Guided Search: A Pinteresting way to aid your searches and your emotions.

Maila Kue's picture

It wasn’t long before Pinterest became one of the most popular websites. In fact, it holds the record for breaking the 10 million unique visitor mark faster than any other site in history (Techcrunch). With the recent launch of Pinterest’s new Guided Search function, which narrows your search into specific categories, the website makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for – without eliminating the element of discovery. The Pinterest blog writes, “Search engines are great for answering specific questions…but Pinterest can help with the questions that have more than one right answer…It’s made for exploring, whether you know exactly what you want, or you’re just starting to look around” (Pinterest).

Pinterest promoted this feature through a series of creative online videos – with an introduction spot titled “Introducing Guided Search.” The spot captures different stories of individuals who use the Guided Search function to answer their questions. What recipe should we use?  What kind of running gear should I buy? How should I trim my beard?

However, Pinterest chooses to answer these questions with very little dialogue. The silence leaves room for the spot to visually capture the mood behind our moments of discovery. This strategy immediately appeals to our emotions. Our attention isn’t so much on the logistics of the new Guided Search function. But rather, it turns our attention back to our emotions as it captures feelings of inspiration (to get fit), curiosity (to explore), and intimacy (with our father) to name a few.

The Guided Search function is more than just a tool to simplify searches. Pinterest conveys that it’s not just about helping us find a good recipe and the perfect running shoes. It’s about telling the story of love through rainbow pancakes and accomplishment as we run another mile. Pinterest becomes the platform that guides our most intimate moments of curiosity. It allows us to get lost in our journey of discovery with the promise that it’ll lead us to find exactly what we need. And whether or not we know what it is that we’re looking for, our curiosity will leave us feeling inspired.



As a creative, I am always seeking to create marketing that emotionally engages. What are your thoughts on Pinterest’s “Introducing Guided Search” video? 


The weekly recap - May 5, 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.

Snapchat for ... Marketing? What the Curious Should Know.
If you'd like to explore Snapchat for marketing, this post should give you a rundown of everything you need to know.

Samsonite's Brand Strategy: 'The Product Is the Hero'
Samsonite products have been charged by a bull, caught in revolving doors, tossed out of cabs and mauled by the entire Pittsburgh Steelers football team.

Want to Shop on Twitter? Amazon Has a Hashtag for That
Amazon has made a mission of cutting the time between “want” and “own” through various innovations, such as the 1-click purchase option and Amazon Dash.

Here Are the 10 Brands Moms Like Most Right Now
The research firm polled about 5,000 mothers in April to better understand which of 1,250 leading brands they favored, cross-referencing this data with the preferences of all consumers polled during the same 30-day period.

4 Hacks You Should Know Before You Craft Your Next Email Subject Line
Every day people are flooded with emails they must decide to open or ignore.


Slim. Charged. Ready to go. Are electronic cigarette ads targeting kids?

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

Growing up in the 70s, I was surrounded by smokers. Dad smoked. Mom smoked. Teachers. Priests. People on TV. People in office buildings. Doctors. Even Wilma Flintstone smoked.

So, kids openly pretended to smoke. How else could one make-believe if our characters weren’t believable, complete with a burning accessory? Every doctor, veterinarian, secretary, homemaker, firefighter and bus driver we imagined had a cigarette perched in her mouth or tucked between her fingers, occasionally tapping out the ashes for dramatic effect.

Sometimes we’d score candy cigarettes. Those little packs of sugar sticks made our scenes sing, punctuated with little powdered sugar clouds. We felt like John Wayne on the set of True Grit.

Cigarette consumption consumed us all. That’s why it’s taken more than four decades of regulations, taxes, public policy, public ridicule and clever social marketing campaigns to inspire consumers do something else with our hands, and give kids something better to emulate (texting?). In fact, cigarette smoking didn’t stop being cool until 2012 (Reuters), as evidenced by the record decline in teen smoking.

Now teens are just pretending to smoke, vaping electronic cigarettes at a rate of one in 10 (Centers for Disease Control). And while e-cigarettes may taste like gummy bears, chocolate and cherry, they’re not made of candy. They’re made of nicotine, which can come from tobacco.

Chocolate flavored cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine to the user as a vapor. They are usually battery-operated and come with a replaceable cartridge that contains liquid nicotine. When heated, the liquid in the cartridge turns into a vapor that's inhaled. Teen-friendly flavors add to the allure.

They’ve been on the market for about a decade, but it wasn’t until 2013 that manufacturers opened the advertising floodgates on broadcast TV, complete with rugged actors and hot models reminiscent of tobacco advertising lore. Yesterday John Wayne, today Stephen Dorff.

Electronic cigarette producers have become increasingly brazen in their advertising, employing old school tobacco ad tactics to attract new consumers—largely school-age consumers, critics argue. The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition this year featured the toned torso of a bikini bottomed model, her navel and bathing suit branded with Blu e-cigarette’s logo. The copy reads “Slim. Charged. Ready to go.” Talk about teen spirit.

The Food and Drug Administration is not entertained. The FDA recently proposed new rules that would give the regulator power to oversee the increasingly popular devices, as it does traditional cigarettes. The rules would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors and regulate the amount nicotine in the devices.

"This proposed rule is the latest step in our efforts to make the next generation tobacco-free," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. According to the FDA, much is still unknown about the effects of e-cigarettes, including whether they could be a gateway to smoking.

Electronic cigarette ads threatening decades of social marketing progress?

A JAMA Pediatrics study found that adolescents who have smoked and also used electronic cigarettes were less likely to have given up smoking than those who didn't use e-cigarettes. The authors concluded that the use of electronic cigarettes doesn't discourage, and may encourage, conventional cigarette use among kids.

Electronic cigarette proponents say that vaping is harmless and helps smokers kick the habit. My 13-year-old son backs this up, citing his sixth-grade health class. He remembers them being ranked with nicotine patches and nicotine gum as a viable way to quit smoking.

The FDA has only begun to take formal action toward regulating electronic cigarettes, initiating a public comment period whereby all interested parties—including the companies and public health advocates—can register their opinions. It may take years before the new rules take effect.

Meanwhile, expect electronic cigarette advertising to heat up as competitors vie for lucrative market share. In 2013, annual sales were more than $1.7 billion. Both Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris USA, and R.J. Reynolds plan to start national marketing campaigns for their electronic cigarettes later this year, according to the New York Times.

Of the five kids in my family, three of us would become smokers. Blame it on the ads. Blame it on our role models. Blame it on those sweet little candy cigarettes. They’re terrible odds, unless you’re betting on cigarettes—electronic or otherwise.

At Brogan & Partners, we’re betting electronic cigarettes have a future in social marketing.

Let us know what you think. Join our informal panel, Brogan Talks to Women, and take our short survey about electronic cigarette advertising. Your participation is strictly confidential and you could win a gift certificate just for taking the survey.  


Time for your hospital to get a responsive website? New panel results say yes!

Julia Mastropaolo's picture

If you’re in the healthcare marketing world, I’ll wager you’ve heard this stat a multitude of times via a plenitude of forums: 72% of Internet users say they looked online for health information in the past year.* It stands to reason that they’d also value easy viewing of hospital websites from their mobile phone. We checked with our Brogan Talks to Women online survey panel to verify this hunch and found that ¾ of our 105 respondents felt it was at least somewhat, if not very, important for a hospital to have a mobile-friendly (responsive) website.

While we were at it, we asked a few other questions (couldn’t help ourselves) which revealed some information worth sharing. The highest rated selection factor for choosing a hospital among our panel was not a doctor referral, but expertise in a specific illness, followed by reputation. This warrants hospitals communicating with the female healthcare decisionmaker about those clinical areas of expertise that set them apart, under a consistent brand umbrella.  We know that healthcare consumerism means women (mostly Gen X and Millenials) are online learning about specific programs, physicians, ratings, outcomes, etc. to determine where they and their family members should obtain healthcare for specific illnesses.

When queried about the specific area of orthopedics, our panel says they want “highly-trained, board certified orthopedists” above all else. A “comprehensive center with a range of services” would be to their liking as well. They’d most appreciate finding information on the website about the orthopedists and procedures, noting that patient testimonials and physician videos about the orthopedic care would be of value. This is not surprising since mobile video viewing is predicted to reach 50% of all online viewing by 2016.*

Our panel gives us an informal, topline pulse on how women are thinking and behaving. These healthcare snippets fuel further strategizing and querying with our clients. Did you find any of our panel results helpful or surprising?

*Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 2013


Three things I learned having breakfast with Sheryl Sandberg today.

Laurie Hix's picture

It’s not every day, a female trailblazer like Sheryl Sandberg comes to town. As a leader at an ad agency that specializes in marketing to women and social media, I was excited to hear the Facebook COO speak to the Detroit advertising community at an Adcraft breakfast today.

She gave a great speech, filled with personal anecdotes, that was appropriately tailored to the Motor City audience and marketing crowd. But my favorite part was what the author of the bestseller, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, said in the Q&A.

As she answered questions about balancing being an entrepreneur, raising a family and what we can do to create more female leaders, it is there she shined. And I was inspired.

Here are the three pieces of leadership advice she would pass on to women. First, acknowledge there are gender differences. Women are often wrongly labeled as whiny, looking to get special treatment or about to sue. Biases exist. For example, she says if a woman and a man’s performance are the same, the man will get more credit. This is because a man usually attributes success to himself, but a woman will attribute it to hard work, team collaboration and a bit of luck. Second, once you accept those differences, you need to adjust. Invite more women to the table to close the leadership gap. Third, encourage girls at a young age. While little boys can be labeled as leaders, little girls can be labeled bossy. She says recognize that those little girls are demonstrating “executive leadership skills.” I especially loved the part of her speech, because it showed her humility. Even though she is so accomplished (went to Harvard for undergrad and MBA, worked as an economist at the World Bank, worked at Google, now COO at Facebook, and sits on the Board of Directors for Walt Disney), she openly admits she struggles with self-confidence at times and recognizes that this is ironic, considering she just wrote a book telling women to believe in themselves.

I came back to the office and Sheryl is everywhere I look now. She just wrote an article on Beyonce for Time. And now I am obsessed googling her appearances like this Ted Talk where she addresses why we have too few women leaders.  Today, Sheryl had the podium in Detroit, but every day she has a much larger one that she is using to inspire other women to lean in and make a difference. In fact, even though she is a few years younger than me, I think I want to be Sheryl Sandberg when I grow up.

What do you think of Sheryl Sandberg and her ideas about women in the workplace? I’d love to get your insights.


The weekly recap - April 28, 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

Simple Inbound Business Mantras to Memorize and Live By
What is inbound all about? Not just inbound marketing but inbound sales and

YouTube Will Let Brands Target Top 5% of Its Videos
YouTube is attempting to assuage advertiser concerns about showing up next to poor content by rolling out Google Preferred.

Clippers Try to Repair Brand With 'We Are One'
Marketers for the basketball franchise are already trying to put their brand back together again.

The 7 Musts of Customer Service on Social Media
Social media has enabled both consumers and brands to have a shared voice and interact on a public stage.

Not Generating Enough Leads From Your Website? Here Are 7 Easy Fixes
In order to build a robust database of leads for you or your sales team that you can reach out to at any time, you need to get people to sign up for something on your website. But there are certain mistakes you might be making that are keeping people from signing up.


The weekly recap - April 21, 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.

Facebook Launches a Newswire to Surface More Breaking News
Facebook wants to be your digital newspaper, and it's not beating around the bush to make that happen.

LinkedIn Opens Ad Platform
LinkedIn is opening its ad business with two new offerings.

75% Of Mobile Video Ads Happen In-App
Study also finds that shorter, non-skippable spots excel.

NYPD's Feel-Good Twitter Attempt Goes Awry
Photo contest backfires.

As seen on TV: Insurance purchase takes 15 minutes or less!
Property and casualty insurance is complicated, serious and pricey.

The 3 C's of Content Marketing
It’s not easy creating content for a brand.


Twitter has made big changes. Have you seen them?

Kaitlynn Knopp's picture

In an effort to keep up with its social competitors, Twitter has redesigned its layout with a focus on visuals. Big visuals.

Art directors will remember that the old profile picture measured 80x80 pixels with its header photo measuring 520x260 pixels. The recommended dimensions for the new Twitter’s profile pictures are 400x400 pixels and 1500x500 pixels for header photos. That’s more than 2x the original size.

To accommodate the new visuals, Twitter now has the header photo span full-width across the page and places the profile picture in the bottom left portion of it—similar to Facebook. The Twitter background, however, will stay the same—same size, same placement, same options.

In keeping with the goal—going big—tweets will now grow in size depending on popularity. A tweet with no interaction will display at a normal size while a tweet with six retweets and four favorites will be considerably larger—making your best content easy to find.

Users also have the option to pin a tweet to their profile page. When other users visit their page, it will be the first tweet they see. This tweet is of course interchangeable, and can be easily replaced.

Twitter's following and followers lists are also noticeably different. Instead of an actual list, users will now see everything about their following and followers in a visual, almost Pinterest-esque way. While scrolling through followers, users will see everyone’s profile picture, header photo, name, Twitter handle, bio and a follow button.

Users were able to officially switch to the new layout on April 22.

What are your thoughts on the new Twitter? 


How’s Married Life? Are you ready to have a baby?

Lauren Zuzelski's picture

When I got married 5 years ago, it didn’t take long to start getting that common question, “So when are you going to have a baby?”  I’m sure all married women (and men) have experienced the same thing. It’s no surprise though, who doesn’t love having a new baby in the family?

When our client, Covenant HealthCare, charged us with developing a comprehensive healthcare marketing campaign for their maternity services, we couldn’t resist exploring this theme. They were recently named America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics and they have always been well known and respected in the market for maternity services but had not employed mass communication to share this information.

The goal of the campaign was to increase awareness of Covenant HealthCare as the safest, most trusted place to have a baby in the Great Lakes Bay Region and ultimately get their target audience (women 18-34) to visit the web page to learn more about their maternity services while also having the option of finding an OB.

We knew humor would be a great approach to connect with our target audience. Take a look at our newest TV spot.

My grandmother barely waited for our ceremony to end to ask that question. What about you?


As seen on TV: Insurance purchase takes 15 minutes or less!

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

Property and casualty insurance is complicated, serious and pricey. It’s also intangible. Policies don’t instantly make life easier, prettier or more comfortable. But insurance is critical for anyone who owns a car, home, business or anything of significant market value. Without it, you risk losing everything to chance.

Then how did a gecko get the job of marketing one of the nation’s largest insurance companies? And a toothy, apron-clad, retro-perkster become the public face of another?

Because insurance is complicated, serious and pricey. And it’s highly competitive.

To create consumer preference, or at the very least, consideration, insurance carriers have adopted unique and unconventional brand personalities. Here a pig, there a duck everywhere a cave man.

And to make it easier for consumers to shop and compare—particularly with the increasing popularity of Internet commerce—insurance has become commoditized, stuffed in boxes and marked down 15 percent. I’ll take the one with a single-family dwelling, no pool, two sedans and a crossover, plus one recreational boat and a teenage driver, please.

Except it’s not that simple. Insurance policies are as unique as the families they cover. It’s a high-involvement purchase decision that takes more than a price gun and the time investment of a coffee break. It requires a conversation. And more often, several conversations.

This little lady went to market, armed with research

In a recent Brogan Talks to Women survey, 72 percent of respondents said they consulted with a family member or friend before making an insurance policy decision. Of the 127 people who responded to the informal survey, 34 percent had consulted with an insurance agent, 17 percent sought the recommendation of an association or club and 16 percent researched industry ratings.

Price was selected most among important factors influencing purchase (73 percent), with “trusted brand” ranked as second most important (55 percent), followed by “fast, fair claims service” (28 percent), “consistent, stable premium history,” (28 percent) and “my agent’s advice” (25 percent). In fact, 68 percent of those surveyed still work directly with an insurance agent.

The majority of those surveyed—72 percent—have remained loyal to their carrier for at least the last three years, and 47 percent have not switched carriers in more than six years. That jibes with a 2011 Deloitte Research survey of auto and homeowner insurance policyholders.

The online survey of 1,080 policyholders found nearly a quarter said they never shop for alternatives to auto insurance, and 27 percent said they never shop for a new homeowners policy at renewal. The Insurance Information Institute says only about one in 10 drivers actually switch policies annually, a level that's been consistent for a decade—even with the big ad push over the last decade plus.

Such loyalty is notable considering more than $6 billion was spent on advertising for automotive insurance alone in 2012 (Wall Street Journal). Geico, Progressive, State Farm and Allstate now rank among the nation’s 20-most advertised brands, outspending popular consumer-product giants such as Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Home Depot, according to USA Today.

There’s nothing like a pig flying along a zipline to jazz up an insurance pitch, especially when sweetened with a honey-glazed discount. It’s funny. It’s share-worthy. But it doesn’t send me to the market to come all the way home with a new policy. What about you?


The weekly recap - April 14, 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.

How Big Advertisers Are Using Next-Gen Messaging Apps Snapchat, Kik, Tango, Line and WeChat
IPG Media Labs Offers Tips For Marketers Aiming to Cash In On Mobile Messaging.

Brands Need to Stop Trying to Play Hero
The goal should be participation.

Don't Count Out Email Newsletters
Loyalty and premium ad dollars still make the medium lucrative.

Keeping Your Company/Product a Secret Could be the Secret to Creating a Viral Video
For a brilliant example of this approach, check out World’s Toughest Job, which immediately went viral upon its release on Monday.

A Guide to the Best Times to Post on Social Media (Infographic)
Do you post social-media updates when your audience has the highest chance of seeing them, or just whenever you think of it or happen to have a free minute?


Keeping Your Company/Product a Secret Could be the Secret to Creating a Viral Video

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Everybody in advertising has heard this one: “Can you make a video about our product? And by the way, we want it to go viral!” Alas, the surest way to fail at making a viral video is to try to make a viral video.

That said, I have seen a trend in some recent blockbuster vids that’s worth noting: the spots all give their products the softest of sells. In fact, the name of the company is usually not mentioned until the video’s last seconds. You could call it a surprise ending.  

For a brilliant example of this approach, check out World’s Toughest Job, which immediately went viral upon its release on Monday.

In the four-minute video, a diverse group of gobsmacked job applicants interview for an “insane, unpaid, 24/7 job. The punchline? This is a job that billions of women do every day.

The job is being a mom.

After the applicants (and the viewers) dissolve into tears, we see a caption: “This Mother’s Day, you might want to make her a card.”

Only then, over quietly touching piano plinks, comes the sell: “Visit”  

P&G employed the same subtlety in its 2012 Thank You Mom and 2014 Pick Them Back UP Olympic spots. Those tearjerkers briefly featured moms at work in their laundry rooms and babies toddling around in diapers, but not until the very end of the videos did you learn who was behind them.

And when that P&G logo did appear? It was next to a humble expression of gratitude: “Thank you, Mom.”

P&G’s 2012 spot won an Emmy. It was also a boon to the companys bottom line, according to an Ogilvy case study. It was the strongest Olympic sponsor ad measured and its performance was 40 percent stronger than P&G’s ads during the Vancouver Olympics.

It’s too early to gauge the impact that World’s Toughest Job will have on its company—American Greetings. But it’s impossible to imagine, after more than seven million views, that won’t see an uptick in sales.

This kind of spot makes a big impression on those of us in advertising and marketing as well. It shows us one truth about videos: The ones that sell to a viral degree are the ones that don’t sell. This was also famously illustrated a few weeks ago with First Kiss. That video’s product—Wren clothing—was so subtly presented that at first, none of the entranced viewers even recognized that it was an ad.

I love this notion of selling a product or company by focusing on characters; on story. In the spot, that company may look like an afterthought. But for consumers, sensitive storytelling and humility are likely to make a more profound impact than a hard sell.



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