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There’s something in your Tweet!

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Do you think this new campaign is the perfect way to leverage social media and engagement too?


Earlier this week, news of Union Agency’s new Colgate Campaign “There’s Something in your Tweet” hit the internet as buzz circling this highly creative campaign reached many online ad publications. The campaign is simple, ever had anyone you know walk around in front of you with an embarrassing piece of food stuck in their teeth? Of course you have. And what’s the only thing worse than having food in your teeth? Having to tell someone else they have food in their teeth. By collecting a true reflection of what troubles regular Colgate consumers, Union was able to uncover this universal human truth which they could then leverage for a unique and relevant campaign.

The real challenge here however, was not to create a highly creative one-of print ad, but a campaign that would really engage their consumers, be highly “shareable” and keep Colgate in the consumer’s immediate recall set. This is when the creative department had a stroke of genius. They found a way to warn people and avoid the chore of having to tell people about their dirty chompers by using twitter or email to ANONYMOUSLY warn the victim. Not only that, the anonymous warning also comes with a handy coupon that will further drive the sales of Colgate. After all, even the most brilliant campaign is for naught if it does not produce revenue.

It seldom happens in advertising that an agency can hit all problems such as sales, engagement, and decent creative all in stroke. Union has managed to turn such a low involvement product and brand into one that solves a multitude of problems for consumers, is likeable/shareable and does so whilst remaining relevant and useful even outside their own product lines.

In the end, this campaign is truly a model and a benchmark for what all agencies should strive for when creating engaging, fun, and creative campaigns.



Warning: Serious Tearjerker

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Go find a box of tissues. You’re going to need a few to mop up some happy, nostalgic tears.

Last month, British Airways launched their “Visit Mum” campaign, which is an attempt to make traveling home a little easier for Indian ex-pats. From this campaign, BA highlights the increased number of daily flights from more North American cities to more Indian cities.

This 5 minute ad, crafted by O&M NY, builds on beautiful images of Mumbai, and moves into telling the story of a son who hasn’t been home in fifteen years.

Aside from the fact that the ad is beautifully shot, the core of the message is completely universal, yet genuine and thoughtful. The ad doesn’t have to mention anything about the services or promotions offered by the airline. It centers in on the value of the mother-child relationship, and the pure joy found when families reunite. As a whole, the ad plays on the deep emotional connection between a mother and son, which in turn, engages the viewer with its core message.

This ad is a perfect example of how good advertising works. David Meerman Scott explains compelling stories educate, engage, and entertain consumers. Good (and effective) advertising is the strategic fusion of communication, culture, and creativity. This amalgam of innovative messaging is what inspires action.

Kudos to British Airways and O&M NY for telling such a sweet story.

Oh, and the #visitmum website even includes Ratesh’s mother’s Bhindi recipe. Nailed it.

With social media becoming more and more important in effectively reaching out to consumers it becomes even more important to understand how to use it. Many companies still use social media as a tool to tell consumer about them, rather than ask consumers opinions or address problems.

When researching companies that use social media affectively I came across a handful of names, but then I thought about which companies use social media to enhance their customer service experience. My search lead me to an article written by Rachel Sprung titled 4 Examples of Excellent Twitter Customer Service. This article demonstrates how companies such as Jetblue, Nike, Seamless and Comcast affectively use Twitter to address any issue their customer are having.

Srpung sites an article called How Are Top Brands Doing With Twitter Customer Service? written by Allison Stadd, which covers an analysis by Simply Measured that conducted research over Interbrand’s Top 100 Brands and how they were preforming customer service on Twitter. The study concluded, “99% of brands are on Twitter, and 30% have a dedicated customer service handles (as of March 2013).”

Nike sets themselves apart from the other companies in Sprung’s article, because they have completely dedicated a twitter handle just for their customer to seek support with any Nike product. @NikeSupport as of 9/8/2013 has tweeted over 183,840 times to their followers and cover topics that range from website troubleshooting to product exchange.

In an article written by Nate Smitha from Simply Measured, he takes a closer look into @NikeSupprt’s Twitter account, which reveals that Nike has over 1,600 customer service tweets a day and manages more than 265 incoming customer service tweets with a 74% response rate.

David Meerman Scott author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR says that “the best way to think about social media is not in terms of the different technologies and tools, but, rather, how those technologies and tools allow you to communicate directly with your buyers…”

Nike is accomplishing this direct communication with consumers by being present when their consumers need them. In Smitha’s article Nike was only one of 23 Interbrand Top 100 Brands with a special handle just for customer service and had an average response time of 2.8 hour.

By having a separate handle completely dedicated to customer service Nike is able to maintain a quick response rate, provide support specialists when needed and do the best they can in keeping their consumers happy.

Which begs the question: If a company like Nike can affectively reach out to their consumers using social media and give help to dissatisfied customers, then why do so many large companies opt out of utilizing Twitter as a customer service tool?

Cause-related marketing is a popular term to throw around board meetings and stakeholder newsletters, but few companies can truly execute the concept well. Campbell’s has succeeded in creating a relevant, socially responsible, and forward-thinking campaign for the holiday season in their partnership with Feeding America. This is a great opportunity for a corporate and non-profit business to interact in a mutually beneficial relationship, while also creating awareness for a serious social issue. Feeding America states that an average of one in six Americans faces hunger and consistently goes without meals for several days.

Campbell’s follows the rules of creating a great cause-related campaign by  1) collaborating with an appropriate cause, 2) being very transparent about their donation intentions, and 3) gaining positive exposure by taking their campaign to the innovative digital scrapbooking site, Pinterest. Campbell’s has created a massive online version of their classic green bean casserole, where users can take part in adding to the visual impact of how many people could be fed simply by pinning and participating.

Other marketers could learn from Campbell’s positive example and create a relationship between their brand and consumers that is based on trust, respect, and a shared vision. Being honest with consumers is always in the best interest of the company because it leads to brand loyalty, which ensures a longer life of the brand and better business.

The Campbell Soup Foundation was initiated in 1953 and has a long history with philanthropy and donating part of their profits to worthy causes, as opposed to companies who have recently jumped on the bandwagon by treating a partnership like the cool or socially expected thing to do. Campbell’s is a leader in creating positive, wholesome messages that set an excellent example for other marketers in both their advertising content and partnership message by striving to create a positive difference in the community. They are a corporation with values that projects an image of warmth and heartiness which reflect not only their casseroles, but their goal of helping families in the holiday season through their donations to Feeding America.

Chevy's Holiday Contest using Dailybreak as a platform

Every year like clock work companies start to advertise for the holiday season even before Thanksgiving Day. More and more American’s every year take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However this holiday season Chevy is taking a new approach by using the Dailybreak platform to target young adults through social media.

Chevy is asking consumers to register thought the Dailybreak platform, answer a handful of questions about driving conditions in the winter, specifics of economy-sized models and then create a virtual postcard. This virtual postcard contains a short message about why each consumer is excited for the holidays and are shared on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Then consumers ask their friends/followers to go vote for them.

In William M. O’Barr’s article What is Advertising?  He states that advertising is a “device for asserting attention inducing one to accept a mutual adventageous exchange,” and that advertising is “a part of the social fabric of society.” So by using the a platform that connects to the largest social media platforms, Chevy is trying to get participants to connections that may start a chain reaction by encouraging friend and friends of friends to participate in the Holiday Contest.

Other brands such as McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Microsoft have used the Dailybreak platform for contests similar to this, but Chevy has already tried to utilizing social media outlets before. In August of 2012, Chevy tired to push awareness about their Chevy Malibu through LivingSocial.

By using the Dailybreak platform Chevy is trying to reach out to consumers who may not have considers Chevy for their automotive needs and take a more interactive form of advertising. Social media plays a large role in many young adult lives these days and Chevy’ recognizes that to gain brand loyalty they must start with a younger demographic and through the means in which they communicate.

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Gap Makes the Season Bright

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The holiday’s are right around the corner and many advertisers are doing their part to make this holiday season extra bright. Advertisers are making strides to better showcase the uniqueness of individuals. Gap’s 2012 holiday campaign is making an effort this winter season to debunk negative stereotypes by celebrating various, positive views on family and the many forms love can take.

Gap’s campaign includes a commercial and colorful print ads that feature celebrities including Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan. The campaign uses the tagline “Love Comes in Every Shade” and showcases a variety of couples of various races and sexual orientations. The campaign also shows fathers in a positive light.

According to Gerbner’s cultivation theory, over time and repeated exposure to similar images, the media and ads cultivate the reality we come to believe. Gap’s holiday campaign uses images in their ads that reflect a wide range of ideas about our current society. The ad shows people that all families are unique and different and influences them to view this as a positive thing.

If the media does not tell you what to think, but rather what to think about then the ads in the Gap holiday campaign are ones everyone should take a moment to reflect on. By reflecting multiple ideas and perspectives this campaign has the ability to reach and affect a much larger audience.

Gap’s ads are not only something consumers should reflect on but other advertisers as well. By keeping up with the current trends in our society, Gap is not only able to maintain or move market share over the holidays, but is also potentially able to reach and maintain relationships with new consumer groups that have not made purchases because they did not previously relate to Gap.

Gap uses the ads in this campaign to go above and beyond their obligations by not only selling clothes but also showing diverse, optimistic and positive views on family and love.

Coors Light Busboy Ad

The Better Business Bureau, the organization that presides over the Beer Institute, recently ruled that the Coors Light Bus Boy ad unintentionally violated the Beer Institute’s Advertising and Marketing Code. According to the code, “Beer advertising and marketing materials should not portray or imply illegal activity of any kind.” In the ad, there is a male that is constantly picking up Coors Light beers in a bar setting. After a while, a waitress notes that the “new bus boy” is doing a great job of cleaning off beers on the tables, to which the boss responds “I didn’t hire a bus boy”. While the underlying or intended meaning of the ad is that Coors Light is so good that people will go to crazy resorts to get it, an additional meaning that Coors Light is worth stealing is the reason for the criticism towards the ad.

While I wouldn’t have really taken such a literal meaning from the ad, I believe the rationale of the Beer Institute is understandable. While Coors itself doesn’t really believe that they have done wrong, they have agreed to stop running the ad as a result of the Better Business Bureau’s ruling. Alcohol advertising is a part of the overall institute of advertising that gets a lot of criticism for unethical advertising. I commend the Beer Institute for creating a non-legal but authoritative ethical standard in an attempt to change this reputation. If we as advertisers continue to create standards for ourselves and regulate ourselves, I believe we will be able to eventually gain credibility and positively impact people’s attitudes towards advertising while performing our business related roles.

I also believe that as advertisers we must look at our ads from several perspectives before we publish the work. While Coors intended to sell their product using a humorous story, there are ways to use humor without portraying or romanticizing illegal activities. If we could really scrutinize our work from an ethical point of view, we could avoid wasting time and money airing ads that won’t be approved our self-regulating structures. By taking time at the forefront to view the ethical impact of our advertising messages, I believe we can avoid a lot of time wasted and financial loss in the future.


Miracle on 34th Street

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Walk into any major department store or any retailer for that matter, a consumer will know that the holiday season is approaching, specifically Christmas.  There might be a small section dedicated to those who are still intending on celebrating Thanksgiving, but all in all, Christmas music, trees, lights, ribbons, garlands, and snowmen abound in many stores.

Macy’s is one such retailer that has been specifically tied to the holiday season through its long-standing name in the retail business, movies (namely Miracle on 34th Street), and the classic Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.  To reflect their years of bringing the holiday spirit, two years ago, Macy’s Department store advertised their brand through nostalgic marketing.  Footage in the commercial showed clips from the late 1800s, the parade, movies that have used their name, and reality TV shows.   The end of the commercial states, “Only one store has been part of your life for 150 years.  That’s the Magic of Macy’s.  This commercial works so well, because Macy’s has successfully branded their name by allowing people to remember a particular association with the store.  It even allows for consumers to reinterpret their own memories of when they first saw or heard  the original referenced clips. Even if a consumer was not there to walk into Macy’s in the late 1800s, they may remember a memory of watching the parade or watching a holiday classic such as Miracle on 34th street.  This ad does appeal to consumers who have high MAO, because it allows the consumer to create a persona and image of what this brand represents and has done over the past 150 years.  It allows the viewer to be part of the experience and to create a prototype of the Macy’s brand.

In terms of social responsibility, especially around the holiday seasons, in the past few years, Macy’s created a campaign called “Believe” and paired their name with Make-A-Wish.   In every Macy’s department store, there was a mail box for Santa, and for each letter that was mailed, one dollar was given to the Make-A-Wish foundation.  Essentially, the company would give up to $,1,000,000 to the foundation.  There were a couple of commercials that were produced borrowing from the story, Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus. 



The campaign was effective, because it  reached the $1 million goal of giving to Make-A-Wish.  This campaign not only captures a positive aspect of the season through giving, especially if child knows that by mailing their letter to Santa through Macy’s mailbox, they are helping other children, but it also gives a positive message to believing.  The store is also promoting the idea that it is okay to believe and to be a kid.

Macy’s department store is placed in a positive light because it looks like a store that believes in the spirit of the season, even if they (the department store) are in the business of making money.  The “Believe” campaign is currently underway and can be followed through the Macy’s Believe website.

It will be interesting to see how other companies will compete and roll out good tidings to all in this holiday season.

Driving is a privilege and a responsibility. While driving is convenient in getting us from point A to B, society also entrusts the driver with the faith that they won’t harm themselves or others with their activity. I found it interesting that two different car companies, Ford and Kia, ran print ad campaigns this fall to address issues concerning responsible driving. Kia partnered with MADD in an campaign to discourage drinking and driving while Ford’s campaign focuses on the epidemic of social networking and phone use while driving.


In the Kia ad, created by Innocean Worldwide in Canada, attention is gained by the surprise element. We all know the typical, don’t drink and drive message, but it is presented in a novel and unexpected way by displaying them as tattoos on the person’s body. Furthermore, they use tattoos to drive home the fact that the consequences of drinking and driving are permanent. I also found it interesting that they used both genders in the ad campaign as well as different ages. Since drunk driving is something that happens with both genders and across different ages, I believe it was important to represent that. Also, I believe this ad gains attention by being easy to process. Once you read the inscription on the tattoos, it is easy to “get” the message that the ad is trying to tell us. Using the dark background, the objects you are supposed to focus on are clear and the understanding you are supposed to gain from it are concrete. While this message is one you typically expect from MADD, it is not a message you would expect from Kia. I believe by cosigning to this ad, they hope to transfer positive feelings about MADD and their cause towards Kia through brand partnership. For those who believe in purchasing from “socially responsible” businesses, this type of advertising activity might sway them to further consider Kia in the consumer decision process.


The Ford campaign, created by Agency MJ in Brazil, is not as serious but still addresses a serious topic.  By using the images one associates with social networking, they show how phone usage can distract one from being entirely cognizant of the environment they are driving in. They chose to make the ad stimulating by using novelty to illustrate their message. They also heightened the possibility of safety risk to drive their point across to the audience. I think this kind of ad message would cause positive feelings with parents and older consumers that are highly concerned with the driving habits of the younger, social networking drivers. In these ads, it seems like Ford is simply saying “we care what you care about” and again, might appeal to consumers that are passionate about this cause or social responsible businesses.


In both ad campaigns, it is reassuring to see car companies recognizing problems involved with the consumption of their product. By highlighting these issues, Ford and Kia are positioning themselves as “socially responsible” companies that deserve your consideration in your next car. After all, if they care about society as a whole, of course they would care for their consumers right? Ads like these, even if they are still driven by economic motives, will continue to increase public regard for advertising as an institution.


Ads of the World

In a day and age where fast food is made up of ingredients many of us are oblivious to, it is refreshing to see a company stand out from the rest and base their entire marketing mantra on a concept unfamiliar to many people in this fast paced, “I want it now” society we live in. The idea of “Going Back to the Start” is the face of Chipotle’s new viral marketing campaign aimed at informing consumers that there is such a thing as “food with integrity,” which is simply natural, family-grown or raised, and ultimately socially responsible.

An article by the Chicago Tribune discusses Chipotle’s recently released video featuring Willie Nelson’s rendition of Coldplay’s popular song, “The Scientist,” which depicts a small town farmer shifting away from his traditional farming roots and adopting an industrialized and unnatural method of cultivating his livestock. Eventually, the farmer realizes his original way of farming was far superior and decides to do the environmentally responsibly thing and “go back to the start.” Chipotle does an excellent job in getting people to think about the serious issue, while promoting its brand in the meantime.

The advertisement, which is intended to create somewhat of an emotional reaction to people viewing the harmful effects that industrialized farming brings with it, creates a sense of sadness and empathy for the farmer. It really gets people thinking about the differences between Chipotle as a fast food chain, as opposed to say, your typical McDonalds ad.

Sustainable farming, which Chipotle bases their entire positioning off of, “uses techniques such as crop rotation, soil conservation, natural fertilization and polyculture planting. In livestock production, they use pasture-based systems, feed animals what their bodies are designed to digest, and treat their animals humanely. Sustainable farms produce foods that are tastier and more nutritious than foods produced on factory farms, while also preserving the long-term health of our environment.”

Simply said, this is responsibility at its finest, despite the negative stereotypes that many fast food restaurants must battle. Chipotle seizes that opportunity in the marketplace to finally provide a fast food experience that defies the typical processed and unnatural methods of creating food and opts for an experience that provides healthy, fresh, locally grown, and socially responsible options. By raising awareness about what responsible farming is, they are fostering a need for healthy and naturally raised food that many people were unaware they had.

As many people are trying to do their part in going green and helping the environment in any little way, Chipotle has made the responsible choice. The powerful “Going Back to the Start” video sets the agenda that people should be concerned about where their food comes from originally. But, while many people may view this as just a healthy food option, when going to the roots of what Chipotle is really doing, they are keeping small family farmers in business and helping the economy along the way.

Many people may think, however, why haven’t I seen these advertisements? Chipotle is again set apart from the rest, they choose not to engage in heavy television or radio advertising, but instead to stick to simple movie-theater ad placements, word of mouth, and public event sponsoring to raise awareness of their brand’s positioning as an environmentally responsible company. These ads create a positive impact on those who view them, while informing and motivating consumers to learn more. Chipotle also discusses their farming methods and responsibility in using sustainable farming techniques all over their website in order to raise awareness about the importance of such a trend.

This popular concept of going-green, being environmentally responsible, and incorporating organically grown food helps Chipotle to solidify their standing as a company that truly cares about the implications of their actions. Their growing popularity and extreme success in the business world teaches other companies in the fast food industry that caring about the long-term effects of your business’ actions will carry with it many positive benefits.

In the case of Chipotle, this is truly marketing with integrity.

Chicago Tribune Original Article

Chipotle’s Webpage: Food With Integrity

Sustainable Table: The Daunting Techniques of Factory Farming

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