Last fall we mentioned the latest social craze – Pinterest – and how users are pinning anything and everything from food to fashion and beyond. Back then, the majority of user accounts were created by individuals looking to organize their thoughts and ideas in a visually appealing way where they were easily accessible at a later date. But, in the past six months, we’ve seen a shift and numerous brand pages have popped up on Pinterest, hoping to capitalize on this new social medium and engage with their brand advocates in a new and exciting space.
Right now, brand pages function in the same way as any other users’ page. There is no special functionality for brands. However, this does not mean that brands have not thought of innovative ways to set themselves apart on this new channel. In fact, I have seen many brands promoting unique contests and sweepstakes, creating innovative collaborative boards and utilizing their boards to tell the story of the brand. Below, I’ve selected a few brands that are good models for other brands to reference if they are hoping to join and become active on Pinterest.
This car company is hosting a creative Pinterest puzzle contest.
Users have to locate each of the puzzle pieces around the website and/or Facebook page and pin them to a board that they create on their individual Pinterest account. Once the board is completed and organized correctly, users must share the board with Peugeot. The first five people to complete each board win the contest.
Dunkin’ Donuts is a great example of a retail brand that’s utilizing the channel in a way that is interesting for the users. Their boards include photos of Dunkin’ Donuts and their products around the world, some history and what “keeps them running”. They also feature a cool collaboration board, called What are you Drinkin’, that features quotes from actual fans. This is a unique way to show brand advocates that they are listening and incorporating their thoughts into the brand image.
Peapod Delivers is a company that delivers groceries throughout the United States. They have created a very unique Pinterest page with numerous boards ranging from recipes, to healthy living tips, to holiday and event specific ideas, to causes they love (centered on food). Overall they do a great job of capturing the brand’s lifestyle and culture, giving users a reason to follow their boards without constantly pushing their service. One board that caught my eye was the Delivery Trucks board that tracks the delivery truck as it travels to different states. I thought this was a fun way to engage users so that they can follow along with where the truck has been.
What other brands have you seen on Pinterest? Have you seen brands with any unique boards or promotions? Stay tuned for more blog posts to come on Pinterest strategy and best practices.
Every year, Brogan & Partners and Ignite Social Media go on an annual Mystery Trip. The tradition began in 1995 as a perk to create a happy work environment and as a bonding experience among employees. The first Mystery Trip was Chicago and the agency traveled by bus, shared beds and kept it simple. Since then, the trips have evolved and become a little more sophisticated.
Here’s how it works….there are only a select few who actually know where we are going. These people plan for months in advance. They coordinate flights, hotels, group activities and group dinners. All of this planning stays under wraps until clues are sent to our emails at random times. The clues can throw you for a massive loop or can trigger your inner Sherlock Holmes. There have been several occasions where a Mystery Tripper has packed summer gear and the actual destination was cold and rainy, the complete opposite has also happened.
I personally have been around for nine trips. Since I started in 2001 we’ve been to places such as Bahamas, San Antonio, Iceland, Amsterdam, Washington D.C., Miami, Chicago and Jamaica.
2012 was no different than the previous years. We were given those taunting, mind-boggling clues which included pictures of: Ron Burgundy (from Anchorman), Trent or Vince Vaughn (from Swingers) and Kermit the Frog.
And where did we end up? New Orleans or as the natives say N’awlins, The Big Easy.
This year was unique in itself because we had a ton of new employees and everyone is getting to know each other. This past weekend, the Mystery Trip came full circle, and was truly a bonding event. We shared such great experiences that included sightseeing (or gawking) on Bourbon Street, listening to jazz tunes on Frenchman Street, eating great Cajun food and feeding gators on the bayou.
The tradition of the Brogan/Ignite Mystery Trip is one of the greatest perks a business could give its employees. Where do you think we should go next?
I stared at two pairs of wedges for about twenty minutes unable to decide which to buy until a woman came up behind me and said, “Definitely go with the yellow.” That’s exactly what I needed and what most women want while shopping - a reassurance that they are making the right decision.
Surprisingly, Facebook is here to help. According to Mashable, in Brazil, the social media powerhouse is unleashing a program that puts Facebook likes on the top of hangers in the fashion retail store, C&A. Every time someone likes a product in C&A’s online store, the number on the physical hanger goes up.
This is a win for all types of shoppers. If you want what’s popular, you can pick up a hanger with a ton of likes. If you like to be different, you can go for something with less online prevalence. You no longer have to feel anxious shopping on your own.
You can see social media being integrated into the real world all over the place now. There have been plenty of online campaigns where people vote online for a new clothing design and the winners are produced and sold. One of our favorite examples is Bobbi Brown bringing back lipstick shades on Facebook.
What do you think about social media entering your everyday world outside of the internet? Do you think this is an effective way to market to women or is Facebook out of place?
You’d think in an era of social networking, it would be easier to find a job. But I meet young people all the time struggling to find where they fit in and how to get their foot in the door. And I remember those days at the University of Notre Dame, when I decided I wanted to be a copywriter, searching through the Agency Red Book, trying to get internships, mailing clever things to agencies to get their attention. So here are 10 helpful tips that I have to pass on to aspiring agency creatives.
- Be creative. If you want a job in creative, do not follow a so-called professional resume format. I have seen resumes on paper napkins and on video. Be different if you want to break through.
- Study award-winning campaigns. Get award books like the One Show, Archive, and Communication Arts Advertising Annuals. While you can find great award-winning creative online at places like Ads of the World, I think buying old versions of these books on Amazon.com is a great thing to have, to understand what makes a campaign and what makes it great.
- Learn the business. Seek opportunities (in class and out) to learn the business and add to your portfolio. Invent clients, do spec or do real ads for families and friends. The best way to get hired is to have a great book!
- Intern. Intern. Intern. I had two internships before I landed a full-time job. So pursue internships whether free or paid—but only at places where you like the work they do and know you can learn from their talent. Agencies like to try before they buy. An internship at your dream agency could lead to a better future than one at a mediocre one.
- Choose wisely. Big agencies are a great place to start as they hire more people more often. But at a mid-size shop like ours an intern could do web ads, social media, radio and get a shot at TV. Think about what fits you and your career goals.
- Brand yourself. Make your own brand speak uniquely through your website, business card, resume and guerilla. And be consistent with that unique quality that differentiates you from the pool of other aspiring creative. I have sent funny things to agencies over the years to get noticed. Attach a web video to your resume. Or try snail mail because in the digital world it’s a better way to break through and be noticed.
- Understand it’s not about you. It’s about what you can do for an agency. So research different agencies online and through the Agency Red Book at the library so you can talk intelligently at interviews and show them how you could move their business forward.
- Be patient and persistent. Understand Creative Directors and Creative Recruiters are busy. If they don’t get back to you, it’s most likely because it’s not a priority to them at that time. Find the Associate Creative Director or a Senior Copywriter or Art Director to glean info from. Any connection that can give you insight. Name drop their name (“So and so said to call you”) to get you to that next level. Stay visible so when they do need to hire, you make the list.
- Network. Join ad clubs. Freelance for local chambers of commerce. Friend people you admire on LinkedIn. Blog. Vlog. Increase your SEO. No contact is ever wasted.
- Stay positive! It takes time to get with the agencies you really admire but persistence eventually will pay off.
Those are the real secrets to getting a job in advertising as a creative. Take it from me, the school of life is more educating than even the best universities. Let me know if this helps. Or if there are any other tips that a young creative should try. Best of luck to you!
Memorial Hermann will be doing more than putting pins in patients today. They will be pinning a live brain tumor resection. Brain surgery on Pinterest? Yep. I'm not sure if it's the right social platform - it's not where I'd go to get up to speed on leading brain surgery centers - but it's certainly innovative. As is the hospital's social media machine.
This Texas hospital performed the world's first live-tweeted open heart surgery a few weeks back. When this reaped 125 million views via Twitter, Storify and media coverage, they decided to go for it again. Adding in Pinterest.
Today's brain surgery will be performed by Dr. Dong Kim, the surgeon who operated on former congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. While surgeries have been tweeted in the past, this will be the first to share the feed from the surgeon's fiber optic microscope. Real time pics and videos will be posted on Twitter, YouTube and Storify.
According to Nielson @Plan, homemakers index 204 on Pinterest, meaning they are 104 times more likely to be on this site. So Pinterest definitely reaches the female healthcare decisionmaker. But will she want to look at photos of brain surgery while hunting for recipes and fashion tips?
(Image from IdeaStream.com)
Time will tell. I think one thing's for sure. Memorial Hermann is living up to its themeline of "100 Years of Patient-Centered Care and Innovation." Not only with its team of expert docs, but its team of social media experts.
What do you think of surgeries on Pinterest? Is it over the top? Or is this hospital ahead of the curve?
You can probably tell that we’re big Target fans here at Brogan & Partners. Forgive me for visiting the subject once again, but Target keeps stepping up its game, especially when it comes to marketing to women. I just can’t ignore it.
Their latest bit of brilliance? The Shops at Target. These are five actual “Main Street” type of shops—from a Boston dog bakery to an Aspen cosmetics boutique—that will be reproduced in Target stores.
I can’t tell you yet if I love the shops themselves. They don’t debut until Sunday, May 6th, but I already know the online marketing is breaking new ground for the store.
The Shops part of the website, on the other hand, looks completely different.
It starts with a chic storefront window that you really want to peek through. Then the page for each shop features the brick-and-mortar version’s colors, fonts, and vibe. The page for the Miami clothing boutique, The Webster, for instance, is sexy and lit up in neon. Privet House’s page evokes the cozy Connecticut housewares store with a fresh, green color and a romantic tree.
Here’s the best part: there’s a short documentary film about each shop. The videos are sweet, slickly produced, accompanied by jaunty xylophone music, and narrated completely by the shops’ owners, with whom we’re on a first-name-only basis.
“When people walk into Target and see our collection,” says Diane, co-owner of The Candy Store, “you’re going to feel like you’ve walked into our small store in this little neighborhood in San Francisco.”
Her other half, Brian, adds, “We want to bring a little piece of the boutique experience to Target.”
In other words, Target is letting us know: We know you’d rather shop local. We know you’d rather have unique, boutique goods, rather than Big Box ones. We also know that’s hard to do if you live in a distant suburb or you don’t have the time or money for boutique browsing. So we’re giving you with the next best thing.
With their adorable online presentation at least, I think Target is doing a pretty good job of it.
What do you think of Target’s new marketing approach?
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.