When I take my five-year-old to the local mall, he immediately starts begging to see the “pictures that move.” This technology, in which an image is projected onto the mall floor and changes as a user touches, jumps, or steps on it (imagine bubbles popping or butterflies flying away), has captivated a future shopper and given him a reward for joining mom at the mall.
Now, it looks like that technology (or similar) has entered the ranks of point-of-purchase. In a Mashable post by Lauren Indvik, we get a glimpse of how a retail signage company, Perch Interactive, is working to change the shopper’s experience at retail. Simply by picking up a product, a user will activate marketing messages and visuals that will help him imagine how the product will fit into his life. It’s gotten me thinking about how this experience might become personalized – could it sync up to social media, so you can “like” something from the sales floor (great way to build a Christmas list)? Or could it become a loyalty tactic – driving rewards for shoppers who spend time with products?
Maybe that is a lot to ask from some lights and projectors (forgive the understatement), but who knows what is possible? We’d love to hear what you think.
One man. In a box. For one month. No, he's not homeless. Just kinda unhealthy. Until Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota put "Scott the Human Doing" in a glass apartment at the Mall of America. There he learned in the public eye, and with their help, how to be healthier. Sit-ups. Tai chi. Pilates. Cooking and eating fruits and vegies. Whatever his audience desired. Scott did exercises directed by Facebook and Twitter polls. He also spent a lot of time connecting with folks via posts, tweets and videoblogs. And marveling over the support they gave him, which he says made all the difference.
The brilliance in this disruptive campaign is the two way communication. We've all heard that we should exercise and eat better. But this campaign showed and engaged people. In a real and memorable way, with live results. As for the results? National buzz. Over 2 million social media impressions. Over 4300 Facebook fans. Over 500 Twitter followers. Thousands of on-site impressions from people at Minnesota's most popular tourist attraction. Not to mention Scott dropping 29 pounds and 110 cholesterol points in just 30 days.
The Human Doing is part of BCBS of Minnesota's "do campaign". Getting people to move and groove at home, work, school, their community, etc. to fight obesity. Testimonial TV ads spotlight people explaining the excuses they used of why they couldn't lose weight ("I told myself it was hereditary"). Each ends with the thinner, healthier person "do dancing" with the funny "do dance" guy who makes you smile.
I think BCBS of Minnesota is doing a good job of getting people to do. What do you think?
There are clothes I’ll keep forever for sentimental reasons, like my old sorority sweatshirt and the shoes I wore at my wedding.
Those of you who’ve splurged on a pair of super-comfy Lululemons know what I’m talking about. You stretch and sweat in them, you wash them a gazillion times, and they continue to hold their shape (not to mention flatter your shape) and look brand new.
So I was fascinated—as both a marketing expert and a consumer—by this Wall Street Journal article about “Lululemon’s secret sauce.”
With some brands, the high quality of the clothes alone is enough to draw a loyal following. When Lulu added some savvy marketing to the mix, it turned their loyal following into a cult one, giving the company a market value of $10.4 billion last year.
A couple interesting bits of Lululemon wisdom:
- Don’t try to gloss over high prices with sales. Own the fact that high quality clothes are expensive and make that part of your caché. Lulu never discounts the prices on its staple items and rarely holds sales. According to the article, 95 percent of Lulu togs are sold at full price.
- Leave ’em wanting more: When Lulu introduces new styles or colors, they’re released in limited quantities. Customers know they’ve got to grab their goods quick before they’re gone. According to the WSJ piece, “a hot-pink color named ‘Paris Pink’ that launched in December was supposed to have a two-month life cycle but sold out its first week.”
- Pay close attention to consumer feedback and don’t be afraid to act on it. Lulu doesn’t punch focus-grouped data into a computer to make business decisions. Instead, they design the stores so that salespeople fold clothes right outside the dressing rooms—the better to eavesdrop on customers and learned what they really think. Sometimes it’s Lulu’s CEO, Christine Day, who’s listening in. Another great quote from the WSJ: “Ms. Day spends hours each week in Lulu stores observing how customers shop, listening to their complaints, and then using the feedback to tweak product and stores. ‘Big data gives you a false sense of security,’ says Ms. Day.”
I like the straightforward approach of Lulu’s marketing. It’s not right for every business or every product, but in the age of search engine optimization and algorithmic everything, it’s refreshing to see a business become hugely successful by kickin’ it old school.
What about you? Do you have more examples of successful companies who’ve ignored current marketing trends to do things their own way?
Here are three things I’ve noticed lately:
- When I got my summer Athleta catalog in the mail, the swimsuit models were buff! We’re talking some seriously strapping beauties. Even the models who didn’t have obviously defined leg muscles or eight-pack abs looked strong and healthy, not to mention happy! There wasn’t a broody waif among them.
- While watching a recorded episode of The Good Wife the other night, I opted not to fast-forward through three Kohl’s commercials. Each featured Olympic athletes talking about the “sport of shopping.” Mia Hamm, Lindsey Vonn, and Dara Torres looked awesome as they riffed about the thrill of the score (of a fabulous leopard print bag) but they did not look like glamorous, otherworldly models. They looked strong, sporty, beautiful—and real.
- Jennifer Lawrence. Well, how can you not notice The Hunger Games star? Her image is everywhere to promote the blockbuster flick, which I loved seeing recently. The casting of Lawrence has gotten some criticism. Is she too robust and healthy-looking to play a character in a deprived dystopia? In my opinion, the answer is no, and not just because Lawrence is great in the film. It’s also because I love seeing a strong, muscular character played by a strong, muscular actress. If it was one of Hollywood’s many delicate, twiggy starlets saving the world from the evil Capitol, would you believe it? I’m not sure I would. Beyond the movie, I’m excited to see Lawrence—with her curvy figure and pretty, round face—on so many magazine covers. It shows women and girls that you don’t have to have razor-sharp cheekbones, bony arms, and a jutting jawline to be gorgeous.
In journalism, they say “three makes a trend.” If that’s the case, then using athletic, powerful women in marketing is officially a new trend. Let’s hope it sticks around. Not only do I love seeing these inspiring looks in the marketplace, I want my twelve-year-old daughter to take note, too.
Have you seen any marketing featuring strong women lately? Share in comments!
Dad’s around the U.S. aren’t just stepping up to the plate when it comes to grocery shopping and diaper changing, they’re showing off their new family role on Facebook too. According to Mashable, 40% of U.S. dads with kids under age 2 write family statuses on a daily basis and 56% post family photos at least a few times a week. This social media finding is a huge indicator of how times are changing and how parents are now sharing the home responsibilities.
The article states that dads are no longer just providers; they’re now part of a household partnership with their wives. This is a trend that marketers need to take note of as they try to reach family men. As marketers, we need to consider this new father role and how these men are impacting household choices and purchases.
Dads want to feel like brands and their advertising understand this integrated work and family play lifestyle. They want marketers to recognize that there aren’t defined roles in the family unit anymore. Social media can be a great avenue for reaching these Facebook using dads. Mashable suggests using social media as a mosaic – a way to communicate that your brand enables this dad’s new lifestyle.
Do you think that the dad role is more family centered in most homes? What is the best way to connect with these family friendly fathers?
The evolution of the Barbie Doll has been drastic since it first hit the children’s toy scene in the late 1950s. Since its launch, Barbie has had to combat multiple lawsuits and negative press about the unrealistic body image the dolls could be inflicting on young girls. Even with these public relations issues, the doll is one of the most successfully marketed children’s toys in history with hugely successful campaigns like its 50th Birthday in New York Fashion Week and the viral Ken and Barbie break-up social media campaign that had the whole world waiting for them to be reunited. Barbie was even listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 All-Time Greatest Toys.
Mattel and Barbie are now taking another step forward in strategic marketing and more importantly, in promoting a positive self-image for children who need it most. Mattel announced on March 27th on their Facebook page that in 2013 they will be producing a bald friend of Barbie. This announcement comes off the heels of a parent-organized campaign on Facebook and change.org to produce such a doll to help young girls cope with their loss of hair from cancer treatments or other diseases, which some doctors have said can be just as traumatic as the diagnosis itself.
With over 157,000 fans on Facebook this campaign caused quite the stir and eventually caught the attention of Mattel executives. An excerpt from their announcement states, “Play is vital for children, especially during difficult times. We are pleased to share with our community that next year we will be producing a fashion doll, that will be a friend of Barbie, which will include wigs, hats, scarves and other fashion accessories to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience.”
These dolls will not be available in stores, but with Mattel’s partnership with the Children’s Hospital Association they will be given directly to those girls who are most effected by hair loss. Although Mattel will not be directly profiting from these dolls, as a marketer I can imagine the positive press Mattel will receive and the huge impact this will have on Barbie’s, sometimes debatable, image.
As a company who has been directly affected by cancer and works to raise money for cancer treatment efforts, we hope these iconic dolls can boost the confidence and brighten the attitudes of the brave young girls fighting this fight.
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. That means for the next twenty-four hours, buildings and monuments around the world will be bathed in blue light. Among the places “lighting it up blue” are the Empire State Building, the Paris Stock Exchange, The Sydney Opera House . . . and the historic Peabody Mansion in Birmingham, Michigan, which is the home of Brogan & Partners.
I’m so proud that our firm will be a part of this amazing day, when so many people will be focusing on autism. Maybe the blue lights will inspire more people to volunteer on behalf of those with autism. Or to donate money for autism research. Maybe those who live with autism on a daily basis will choose this day to reach out and educate others about the disorder.
Photo by Mike Lord
There are so many ways to learn and help. The blue lights are there to remind us that autism is all around us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism’s prevalence has now risen to one in 88 children. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a personal connection to this disorder.
That's why we are supporting Michigan's Lt. Governor, Brian Calley, in his effort to implement autism insurance reform in Michigan--to make sure that the 15,000 people living with autism in Michigan get the treatment they need to live a bright and productive future.
That’s why I (as well as Brogan & Partners) am a longtime supporter of Friendship Circle of Michigan, which provides services to kids with special needs, including those with autism.
It’s why I contribute to Camp Kids All Together, which helps autistic kids go to an inclusive day camp along with children of all abilities.
And it’s why my husband, Jon, has just joined the board of The Bear Hug Foundation, which helps kids with special needs go to overnight camp.
As many of you know, we bathe the Peabody Mansion in a pink glow every October to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is the first time we’ve shined our light on a new issue. I hope it gets people talking. I hope it prompts a flood of donations.
And I hope it means that some day, that one in 88 statistic will be a distant memory.
We love our teams. And are well-known for getting behind them. Win or lose, they can count on a loyal fan base to be there for them. Cheer them on. Believe in them.
We have another team to get behind. When they suit up—it’s dressed up. They are the mighty, fighting Business Leaders of Michigan.
The players are players at the top levels of their games. So you have the participation of Bill Ford, Steve Gorman, Mary Sue Coleman, Jim Hackett, Steve Kircher, Mike Jandernoa and 75 others of equal strength and expertise. And each is fighting for, defending a recognized area of strength and potential in Michigan. Natural Resources. Life-Sciences. Higher Education System. Mobility/Automotive. Engineering. Logistics.
They’re representing Michigan on trade missions--nationally/internationally, to policy leaders, in our communities–wherever it will benefit Michigan’s economy and job growth. They’re all over it.
Brogan & Partners is proud to have worked with our clients Doug Rothwell and Kelly Chesney at Business Leaders of Michigan to create a video Michigan Turnaround Plan: Blueprint for a New Michigan. Check it out. Maybe you’ll be inspired to get behind the team.
Lions. And Tigers. And Pistons. And Red Wings. And Spartans. And Wolverines. And Business Leaders of Michigan. Oh! My!
After you take a look at the video, share your vision for the New Michigan on Facebook and you’ll be entered to win some great prizes.
As one of the digital thought leaders at Brogan & Partners, I was excited to attend this year's SXSW conference and see where the future of digital design was heading. Often, I feel like the "usability police" and for years I have been making sure our web sites, rich media and social media designs where intuitive so the user knows where to click and what they'll get. But with Touch UI gaining momentum, it begs the question: Is Touch UI the Click UI killer? After all, video killed the radio star...
During my week of Interactive sessions at SXSW, I realized that the focus of conventional Click UI was pretty much obsolete. If anything, it was only mentioned in passing. And I also didn't hear the word "usability" mentioned at all. It was all about the touch or gesture experience.
I joke that my kids don't know what a mouse is, but it's true. Their first experience and exposure to computers were a laptop, iPhone, and iPad. None of these devices uses a mouse or has to be clicked. We do have desktop computers around, but it's avoided because there's a feeling of entrapment compare to our mobile devices. Our expectations of how we experience the web has gone way beyond just the conventional and intuitive navigations.
Whether we believe conventional Click UI is a passing phase or not, it is paramount to consider the visual interface as part of the brand. As designers, we'll need to build an easy and memorable experience for our users. And to stay on top of our competitors, those experiences will need to be unique. This is what Nike Myers described in his "The Visual Interface Is Now Your Brand" session at SXSW. Where do you think the user interface is heading?
Here's a little taste of things to come when the visual is the interface.
Like everyone else's kids, my twelve-year-old daughter is crazy about The Hunger Games. She devoured the book trilogy and she's been making plans for the big opening day for weeks.
I myself have been kind of indifferent to the Hunger craze. I was only grateful that there weren’t any vampires involved. But then I spotted a Hunger Games promotion that made me a fan, too.
As the poster says, the world really will be watching when this much anticipated movie hits screens. So instead of just doing the usual glamorous premieres, magazine covers, and other ways to drum up ticket sales, the film is using its fame (and its theme) to do some good in the world. Through the Facebook page, people can make a donation for food distribution by the World Food Programme,internationally or WFP and Feeding America in this country.
To further entice fans to learn more about the very solvable hunger problem, the site features a quiz that includes facts like:
- “1 in 7, or close to one billion people, go to bed hungry every night.”
- “Hunger kills more people every year than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.”
- “There is enough food today for everyone to have the nourishment needed for a healthy and productive life. The problem is access.”
Finish the quiz—and learn an important thing or two—and you’re entered to win a signed Hunger Games poster.
To me, this is cause marketing at its best. The film not only gets its publicity, it also harnesses all that fan love to do, good work. It’s a win-win. And it’s made me—a formerly indifferent Hunger Games bystander—volunteer to chaperone seven girls to the movie on Friday night.
Never underestimate the power of a good idea. It will stick in your head for years. It will push itself to the forefront among other ideas. And when the right people see it and believe in its potential, they will jump on your bandwagon. I came up with the idea for “Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand Rose”, 17 years ago working on the Michigan Department of Community Health account at Brogan.
At the time, we were doing some TV spots, so radio wasn’t in the budget and YouTube did not exist. But the tune, “Secondhand Rose,” (which is in public domain) and my rewrite of the words had a sticking factor. And the tune stuck in my head for years. So recently when I heard MDCH needed a radio spot about secondhand smoke for parents of young children, I remembered that idea from long ago. Of course, the original script was gone, considering it was written on one of the first Macs! But I recreated it. And I couldn’t have scripted what happened next better. Our wonderful clients at MDCH, Kelly Niebel and Jason Holben, let us produce it as both a radio spot and a YouTube video (the latter has over 4,000 hits just after a couple weeks). Serendipitously, we found the perfect talent shooting another spot for STEM awareness. We called in favors to make it amazing and stay in budget. But the icing on the cake: powerful results. The calls to the Michigan Tobacco Quit Line were so dramatic, one of our clients exclaimed she “almost fell out of my chair.” So that great idea you have, it can happen. It just may need a little longer incubation period. What do you think of our “Secondhand Smoke, Secondhand Rose” spot for the Michigan Department of Community Health? I'm glad it stuck in my head all those years!
South by Southwest or better known as SXSW, is an interactive, music and film festival. A few of us, Broganites, set off on our travels to take part in the interactive portion of the festival. In particular, I was a SXSW virgin. However, I was excited to lose my v-card and participate in networking events, panel discussions and other social activities surrounding tech innovations.
My first thought was that it all was extremely overwhelming. There were probably over 50 events or sessions you could choose from per day. And there were always going to be 1 or 2 that you could tell would be a waste of time once you sat in them for the first 10 minutes. But overall, the tech leaders that made up the panel discussions and sessions were really insightful. They made you think. After a session you would feel more empowered, more knowledgeable and maybe even invincible. There was also the feeling of: When I get home I am going to be the first one in my office to know about the next great tech idea!
I had a few favorite sessions and here’s what I learned from them:
I Used Data Analytics to Game Online Dating – I was under the assumption that this solo speaker, Amy Webb, was using the title as a metaphor. I thought I was going to a session about social media analytics. Boy was I wrong! It really was about her dating life. This woman created an algorithm to find her husband on an online dating platform. It was even considered rated “R” according to the SXSW organizers – only because she used colorful, raunchy-ish language. Even though it wasn’t what I expected, I really found it very entertaining and humorous. And I may even buy Webb’s book, Data: A Love Story, once it is released in 2013.
What’s So [Bleeping] Hard About Social ROI? – There isn’t one! Or at least there isn’t a universal social media ROI. The panel from this session discussed that you shouldn’t use sales as a goal for social media. Social media is about building relationships directly with the consumer. For those folks who have created their own ROI for social – your formula should be used as a benchmark. However, it’s not an absolute science or equation. My favorite quote from this panel was “What’s the ROI in not doing social?” from Craig Daitch a Social Media Manager for Ford Motor Company.
Social Media Is a Bubble and SXSW Is a Fad – This panel of 5 had lots to say. It was a combination of humor and opinions. All but one of the panelists agreed that social media was a bubble. They were preaching that the social community should figure out how to manage the bubble once it bursts. How do we create value from the burst? I think the creative talent that comes out of this burst will need to be placed in new companies. However, this could be good because they will bring new and fresh ideas to wherever they land. This was by far my favorite, because these people who are looked at as social leaders were being realistic and having a real conversation about the social phenomenon. It is here to stay; the question is when will it become just another medium? After the bubble bursts?
So there you have it, those were my favorite sessions from SXSW. And I can now say…I am no longer a virgin, and it was mind blowing! If you were in Austin last week, what would you say was your favorite session? If you weren’t in Austin last week, does this sound like something you would want to be a part of next year?