6 Marketing Trends for 2015

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

Over the past year, trending topics have included everything from Frozen to Flappy Bird, Jennifer Lawrence to Jared Leto and the Ice Bucket Challenge to the iPhone 6. Which trends will influence the topics we see and the way we see them in 2015? A recent webinar hosted by CEB Iconoculture, a resource Brogan & Partners regularly consults with to develop creative strategy, cited six trends as the game changers and the must-knows for this year.

1. Changing Values

Nine values are on the rise with the American population, including purpose, ambition, learning, diversity, discovery, curiosity, health, comfort and relaxation. Not only do people want to set goals and reach them, they want to encounter new people and new ways of thinking in the process. And in their spare time, they’ll seek health, happiness, and even more spare time.

But of course, what goes up must come down, and with that, there are four values definitively declining. While patriotism, spirituality, hope and heritage used to rank high, Americans are suddenly finding them significantly less significant.

2. Humanizing Technology

Thad Starner, the Google Glass technical lead, has always believed that “the goal of technology should be to assist with the flow of human interaction,” and Americans are starting to agree.

According to Iconoculture, the consumer perception of technology’s ability to predict their wants and needs is growing more favorable, and now, consumers not only want, but rely on this predictive assistance.

3. Defining Success

This just in: Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has flipped entirely, effectively promoting self-actualization from the top to the bottom.

Today, when Americans describe success, they describe happiness, purpose and enjoyment. But as their personal and professional lives are intersected now more than ever before, they’re willing to make any sacrifice to achieve a balance.

4. Pressing Time

Time. No one has enough of it.

Today, the average American work day is 7.6 hours, and men and women alike are spending five hours a day on necessary housework.

An anonymous participant in Iconoculure’s study said, “There is time during the week to do most of the things that need to be done, but not enough for me to do the ‘fun’ things for myself.”

Maybe that’s why in 2013, Americans took the fewest vacation hours in 40 years. (Yikes!)

5. Acknowledging Enough

You have enough. You do enough. You are enough.

All of the above have been tough beliefs for Americans to uphold, but 2015 could be the year. With more brands celebrating flaws and normalizing imperfections, consumers are realizing they don’t need products and services to make them great. Instead, they’re realizing that they’re already great, all on their own.

6. Admiring a New Kind of Celebrity

No longer are the most admirable celebrities the ones with a Golden Globe or a Grammy. Instead, Americans are turning to a new kind of celebrity—most often those who have reached their claim to fame from a strong social media channel. Those who once tuned in to a late night talk show are tuning into a YouTube channel—like that of Jenna Marbles or Tyler Oakley.

Will these social media sensations soon be the faces of brands, endorsing products and services? We wouldn’t be surprised.

To see how some brands are already advertising with these trends in mind, check out Coca-Cola, Always, and Microsoft: 3 brands marketing trends with inspiring ads.

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Effective nonprofit social media marketing campaign example #6: Operation Smile

Maila Kue's picture

Operation Smile is a perfect example of how nonprofits can use social media to launch a campaign. This nonprofit is #HealingSmiles by repairing cleft palates in children around the world. But even more, they’re capturing the social change and promoting awareness on Pinterest. The visual-heavy platform allows for them to raise awareness and support using powerful “Before and After” photos.   

But it doesn’t stop there. Operation Smile dedicates additional boards to tell their patient stories, share videos, and display their celebrity ambassadors, which has gained them more than 1,900 followers. This nonprofit understands social media, but uses it unconventionally to change lives around the world.

Can you think of another board that Operation Smile can create? To see more nonprofits making a difference, check out the rest of my series, 10 Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns That Effectively Use Social Media.


Weekly Recap - January 5, 2015

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

2015 Is The Year Of The Millennial Customer: 5 Key Traits These 80 Million Consumers Share
Millennial customers—80 million in the U.S. alone–are about to become the most important customers your business has ever seen.

How To Build The Perfect Landing Page For SEO Or PPC
Landing pages are useful tools in a search marketer’s arsenal. Designed as separate yet related webpages, landing pages simplify core concepts and make it easier for your target audience to convert.

Marketers: Culture is Critical to Customer Engagement in 2015
It's no coincidence that in a year when "culture" was named Merriam-Webster's word of the year, the success of brands is increasingly being measured by their ability to gain cultural traction.  

65% of Facebook's Video Views Are Now on Mobile Devices
Sixty-five percent of global Facebook video views occur on mobile devices, according to the social media giant, which revealed a handful of stats today.

Marketing to Women: Trends to Watch in 2015
2014 was a watershed year in marketing to women.


Effective nonprofit social media marketing campaign example #5: Sesame Workshop

Maila Kue's picture

With the company of colorful friends like Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird, Sesame Street is able to reach millions of children in over 150 countries every day. Sesame Street is produced by Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit organization with the mission to “use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential.”  

While Sesame Workshop does a great job at using Twitter and Facebook to engage with its audience, the organization’s YouTube channel is where it really reaches its full potential. The channels features celebrity guests such as Michelle Obama and Bruno Mars, who join the Muppets in teaching topics that aid children development. In doing so, both the children and their parents can enjoy the videos. The channel has resulted in more than 1 million subscribers and over 1 billion views. If you haven’t seen the videos for yourself, navigate your way over to Sesame Street and take a look at how this nonprofit uses social media to help children learn. No matter what your age, you’ll find yourself singing along. 

Which celebrity guest would you like Sesame Workshop to feature? To see more nonprofits making a difference, check out the rest of my series, 10 Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns That Effectively Use Social Media.


Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #30 St. John Health.

Laurie Hix's picture

This campaign is very special to my heart. The reason? First off, it was a very tight, hard-working campaign that broke through to create a strong brand and emotional connection for St. John Health. As a faith-based health system, what made St. John Health different in the competitive healthcare landscape was their unique approach to healing “mind, body and spirit.” We came up with the themeline, “A passion for healing,” and rolled out a campaign which used a storytelling format to emotionally connect female healthcare decision makers to the brand. One such female is also the other reason this campaign is special to me: Ellyn Davidson. When Ellyn, our managing partner, saw the memorable brand TV spot below, she was inspired to do a self-breast exam in her shower. She found a lump. And yes, it was breast cancer. Early detection is one of the reasons Ellyn has been cancer-free for 7 years. And we are all so grateful that she is.

The emotion in this campaign is undeniable. Radio stations were talking about it. Neighbors of mine told me it made them cry. Our client even made me a shadow box filled with the letters staff sent to her about how moving it was and how well it articulated their brand. That shadow box still sits in my office today. But the campaign was also smart. With a modular themeline that we used to highlight different clinical specialties, a print format that encapsulated all the nine hospitals in the health system in a book mark design and cable ad tags that used zone-targeting to effectively advertise the right local hospital to the community. It was powerful brand campaign on many levels.

I find healthcare marketing very rewarding to work on, and this campaign was a career highlight for me and the agency. What do you think of it?

To see the rest of the 30 Best of Brogan, visit our original post in this series: Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising.


Effective nonprofit social media marketing campaign example #4: Oxfam America

Maila Kue's picture

When coffee farmers in Ethiopia were being taken advantage of, Oxfam America launched a marketing campaign to fight for the farmer’s rights. And they chose to do so with an interesting social media platform – Flickr, an online photo sharing community.

Ethiopian coffee farmers weren’t receiving their fair share of profit and lacked the authority to protect the brands of their most popular coffee commodities – Harar, Sidamo, and Yirgacheffe. The country wanted trademark for their crops, which would grant them the right to negotiate price, earn a larger share of the value, and protect their brands.

Oxfam started a photo petition to support the farmers. The petition pressured coffee industry leaders, specifically Starbucks, to sign an agreement that would grant Ethiopia ownership over its coffee. Using a Flickr stream, student groups, organizations, and Ethiopian community members joined together to give voice to Ethiopia by uploading pictures of themselves holding up signs that state “I support Ethiopian coffee farmers.”

More than 500 photos were uploaded onto the account, which brought global attention to the issue. The photos personalized the campaign by displaying the faces of petitioners. Starbucks responded to the pressure and attention and signed an agreement to give Ethiopian farmers a fair share of the coffee profits. The campaign was a success and received more than 96,000 supporters around world. But what was most successful about this social media campaign was how Flickr allowed supporters to feel like they had a big part in making change happen. 

Do you know of any marketing campaigns that have used Flickr?

To see more nonprofits making a difference, check out the rest of my series, 10 Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns That Effectively Use Social Media.


Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #29 MI Healthier Tomorrow.

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

Did you know that 69% of adults over the age of 20 are overweight? Or that 35% are obese? The Michigan Department of Community Health knew, which is why they wanted to launch a campaign that got those statistics moving down… and people all across the state moving around.

To help those struggling with their weight see the risks they were facing, we created a powerful brand engagement campaign. The TV spots below encouraged people to pledge to lose 10% of their body weight today so they could live a healthier life tomorrow.

Outdoor, radio, print, mobile and social media got the word out, and the campaign continues to support those who take the pledge with ongoing text messages, emails and Facebook status updates that give tips for a healthier tomorrow. 

As of today, more than 30,000 people have taken the MI Healthier Tomorrow pledge and received their helpful starter kit—equipped with a supermarket survival guide, food journal, refrigerator magnet and more.

Have you joined the movement, yet?


For more on how we gave Michigan the skinny on getting healthier, visit our portfolio.

To see the rest of the 30 Best of Brogan, visit our original post in this series: Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising.


Effective nonprofit social media marketing campaign example #3: charity:water.

Maila Kue's picture

Since 2006, charity:water has been working hard to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. With more than 800 million people in the world without access to clean water, this nonprofit is taking steps to make a difference. But what makes them stand out from the other 1.1 million nonprofit organizations in the United States?

charity:water was one of the first brands on Instagram. They’ve taken advantage of the social media app to showcase their efforts to deliver clean water to developing nations. But it’s more than just displaying amazing photography. It’s an invitation to hear the stories of individuals who have been impacted. Instagram personalizes these stories by displaying a photo of a person alongside a caption that shares how clean water has changed their lives. 800 million is no longer an ambiguous statistic. charity:water puts a name and a face to millions of individuals who are fighting daily to have clean water.

With over 200,000 followers, charity:water invites supporters to improve the lives of others through clean water. By taking the time to share stories through social media, they build credibility with their fans and show that they care. This approach to personalization through real life stories has inspired people to support their mission. It’s even inspired them to dedicate a page on their website to tell stories, which has tremendously increased donation. Follow charity:water on Instagram today to see how lives are being changed.

What story will you tell using Instagram? To see more nonprofits making a difference, check out the rest of my series, 10 Nonprofit Marketing Campaigns That Effectively Use Social Media.


Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #28 Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

Laurie Hix's picture

We can get pumped up about any creative opportunity. So when we had the opportunity to do branding for Gilbarco Veeder-Root, the leader in fuel dispenser technology, we were pumped. We came up with the positioning “Technology with a human touch” after discovering that what made Gilbarco different was that they truly designed first with their customers in mind. For nearly a decade, we dug in to learn the ins and outs of their business and rose to the challenge to create great work for their fuel dispensers, point-of-sale systems and forecourt media systems and educate their customers about emerging forecourt innovations as well as evolving payment regulations and compliance.

We did it through trade ads, video, mobile applications, website, interactive presentations, and tradeshow displays at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show. We are very proud that the work we created together over the years put Gilbarco in the fast lane and accelerated their business. But we are even prouder of the agency-client partnership we created. Now that is something to get really pumped about.

To see the rest of the 30 Best of Brogan, visit our original post in this series: Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising.


Weekly Recap - December 15, 2014

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

15 Social Media Companies To Watch In 2015
This was an exciting year for social.

Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook May Offer Something Beyond The Like Button (But Sorry, No Dislike Button)
For years, people on Facebook have wanted something more than the Like button to express their feelings about the posts they see on the social network.

12 Tips For Integrating Social Media Into Your Marketing Strategy
Social media is an increasingly important tactic in companies’ marketing strategy and yet results from The CMO Survey continue to indicate that many companies manage social media as a separate activity.

Brand And Marketing Trends for 2015
It’s been said that there are three kinds of marketers and how they deal with trends: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened!

Mobile to boost growth in global ad market over next four years
Mobile advertising will account for the vast majority of growth in the global ad market in the next four years, according to a report released by eMarketer.  


Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising: #27 Comcast.

Laurie Hix's picture

When Comcast moved into Michigan, it needed a high-speed kick start, so it hired Brogan. We got up to speed in no time and soon were also servicing another division of the company, Comcast Chicago. Over the years, working with both divisions we turned around a lot of great work in record time (no dial up, here!).

One of our favorite Comcast retail marketing campaigns was the Guru campaign. At the time, technology was changing rapidly and Comcast was on the forefront of developing new products and services (remember when no one knew what On-Demand was?). To appeal to tech early-adopters, we created a campaign centered around a wise and all-knowing Guru who pointed to path to enlightenment: of course, it was Comcast. The work moved beyond traditional mediums such as television, radio, print and outdoor to a microsite, online games, non-traditional outdoor, flash mobs and PR stunts.

It was more than a triple play. It was an integrated marketing home run. Looking back to the first time we were briefed about Comcast On-Demand, I had no idea how much I personally would come to depend on it. TV On-Demand? The Guru was right. It is the path to happiness.

To see the rest of the 30 Best of Brogan, visit our original post in this series: Celebrating 30 years of creative advertising.



5 types of online content people love to share, from BuzzFeed’s CEO

Steve St. Germain's picture

BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti recently shared his thoughts on increasing online content popularity over an Adcraft lunch in Detroit.  Of course, there are a number of factors that contribute to online sharing and driving clicks, but some key factors outweigh others.  So what are the most popular share statements; and which ultimately make us want to share with our social networks?  Marketers take note: 

5 popular content topics that drive social shares:

      1. Content as Identity.  People share content that is personal to them.

      2. Capturing the Moment.  Look what just happened!

      3. Cute Animals Deserve Respect.  Cat GIFs are popular for a reason.

      4. Humor is Inherently Social.  Who doesn’t love a good laugh?

      5. Human Rights Issues.  Let’s talk about things that matter.

Context is also important, particularly location and regional identity.  It’s the idea that posting a video of a local landmark is more likely to gain interest or spark engagement among those who live near it.
The same type of notion could also be applied to branded content. The most difficult part (and what brands often struggle with) is making that connection.  Understanding what your audience cares about and aligning that with your message is one of the simplest formulas for creating effective content that spreads.
social content strategy

There's no place like the "the Feed."

Another interesting and very future-facing perspective is that new media, “the feed” in particular, is a place where consumers increasingly seek refuge and comfort. Think about it. Newsfeed algorithms are looking at your online habits, at your every click, factoring in the time of day and what you’ve missed.  The purpose?  Serving up fresh, delicious content that entertains and make you happy.
Online actions will continue to evolve over time.  And as new online services emerge, people will find new reasons and new motivations for sharing.  The key is to continually listen to your consumers online, note their interests and social habits then develop content that best reflects their tastes.
Today, 75 percent of users who visit BuzzFeed come to the site looking for something to share—a statistic that helps illustrate why the site has become a premier destination.  BuzzFeed now finds itself among the top 25 online properties in the U.S., surpassing a handful of even the most longstanding news entities. 
The 700-person company now houses its own dedicated news division, complete with a staff of tenured journalists and reporters who are breaking stories and actually scooping other newsrooms.  Not to mention, they’ve built out a new experimental creative warehouse in L.A. dedicated to video, allowing creators to come from all over and “try something new.” BuzzFeed is now serving up more than 500MM monthly video views, half of which occur on mobile.

Before BuzzFeed, there was the NY rejection line.

During his presentation, Peretti was lighthearted, funny—downright hilarious at times.  About 20 minutes in, I realized that the success of BuzzFeed was no accident.  Unlike its famous listicles, it wasn’t some overnight sensation.  Peretti has been at this a long time.  At 40, Peretti is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab with a deep understanding of new media and how it’s able to spread.
He spoke of a past side project, the NY Rejection Line that he and his sister, comedian Chelsea Peretti, created in 2000. It was a number phone number you could give away at the bar to someone you preferred not to see again. The Rejection Line was one of the Internet’s first viral successes, spreading wildly via email in six months, even landing on CNN.  This eventually spurred Peretti to coin the term “contagious media.”
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