In the Office

Kicking-off the Season with Media Buys

It’s finally here, football season. The time of year where fans throw on their favorite jersey and get riled up to witness their number one team fumble, or claim victory. Not only does competition take the field; it tackles the media as well.

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We were looking for a way to take brand recognition to the next level for our client, KIOTI Tractor. So, we reached out to Raycom Sports to discuss a media buy that would present a unique opportunity to elevate KIOTI’s brand. After a few conversations and negotiations, we kicked-off our efforts with a media buy consisting of a sponsorship featuring a new ACC football gaming app and syndicated television, digital, mobile and social promotions.

In August, Raycom Sports in partnership with KIOTI, launched the new gaming app, ACC QB Challenge Presented by KIOTI Tractor, with the television, digital and social promotion following suit. But before the big buy, three integral aspects were considered: placement, price and relationships.

Placement
First and foremost, we had to consider the placement of the buy to the right audience, at the right time both effectively and efficiently. After determining a correlation between KIOTI Tractor dealer locations and the ACC Network’s broadcast coverage, our team pursued sponsorship opportunities with Raycom. The ACC Network affiliates reach more than 80% of US households, and the ACC QB Challenge Presented by KIOTI Tractor gaming app is free and accessible through any smart phone or tablet. These allow brand recognition to reach the intended audience in a fun and interactive way.

Price
It’s important to consider competitors’ budgets, and if they can outspend our client; it’s equally as imperative to find ways to maximize the impact of a media spread. After witnessing the success of Raycom’s previous sponsorship opportunities, as well as their dedication to quality, our team knew that the teaming up with Raycom would result in something exciting, highly merchandisable and a great value for the dollar.

Relationships
The relationship between agencies, clients and outside parties are essential to making the buy happen, and is arguably the most important aspect of a buy. Together, the parties have created a platform that creates positive brand affiliation between Raycom, the ACC and KIOTI Tractor.

We’re excited to witness KIOTI receive maximum exposure, spreading over a variety of different and new audiences.

Be sure to stay on the lookout for KIOTI Tractor orange this football season!

Week In Marketing: New Emoji, YouTube Gaming, Fantasy Online College, Snapchat Discover and “M”

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1. Middle Finger Emoji Makes Its Debut
The middle finger emoji… apparently the world has been patiently awaiting. The middle finger emoji is now available on WhatsApp, a messaging app, but only for Android users. In addition to the middle finger emoji, the Vulcan Salute from Star Trek was also added; both are available in a variety of skin tones. Looks like iOS and Microsoft users will have to be patient for awhile longer.

2. Snapchat Adds More Brands To Discover Feature
In the past, Snapchat has capped its discover feature at 12 brands. This week, Snapchats users will start seeing content from three more brands. Mashable, Tastemade and IGN will join the stage this week alongside brands like BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan and CNN.

3. YouTube Gaming Premieres
This week, YouTube premiered its app and website, YouTube Gaming. The platform aggregates content to solely gaming videos as YouTube has over 25,000 gaming channels. Kotex, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and more big brands have already bought advertising spots, indicative of the platform’s projected success.

4. Facebook Testing A Personal Assistant For Messenger
Move over, Siri. Facebook is testing its personal assistant “M” for Messenger users. The personal assistant would be able to do things like make purchases, book reservations, make travel arrangements and more. Facebook is still in the early stages but would be in direct competition with Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Now.

5. Lenovo Loves Fantasy Football
Lenovo is the official laptop, notebook, desktop and workstation sponsor of the NFL. In a new, humorous video, Lenovo presents Fantasy Online College, a college entirely online and dedicated to Fantasy Football. NFL players are the professors and everyone uses their Lenovo Yoga hybrid computer. Lenovo is using the video, target publics and existing sponsorships to raise brand awareness.

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Week In Marketing: NFL Fan Cans, Twitter Ads, Band 2, Virtual Reality, and Tumbler Update

1. Bud Light Introduces NFL Fan Cans
As the individualized packaging craze continues, Bud Light is back at it. Out of 32 NFL teams, Bud Light sponsors 28 teams. individualizedPackaging Bud Light is promoting each team through the new individualized cans that all have a particular team-related tagline. Bud Light is successfully making a personal connection with its consumers.

2. Twitter Increases Mobile-Friendly Promoted Ads
Marketers using the Twitter platform can now target audiences outside of just the Twitter app. Through the Twitter Audience Platform, users can now “retweet” or “favorite” ads and videos without even being on the Twitter app. Multiple apps outside of Twitter are on the Twitter Audience Platform (previously the Twitter Publishing Network).

3. Microsoft to Introduce Band 2 in October
After the reveal of the Apple Watch and an increase in sales on FitBit trackers, Microsoft is taking round two with its watch, the Band. With available connection to Windows Phone, iOS and Android, Microsoft provides an option to many users outside of the general Microsoft realm. Band 2 is rumored to release in October alongside the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft’s computer-like tablet.

4. American Express Starts “You Vs. Sharapova”
Brands have recently been toying with Virtual Reality technology, a new and upcoming technology that is getting closer and closer to feeling “real.” With the upcoming U.S. Open, American Express is marketing a virtual reality experience to tennis fans. In the new experience, U.S. Open attendees can “play” Maria Sharapova in “You Vnms. Sharapova.”

5. Tumblr Releases New iOs Update
This past week, Tumblr released a new iOS update. Although, no one is entirely sure what it entails. The copy of the Tumblr iOS update is a long, humorous text that focuses on putting pressure on other apps to have a better copy of its updates. Consistently, Tumblr is the fun and creative app that targets the humorous nature of its users.

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Standing Out Amongst the Clutter at Tradeshows

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There is so much that goes on at tradeshows – thousands of people, booths large and small, products on display, the noise level is high,…it is hard to stand out.

A few weeks ago I embarked on my fourth Outdoor Retailer Show (OR) in Salt Lake City to support our client CORDURA® brand fabric.

OR is a beast of a show with more than 5,000 exhibitors touting paddle boards and back packs to beer koozies and yoga mats, and everything in between. I was there to help CORDURA® brand launch new fabric innovations, a very cool new designer collaboration as well as a new throwback product launch.

With back-to- back media and brand meetings to facilitate, I didn’t get as much time as I have in the past to roam the show and get the insight on what’s new that I usually enjoy, but I did see a few cool things beyond the booth. First, Timbuk2, one of my favorite bag makers out of San Francisco, had custom bags at the show, sewn by the same sewer who’s been working for the company for more than 18 years. Also, one company was debuting a new “smart shoe” and threw a demo party with treadmill dancers and the whole shebang every 30 minutes! Their booth was just a short distance away from ours, making it a little challenging for media interviews and brand videos! The vibe at OR is one like no other trade shows, it’s laid back, fun and hard work!

For almost ten years now, we have supported tradeshows for CORDURA® brand and every year we help ensure that they are seen and heard despite all the other commotion going. We’ve designed their booth, scheduled and coordinated meetings with media and other key influencers, managed appearances and book signings by the company’s spokespersons, organized press breakfast events and parties, created giveaways, managed media buys and placements, and ran contests to drive booth traffic.

It takes months to plan for tradeshows, but at the end it is worth seeing it all come together. This year was no different!

Week In Marketing: Male Millennials, Periscope, Failed Ad, Twitter Meltdown and Gender Branding

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1. Miller Lite Targets Male Millennials On Instagram
Instagram has opened up ads to more companies, and Miller Lite has been waiting for it. Miller Lite is marketing to male millennials after seeing a shift from Facebook to Instagram as the most popular social network for its target group. Miller Lite is using existing hashtags and movements, such as #typography and #thedailytype, as well as its own new ads to engage male millennials in the re-emerging, trendy interest in typography.

2. Periscope Hits 10 Million Users Mark
Four months after the livestreaming app’s debut, Periscope announced this week that it hit the 10 million mark on users. The app’s users are watching 21 million minutes a day on the app, which equates to 40 years worth of footage every 24 hours. There is competition in livestreaming apps but due to Periscope’s affiliation with Twitter, it has pulled ahead and currently has the largest user base.

3. Bic Attempts to Celebrate Women’s Day
A controversial past in its relationship with women, Bic tried to patch it up earlier this week. In an attempt to celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa, the company’s celebratory ad encouraged women to “look like a girl” and “think like a man.” After realizing the plan backfired, Bic apologized on Facebook to women everywhere.

4. Tinder Has A Twitter Meltdown
After an article released in Vanity Fair about the negativity surrounding Tinder, Tinder attempted to strike back in the form of 31 tweets. While mentioning both the journalist and Vanity Fair itself, Tinder’s social media team challenged the statistics and surveys mentioned in the article. Tinder ended its string of tweets with #GenerationTinder. Vanity Fair has yet to respond.

5. Target’s Toy Section Goes Gender Neutral
As consumers shift towards political correctness, Target took a leap to do the same earlier this week. In a blog post, Target announced that it would no longer affiliate certain products with gender in areas such as toys, entertainment and home. The change will involve removing aisle signs related to gender in these departments. Some of Target’s customer base has pushed for this change while others protest it.

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Week in Marketing: Braille Watch, Twitter’s News Tab, Millennial Marketing, Mobile Moments and Swaying PowerPoint

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1. South Korean Startup Turns Text to Braille
Visually impaired smartphone users currently rely heavily on text-to-voice automation in order to use their digital devices. Dot, a South Korean tech startup, hopes to change that. Their goal is to provide low-priced, high quality technology to aid the 285 million visually impaired people around the globe. The Dot device straps around a user’s wrist like a watch and uses a magnetic, movable braille interface. Right now, its targeted price is under 300 dollars when pre-orders start this year. Your move, Apple Watch.

2. Twitter’s Getting a News Tab
Tired of seeing your friend’s funny pet video retweets mixed in with the top stories on your News Feed? Twitter hears you. This week, they debuted a separate news tab so that these headlines will be easier to locate. This could also serve as a new way for brands to reach their target audiences and provide them with a more strategic outlet to respond to news stories.

3. MillerCoors Targets Millennials
Brewing company MillerCoors and digital media company Woven wanted a new and effective way to reach a millennial audience. Their approach? A web series called “Human” that features everything from watchmakers and surfers to motorcyclists and “master penmen”. The first three episodes have already acquired almost three million views from Woven’s website and MillerCoors’ social media channels, a strong move for their partnership.

4. New York Times Gets Timely with Mobile Moments
Users of the New York Times mobile app were complaining that random pop-up and banner advertisements interrupted their morning news readings. The NYT is re-designing their mobile format to include more native advertising content. They’re also giving these ads a new name: Mobile Moments. The Moments are customized to air during the seven times of day that are most likely to engage readers, including early morning, lunchtime and right before bed.

5. Sway: The New PowerPoint?
Microsoft’s newest tool seems a bit too much like their familiar slideshow generator at first glance. Unlike PowerPoint, however, Sway will design a format all on its own after users send in any pre-created content. Sway is also intended for easy access on any screen, allowing users to develop presentations on their mobile or tablet devices. With an established reputation in corporate environments, PowerPoint isn’t going to go away any time soon, but Sway can create a strong following in its own niche, one that includes community groups and more informal gatherings.

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Week In Marketing: New Campaigns, Brand Videos, Online Forums, SnapChat Advertising

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1. Is YouTube the new matchmaker?
VidCon had more than 21,000 attendants this year, meaning endless opportunities for the 100+ brands that sponsored the event. YouTube invited its top creative partners to spend a few minutes with 12 different brands and the results could mean major creative partnerships. So for example, YouTube star Bethany Mota was paired with Proactiv. LaurDIY was paired with Purina. The idea was to get creative conversations flowing and to pair YouTube stars with brands that might have similar values, potentially resulting in new campaigns down the road. Tinder who?

2. Move over, YouTube. FaceBook’s videos might have more potential to go viral
Chubbies, the e-commerce site that specializes in shorts, bathing suits and shirts, is making its mark as a brand that dishes out viral-worthy content. As Chubbies targets young guys who love hanging out on the weekends with their friends, social media is the obvious choice for sharing content. Over the past few months, however, they have shifted their videos from YouTube to Facebook. The bottom line is that Facebook has helped the brand accumulate more than 12 million views over the past three months whereas YouTube videos don’t get nearly the same amount of attention. The same video posted on both sites gained over 11,000 views on Facebook and around 300 views on YouTube. There’s really no competition.

3. SnapChat’s Discover Feature Evolves
SnapChat is in its early phases of advertising and its Discover feature is evolving as users do. With the Discover feature, publishers can share up to 20 stories a day allowing room for advertising in-between. SnapChat has recently pushed the feature to its Stories page to gain viewership and its latest change is replacing Warner Music Group and Yahoo. Buzzfeed and iHeartRadio will take their spots, joining People, Daily Mail, Comedy Central, National Geographic, Vice, ESPN, Food Network and Cosmopolitan.

4. JCPenney stands up to bullies in their New Campaign
JCPenney’s latest advertising campaign “Bend the Trend” seeks to promote fashion related compliments that uplift customers. Their goal is to generate positive energy around their company and teenagers. They plan to use YouTube stars such as the Merrell Twins, Josh Tryhane, Sierra Furtado, Paulina Cerrilina, the PrimroseMakeup girls and Hunter March.

5. Target’s Trophy Controversy
Target sells a woman’s t-shirt with the word “trophy” written on the front that has recently caused uproar in online forums. Some take offense to the word, saying it belittles women to mere objects. Others don’t see the problem with the t-shirt or simply don’t care. However, that hasn’t stopped the almost 15,000 people who have signed a petition to have to shirt removed from Target on Change.org. Despite these efforts, Target representatives assert the shirt is just a “fun wink” as they receive positive responses from their guests. Do you think the shirt should be removed?

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Week In Marketing: Music Festivals, Twitter Ads, TrueView Ads, and Brand Ambassadors

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1. How Marketers are Utilizing Music Festivals to Engage Millennials Bud Light is rolling out what it calls its “most immersive digital toolkit” ever. The brand will provide concertgoers exclusive deals such as fast passes, backstage tours, downloads, photos with artists and free swag. Bud Light is one of many brands stepping up their engagement with younger consumers year after year. Sephora had a beauty patio at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival and Malibu Rum brought a freestanding beach house to New York’s FarmBorough. These amenities are key to gaining millennial consumers as upping their engagement.

2. Heineken’s City Guides Give Consumers Insider Recommendations New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Miami are experiencing a new wave of brand ambassadors. Heineken partnered with in-the-know insiders in each city to develop local restaurant and bar recommendations in a printed city guide. Heineken logos will be printed throughout the guide.

3. Is Twitter Making Room for More Advertisement Opportunities?
Twitter has removed users’ backgrounds from home pages and profiles pages. Representatives from the social media platform confirmed this is no glitch. While some users are unhappy a neutral gray screen has replaced their custom-made backgrounds, others are curious if this is a step toward more room for advertising. Twitter has yet to comment on that speculation.

4. YouTube’s TrueView Ads Welcome 360-Degree Views
In an effort to better engage mobile users, YouTube rolled out 360-degree ads on its pre-roll video ads that users have the option to skip. Users will be able to tilt their mobile phones and see different angles of the 360-degree advertisement. The first company to take advantage of this for TrueView advertisements is Bud Light. Their “Up for Whatever” campaign is utilizing the new feature for better storytelling, giving users the opportunity to feel as if they are in the ad.

5. EA Introduces First Female Star for their FIFA Video Game
With the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team in the headlines recently for their World Cup domination, EA is following suit recognizing their talents. Alex Morgan will be the first female soccer star to appear on the cover of the FIFA 16 video game alongside Lionel Messi, the world’s top male soccer player. The Canadian edition of the game will also feature Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canadian women’s team. This is a huge step in recognizing female athletes in the gaming world.

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Our New Client: Premiere Communications & Consulting

We are excited to announce that we have been named Agency of Record for Premiere Communications & Consulting, a corporation that designs, builds and maintains IT infrastructures and unified communications systems.

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As a brand that values customer service and loyalty, Premiere needed to get their story out to new client markets. We are helping them do just that through a newly redesigned website and SEO strategy. Premiere’s platform will strengthen relationships with their existing clients (which include CISCO, Metropolitan Life, and Fidelity), spread awareness of the company throughout the IT infrastructure industry and bring more traffic to their online presence.

With more than two decades in the industry, Premier has established a loyal reputation with data centers, hospitals, schools and campuses throughout the country. They are also home to a full-time team dedicated to technical service and maintenance.

Read more about our relationship with Premiere.

Facebook’s New “See It First” Feature Is a Game-Changer

facebook-260818_640Facebook is tweaking the News Feed to prioritize user preferences with the new “See it First” feature. This new option lets users specifically select which people and brands or business pages appear in their “See It First” list at the top of their feeds.

Facebook introduced the “See It First” update last week with four components that allow you to prioritize posts from select friends

and pages, unfollow people to hide their posts, reconnect with people you once unfollowed, and discover new pages.

You might be thinking, “Didn’t Facebook have these options before?” Kinda, but the new “See It First” feature allows users to control even more of what they see on their timelines, putting them in the driver’s seat.

“See It First” is more powerful, simple, noticeable, and allows users to easily discover new pages to follow. Adam Masseri, product director of Facebook’s News Feed, confirms that the new feature is designed “to give users controls that they can more easily understand.”

With this feature, just “liking” a page doesn’t necessarily put that page’s updates on your News Feed. So you may start to see brands campaigning for you to choose them as one of your “See It First” pages. It also leads to paid social opportunities in the future, but Facebook says that’s not the plan now.