles, but she won her most recent, the 2017 Australian Open, while pregnant. Although, there is much more to this woman than her athleticism. She is very involved in the fashion industry and in 2015 she became the first black female athlete to be pictured alone on the cover of Vogue and she has presented her clothing line at New York Fashion Week. In addition to this, she is a certified nail technician, has appeared on various television shows, can speak four languages, technically owns the Miami Dolphins (she’s a minority owner) and has written a book.. to name a few of her accomplishments. On top of this, she created the Serena Williams Foundation to fund a school in Kenya and provide scholarships for underprivileged students in the United States. Serena Williams is a beautiful reminder to girls everywhere that they are capable of great things.

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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!

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.

 

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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?

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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.

 

The Ultimate Summer BBQ experience with Big Red

BBQ-Acrross-Logo-Black Big Red, America’s original and bestselling red soda, kicks off the grilling season and their 80th Anniversary with its “BBQ Across America” promotion. Known for its sweet and smooth taste, Big Red drinkers love to pair the soft drink with a bold BBQ flavor.

Big Red will reward fans with BBQ-related prizes all summer long including a grand prize Ultimate Summer BBQ Party for the lucky winner and 50 guests. The grand prize winner will receive the ultimate BBQ experience in their own backyard. Weber will deck out the backyard with a Weber Genesis Gas Grill, the Weber Smoker and the classic Weber Charcoal Grill. Additional prizes will be rewarded to fans from Memorial Day to Labor Day including; Yeti Insulators, Big Red Washer Game Sets, Rufus Teague BBQ Sauces & Rubs, and Big Red T-shirts.

To enter the contest, consumers need to buy two Big Red flavored products and take a picture of the receipt using a phone. Then text “Big Red” to the number 811811 and entrants will receive a text back with a link to a URL. Follow the link to upload a photo of the receipt.

For more information check out their Facebook,  Instagram, and Twitter

Models with Down Syndrome Becoming More Visible

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Over the years brands have stuck to the traditional idea of using regular everyday people to represent their brand’s image. From time to time, advertisers would occasionally feature people with disabilities, but recently models with Down syndrome have become more visible. Fisher-Price recently released a new advertisement featuring Lili Boglarka Havasi, a 2-year-old model with Down syndrome, in a commercial for the Fisher-Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway. People with Down syndrome have also been featured in ads for other popular brands such as McDonald’s, Target, A.C. Moore, Zulily and have been spotted on New York catwalks.

So why has this trend started? Advertisers eventually caught on to the fact that consumers preferred a broad cross-section of individuals included in advertisements. The response was positive, especially from millennials, to inclusiveness and portraying “authenticity” in advertising. Using models with a physical disability allowed them to communicate their values and connect with customers.

Parents of children with Down syndrome say that it’s about time advertisers noticed the distinctive beauty of people with the condition. One mother, Megan Nash of Buford, GA, has a son, Asher, with Down syndrome and will soon be modeling for the OshKosh children’s clothing line.

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When Nash first submitted his pictures for a casting call she was told they weren’t included in the final round because the retailer hadn’t specifically asked for child models with special needs. Nash shared her story on Facebook, which went viral. This resulted in the story getting back to OshKosh, who then stated it wasn’t the company itself, but rather the talent agency that had turned her down. OshKosh then invited Nash and her son to a photo shoot for the company’s holiday ad campaign.

Numerous brands are continuing to include people with Down syndrome and even groups such as Changing the Face of Beauty have focused on improving the inclusion of models with disabilities. In 2015 they set out to find 15 retailers who would commit to using models with disabilities in their advertisements.

People with Down syndrome are continuing to be featured in acting roles and advertisements. Perception continues to change and Nash continues to have hope in progression for people with disabilities. “They’re not going to say, ‘Oh, that boy has Down syndrome,’” she said. “They’re going to say, ‘Look at that jacket the boy is wearing in the ad.’”

To read more visit The New York Times.

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.

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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.

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  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.

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  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

 

“She’s a Lady” but She Doesn’t Fit the Mold

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H&M developed a new advertising campaign earlier this year that clearly states there is no correct way to be a lady. Set to the song “She’s a Lady” by Tom Jones, the commercial goes against the very misogynistic themed tune. The advertisement by Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors features many women who in the past would not be considered the ideal “lady” that is described in the song. An article by AdWeek describes the implications of this commercial.

There are some very iconic people involved in this stand-out commercial including actress Lauren Hutton, model Adwoa Aboah, transgender actress Hari Nef, Design Army’s Chief Creative Officer Pum Lefebure and Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey. There is something uniquely inspiring about this campaign’s direction, which clearly goes against the societal norms of what it is to be a lady.

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The new fall 2016 fashion line by H&M is presented in this commercial and it isn’t until after you view it, that you find out there is a hidden message in this fashion preview. The campaign helps to create conversation about the oppression of women in a seemingly entertaining way.

The commercial challenges the traditional concept of what it means to be a lady in a variety of ways. Most people think of women (ladies) as having long, thick, luscious hair, but H&M’s new commercial features a woman who has a bald head and challenges the viewer’s thoughts on what is beautiful. A woman is beautiful and a “lady,” no matter the length of her hair. Throughout the commercial women are curvy, transgender, bald, muscular, and don’t have “lady-like” posture. All of these women are still ladies, no matter what the traditional thoughts on that label are.

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H&M made a strong advertising move by creating a commercial that is not only entertaining, but has a heavy social message behind it. There is sure to be a lot of opinionated talk about this bold campaign.

View the full commercial: https://youtu.be/8-RY6fWVrQ0

Read more at: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/hms-stunning-new-ad-subverts-what-you-think-lady-should-look-or-act-173487