Who’s the Fool?

UnknownDid you get pranked this April Fool’s Day? Brands big and small, tech and consumer vied for position as the best and maybe also the worst. But the kind of April Fools’ Day prank that — when believed for even a nano-second — accomplishes exactly what every marketer wants more of but keeps getting less of in a fragmented world: attention. Aching particularly for social media buzz that just might go viral, major marketers from Frito-Lay to American Eagle have joined-in early on the April Fools’ Day fun. But not just for laughs.

“Brands know that generating conversation on social media is critical not just for top-of-mind awareness, but for the cool factor,” says Denise Lee Yohn, author of What Great Brands Do. “They do these goofy thing so they’re considered relevant.”

Here are some of our favs:

  • Orbotix, makers […]

Polishing the Apple Image

As the Mac computer turns 30images, there is a lot to look back on as far as products and the company as a whole.  Apple revolutionized the way computing was done and seen. The original boxy Macintosh with a mouth-like slit below the screen for “floppy” data disks has evolved into a line that boasts slim, powerful laptops and a cylindrical Mac Pro desktop model. The same goes for customer service. Apple has lead customer service rankings for the past seven years mainly because its lineup of products is broad yet connected; they boast a meticulously controlled retail experience, and a very particular brand of leadership at the top.

The tables seem to have turned, however, as Apple has been rated behind competitors like Sony, Samsung, and even Microsoft Corporation in a very important customer experience survey from Forrester Research […]

May Peace Prevail on Earth-RIP Nelson Mandela

MandelaNelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, Nobel Prize winner and anti-Apartheid icon passed away on Thursday at his home in Johannesburg at the age of 95. By any standard, Madiba, as he was fondly referred to by those who loved him, lived a robust, fulfilling and impactful life. Few people have had as much impact on history as Mandella had. History will remember him as one of the greatest men who ever lived – an incredibly selfless man who made so much of a sacrifice to re-write the history of generations of South Africans and the world.

During his lifetime Mandela inspired us with his numerous words of wisdom.  His “brand” promise was always clear, compelling and consistent.  His messaging architecture, founded in these principles, will carry on his legacy for future generations:

  • Courage is not the absence of fear, but the […]

Calling Agent 99

galaxy-gear-006-set1-front_six-970x0Samsung’s Galaxy Gear touts a 1.63-inch screen, a 1.9 megapixel camera built into the watch band, and a microphone and speaker in the clasp. The mic/speaker combo can be used for making phone calls. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear commercials take you through a timeline of fictional watches from shows and movies like “The Jetsons”, “Star Trek”, and “Dick Tracy”. The kicker seems to be that after decades of dreaming about smart watches, Samsung has finally made one.

Samsung’s ads for its new Galaxy Gear smart watch are absolutely trouncing Apple‘s advertisements for the iPhone 5C in terms of viewer popularity. But, some have suggested that Samsung’s supercut ad is a ripoff of a similar ad that helped introduce the iPhone. The function of the ad wasn’t to link the iPhone to imaginary objects, but to core human behavior: Here’s […]

Technologies Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

imagesThe UN’s Broadband Commission Working Group on Broadband and Gender just released a report that reveals a “significant and pervasive” technology gap in access to information and communication technologies.  This will calculate, from their research, into 200 million fewer women online than men, and warns that the gap could grow to 350 million within the next three years if action is not taken

Why should the fact that women are coming online later and more slowly then men and are 21% less likely to own a mobile phone matter to you? Leaving aside the fact for as moment that gender inequality and the empowerment of young girls should be central to all of our collective efforts; the facts that relate to lost business growth and the additional GDP for each of the countries impacted are eye catching. The report […]

The Magic of Social

imagesSocial now has to be central to a brand’s marketing efforts and as a result Macy’s has come up with some incredibly innovative campaigns in the past few years. Macy’s first embraced social media back in 2010 and has since attracted huge followings on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. In spring 2012, Macy’s created a Facebook app that allowed users to send a personalized Mother’s Day card for free and in aid of a good cause. For each digital card sent through Facebook, the retailer donated $3 to one of five charities including the American Heart Association, Futures Without Violence, Make-a-Wish Foundation, the National Park Foundation, and Reading Is Fundamental. Overall, a simple campaign that used social to shout about Macy’s commitment to charitable causes while bringing in some extra ‘likes’.

Having to innovate and move towards a multichannel sales […]

Still Taste Great…Still Less Filling?

$(KGrHqR,!jYF!6LF7,vFBQSpBi4dPw~~60_35Throwback still rules! Miller Lite is going retro. The brand will be packaged in its original can design from Jan. 1 to March 15. The retro can is a first in a series of initiatives reinforcing that, “Miller Lite is the perfect and only beer for Miller Time,” MillerCoors said in a memo to distributors this week.

The move comes as big lite beer brands search for new ways to break through with consumers, who are increasingly turning to craft beers and spirits. The retro cans could help the brand recapture some buzz from its glory days circa 1975, when the brew’s debut took the beer world by storm, with its’ still memorable line from their TV spots:“Everything you always wanted in a beer…and less”. That campaign, the “Tastes great, less filling” campaign by McCann-Erickson, was ranked by AdAge […]

The New Way to Become the “Real Thing”

CokeMiniI think most marketers would agree that Coca-Cola has become one of the more innovative consumer brands in their attempts to create new types of customer experiences around their brand and products. The 125 year-old company has clearly decided to create an experience around their brand that goes above and beyond the products that they make and sell. And they are not afraid to try things that are unproven, as long as it moves the ball down the field for their brand positioning and promise, namely Coke brings you happiness in enjoyable and sometimes unique ways. The latest example of this is their foray into the world of using 3D printing to personalize a customer’s brand experience and relationship with Coke. 3D printing and Coke. No that was not a misprint.

Consumers […]

Throwback Thursday-How Priceless became Priceless

thumbs_mastercard_logo_img-300x300MasterCard continuously works to create campaigns that will resonate with cardholders and reinforce their loyalty and trust in the MasterCard name. This is evident in the longevity of the “priceless” campaign,which was originally launched circa 1996. Who can forget the images of the dad buying his son a hotdog and a drink and the conversation that ensues with the tagline “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”

The marketing goal was to emphasize MasterCard’s payment cards as the best way to pay for “everything that matters.” As one of the most recognizable campaigns to hit the market, Priceless has enabled MasterCard to build and maintain a strong brand value and trust among consumers. But, this campaign was originally developed for print and television. So how does MasterCard bring “Priceless” into the digital age?

MasterCard evolved […]

Brand New Monday-30 Days of Yahoo, Really!

yahooIn the midst of a strategic company turnaround effort under CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has decided to redesign its 18-year-old logo and has devised a 30-day campaign to drum up attention around its new logo by showing a different possible logo each day until the culmination and selection of the “winner”.

Ask any long time user of Yahoo, and you will almost certainly hear that the user experience, look and feel, and even core functionality feels outdated and should be refreshed. That said, what most customers and users want is not simply a new look, better colors or different font, they want to understand and see why Yahoo should remain their go-to personal site, why and how Yahoo can still be a strong media channel and property for business and advertisers and what about Yahoo’s content is compelling. In short, why Yahoo at […]