While driving to my daughter’s martial arts class this week, a bold, new sign on an old downtown fixture caught my attention: Vibe Credit Union.
The credit union formerly known as Telcom has joined the ranks of the newly rebranded. Like the hundreds of credit unions that preceded Vibe, the credit union shed its namesake for the sake of growth.
Telcom Credit Union dates back to 1936 when it was formed by a group of employees at Michigan Bell Telephone Company in Detroit. At the time, membership was restricted to employees and their families. Today, Vibe Credit Union is open to virtually anyone, thanks to a clever cause marketing relationship with the Salvation Army.
Still, “Telcom” doesn’t exactly translate as “welcome all” in consumer speak. And in a market where consumers are already tripped up over the word “union,” credit unions must take great pains to clear all potential barriers to entry. It’s the same reason T&C Federal Credit Union opted for Genisys, Communications Family assumed Wildfire, Royal Oakland is Our Credit Union, EECU became Michigan Community Credit Union, Metro changed to Extra…
Changing markets and repositioning alone build a credible argument for rebranding. The challenge is to craft a new moniker that fits the bill—ideally a name that maximizes existing brand equity, is progressive, and hasn’t already been claimed (i.e. anything with “Trust,” “Financial,” “Lakes,” “Michigan,” “Lake Michigan,” etc.)
Vibe has covered all three bases, according to the FAQ page on its website. The new name pays homage to its roots, while embracing an increasingly technology-based personal banking environment and altogether different generation of customers. And it’s the first credit union to become Vibe Anything, or Anything Vibe.
The most difficult work is now underway, integrating the credit union’s key attributes to create a brand proposition that resonates with new consumers without alienating its current, loyal base. Is the new brand too irreverent? Too nontraditional? Too disco? Will consumers catch the Vibe or tune it out?
Yesterday I was able to watch the live conference at which Facebook announced that it is revamping the News Feed. Zuckerberg explained that 50% of content in the average user’s News Feed is compiled of photos and videos since the launch of timeline in late 2011. Also important for brands to note, he mentioned that the amount of content from Facebook brand pages appearing in users’ News Feeds has also increased and that 25% of News Feed content is brand content.
Zuckerberg continued on to say that how users are sharing content is changing and that the Facebook News Feed needs to evolve as well. With that he introduced the three major components of the new News Feed that is “designed to reflect the evolving face of the News Feed”:
- Rich Stories
- Choice of Feeds
- Mobile Consistency
Facebook gives you a sneak peek of the new News Feed here.
Basically the News Feed will focus on stories and will become more visual with larger images that will be front and center. This goes for sharing individual photos as well as photo albums. This also means that articles and attachments will feature a larger image, more prominent title, longer summary and the logo of publisher in corner.
*Before and After shot courtesy of Business Insider
When users check in or tag a place in your status update, the new News Feed will give the place more prominence by including a map and image. And when users post 3rd party content, or post new events, the content will be more visual to reflect the beauty of the images and to align with the visual nature of sites like Pinterest and Instagram.
*Photo from Facebook
Have you ever logged into Facebook and noticed that multiple friends like a story/ link/ etc.? Well now Facebook will make these stories visually prominent in the News Feed, with the profile pictures of your friends who have liked/ shared the content on left-hand side. If you hover over the image you can see what each friend said.
Choice of Feeds
The Facebook team also announced that there will be new options for the New Feed. These options will include:
*Photo from Facebook
- Friend Feed- All of the posts from our friends will be in one place in chronological order.
- Music Feed – Posts from our favorite musicians, info about concerts happening near us, news about albums that have recently been released and the music that our friends are listening to will show up in this feed.
- Photos Feed – Every photo that our friends and pages that we follow have posted will appear in this feed.
- Following Feed – All of the posts from pages and public figures that we follow will appear in one place in chronological order.
- Most Recent Feed– This feed shows every single action from all of our friends and all of the pages we like.
- Close Friends Feed – This will stay the same and will feature posts from those we have designated as our close friends.
- Games Feed – This will stay the same and will feature posts/ updates from the games that we play.
All of the feeds will be sorted in a list by how often we use them, with the most frequently used feeds appearing at the top.
Finally, the Facebook interface will be consistent across all screens – desktop, tablet and mobile. The “New Story Bubble” will be making an appearance in the web experience as we currently see it on the tablet and mobile interfaces. This will allow users to jump right to the latest stories.
*Photo from Facebook
The new interface will appear on tablets and mobile devices sooner than it will appear on desktops. Facebook is planning to test it amongst a small group of users, work our the kinks and then roll it our to everyone later in the year.
What are your thoughts on the new News Feed? Do you think it will make the Facebook experience better for users?
Do the ads that play on Pandora while you listen to your favorite playlist pertain to products or brands you are likely to purchase? As advertisers, it’s our job to make sure our client’s ads are being served to the right people. Pandora is making this easier, as they just announced their integration with STRATA, Mediabank and Mediaocean, the advertising industry’s most popular media buying platforms. This means that radio buyers will be able to compare Pandora's audience data side-by-side with broadcast radio stations across the country and make more informed decisions about their media mix.
Thanks to Pandora, advertisers will now have a more complete representation of the radio industry that includes both broadcast and internet radio. Because of Pandora’s information gathering upon free registration (birth date, gender, zip code and music), advertisers can target who they want (whatever demo) and where they want (US, region, state, DMA, County, etc.).
Being able to reach a specific target is important, but we love when media platforms take it a step further. Pandora is the perfect tool for marketing to women because it allows users to create their own listening experience which establishes a positive and more personal relationship. Listeners are more likely to feel Pandora is innovative, provides a great experience, and even contributes to the happiness of their day-to-day lives. This translates to better ad receptivity with engaged listeners tuning in to the ads and feeling positively towards the brands. According to a study done by Added Value Research, 77% of Pandora users said that listening to Pandora always put them in a better mood. 67% said that Pandora has a positive impact on their day-to-day life.
Although there is and will always be a place for advertising on AM/FM radio, there is a strong opportunity to connect with highly engaged consumers in the Pandora environment. According to Nielsen @Plan, females 25-54 who listen to Pandora are 41% more likely to have shopped online for health insurance in the last 30 days than the general online 18+ population. Females 25-54 who listen to Pandora are also 36% more likely to be the primary grocery decision maker in the home. The Pandora space is filled with listening ears with buying power. So next time you are listening to your favorite play list, pay attention to the ads that are being served your way. Chances are, the products and brands that pop up on your screen are tailored just for you.
Have you ever purchased a product or brand after being emotionally engaged to it via Pandora?
By now you’ve heard about Twitter launching its API and have probably started looking into what that means for your brand.
We were pretty excited to hear about it from an agency perspective, so we did some digging and wanted to share some of the highlights that we found.
How does Twitter currently promote Tweets/ accounts?
As a quick review, let’s take a look at how Twitter currently analyzes which Tweets to promote. Once you send a Tweet organically to your followers, Twitter looks at how people are engaging with your recent Tweets to decide if they should be promoted or not. If the Tweet is receiving lots of engagement (i.e. Retweets, @ replies, favorites, etc.) then Twitter believes your tweet is interesting and relevant to users. By using special algorithms to select content, they will then promote it to a broader audience by simply making it appear in the feeds of your desired audience. Up to five Tweets may be promoted at one time from any given Twitter handle.
Promoted Tweet Example:
The same goes for Promoted Accounts – Twitter uses a similar algorithm to suggest accounts to follower based on a user’s list of people/ brands that they follow. Brands (or the agencies managing their accounts) will not need to worry about monitoring the Tweets and optimizing as is done with Facebook Engagement Ads.
Promoted Account Example:
What does the new Twitter API mean?
Currently anyone can advertise on Twitter by logging onto ads.twitter.com and setting up a credit card and a minimum budget. So, what does the new Twitter API mean for advertising? While any brand can take advantage of promoted tweets and promoted accounts, in order to use the new Twitter API, a brand needs to go through one of the five current partners - Adobe, HootSuite, Salesforce, SHIFT and TBG Digital. Agencies do not currently have direct access. GIGAOM reports that through these partners, brands will have the ability to target specific audiences and locations. Also, “brands will have the ability to manage their Tweets across multiple platforms and on a larger scale.”
How will this affect your brand?
According to Mashable, this will mostly make a big difference for big brands that are running huge campaigns because instead of having to manually send out different tweets based on the target demo, they can now automate the changes through one of the current partners.
For example, a brand/ agency can run a campaign that will serve different ads to a 25-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman without having to load multiple Tweets through Twitter.
In summary, the benefits of the new Twitter Ad Management features through the Twitter API are:
- The ability for brands/ agencies to quickly set advertising budgets and schedules.
- More options for targeting ads including: geo-targeting (location), interest groups, targeted device types (mobile) and other demographic info.
- The ease of managing Tweets across multiple platforms and on a larger scale.
Do you think the Twitter API will lead to an influx of Ads on Twitter?
It’s always been tough getting Medicaid moms to their prenatal and well–baby visits. Which is why UnitedHealth’s new game, called Baby Blocks, is a great idea. When moms attend prenatal and well-baby check-ups (which is easier said than done), they get to unlock “blocks” in the game. And voila, they are rewarded with gift cards for much-needed baby related stuff. Like maternity clothes, diaper bags and baby apparel. Pretty spot on for this younger, low-income, yet gaming-savvy, target. And it seems to be working, as 2296 members used the Baby Blocks pilot in 2012, logging 7098 prenatal appointments (an average of 3.1 prenatal blocks per member).
The rise of healthcare gamification can be attributed to the rise in smartphone and social media use and related desire for engagement. “Using motivational techniques from games is part of it, as is creating engaging experiences for people,” says Kevin Werbach, Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics. In the Pew Future of Gamification report, neuroscientists claim that "interactive design elements can cause feel-good chemical reactions and in certain situations can improve learning, participation and motivation."
That’s the intent behind HopeLab’s Re-Mission, a video game developed specifically for adolescents and young adults with cancer. Nanobot, Roxxi, travels through fictional cancer patients destroying cancer cells, battling infections and managing side effects associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Research shows the game has been an effective tool for young cancer patients, now distributed to over 185,000 patients worldwide.
A related tool worth applauding is the pain diary app, called The Pain Squad, developed by The Hospital for Sick Children. This innovation was designed to help pediatric cancer patients track and address their pain. How intense it is, how long it lasts, where it hurts, how it impacts their mood and daily activities, and what helps to treat it. Since inadequate assessment and patient reluctance to report pain are the biggest barriers in pain treatment, the goal is to make it easier for kids to track their symptoms by using technology that’s fun and familiar. And the hope is better pain management and quality of life for these youths.
It seems in many cases the ramification of gamification in healthcare is improved health status. Let us know if you have any favorite healthcare games or apps that are helping people.
Dr. Oz is all abuzz and excited about a health and wellness social media platform – Sharecare – that launched in 2010 by the founder of WebMD, saying it is the “Facebook of health information”.
Sharecare claims to be a social media platform that allows people to ask/learn and act upon question of health and wellness, creating an active community where knowledge is shared and put into practice. So, I decided to check it out to see if there was any truth to his claim.
I began my experience by asking a common health question:
I was surprised and impressed with the simple, easy to understand answers that could be filtered by contributor:
Within each answer, users can rate if they felt the answer was helpful. But, out of the 4 searches I did, no one had actually rated any of the answers.
I also noticed that many of the topics and questions that I searched came back with little or no answers.
I then tried the “experts and people” section:
You can search for experts, people or organizations. I began my search for an “expert” in family medicine in my zip code. My results were less than successful. While a lot of results appeared, none of them had actually been updated by the practice/doctor to include any information that would make my search easier. Instead, it was generic listings of family practice doctors. No reviews, no ratings, this was info I could have found simple by starting at Google.
The “topics” section kept giving me an error, so I was unable to review that.
The “videos” section also left much to be desired. It was confusing and seemed very generic. Even the categories available seemed limited.
Then I moved onto the Health Reference section – which to me was by far the most impressive section of the entire site.
You could easily search articles, research a drug, look of symptoms, browse treatment options, they even have a “pill identifier” if you don’t know what something is. I tried all of the searches out and was happy with the results.
Overall, my opinion stands that Sharecare had potential of making health information searches easy, but not with their limited network. They really need to do some heavy marketing and pitching to doctors/practices/etc. to expand their reach.
Also, based on the Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released their Health Online 2013 report, a lot of the facts support the fact that the direction of the social media platform may not be the best idea:
- 8 in 10 health inquiries start at a search engine, only 1% of people say they start their search on a social network.
- Only 1 in 5 internet users have consulted online reviews/rankings of health care services or treatments.
- People are less likely to post a review of a treatment/hospital/clinician, only 3-4% have done so.
What are your thoughts on Sharecare? Have you seen any other healthcare social media platforms that you think are worth sharing?
In my last blog I made mention of the “clueless husband” trope in TV ads. Upon closer examination I’ve noticed this cliché has become nearly an epidemic in television advertising to women. Men—or more specifically, husbands—use the blender with no lid, change their kid’s poopy diaper on the kitchen table, and generally behave like morons, while their long-suffering wives clean up after them with disinfectant wipes and paper towels. Check out the hilarious Sarah Haskins’ diatribe on “Doofy Husbands” for more examples. She astutely points out that while single men in TV commercials are still cool—driving hot cars, buying beer for sexy women in bars, working out at the gym—as soon as they get married, it’s all over.
While this portrayal of men can be funny (especially if you’re not a man), it demonstrates a lack of respect for women as well as men. It gives the impression that the only way to make women feel smart and competent is to make men dense and inept. This “if I make you less then I’m more” fallacy is the logic used by bullies everywhere. Most women I know don’t feel the need to bully men in order to feel that they are intelligent or capable. And research shows that the most effective marketing to women also appeals to men. Why do so many advertisers ignore this truth?
It’s not like men don’t notice. In fact, men are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. As described in this Huffington Post article men protested a 2012 TV campaign by Huggies in which the diaper company implied that allowing dads to be in charge of babies for an extended time would “put diapers to the test.” In other words, dads would let the babies’ diapers go without changing for a lot longer than moms. One man protesting the spots complained: “Get over the gender thing, will ya, Huggies? Because, as best as I can tell from all the comments you're ignoring on Facebook, most of us parents have been over the gender thing for years.”
Sounds like good advice for advertisers everywhere. What do you think? Is the portrayal of men in ads targeted at women unfair? Or is it justifiable payback for decades of vapid women on TV?
The battle of the bulge has a new weapon. Social media. Today our agency has launched a new integrated campaign for the Michigan Department of Community Health which includes an online pledge, mobile messages, emails, a facebook community, tv, radio, interactive and grassroots support. It’s called MI Healthier Tomorrow.
The campaign is focused on getting those of us with a muffin top to take a pledge to lose 10% of our body weight, share it with friends and engage in ongoing support. Losing just 10% of body weight can reduce the risk of chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. In focus groups we learned that putting that message front and center was the most powerful way to inspire people to make long term change. I am really proud of our creative, account and media team and our wonderful clients at MDCH for the amazing collaboration on this effort. It has been a privilege for me to work on this campaign, as I have been fighting my own battle of the bagels for years. I have lost almost 60 pounds making small lifestyle changes over the last two years. And I am taking the MI Healthier Tomorrow pledge as a commitment to continue to reach my goal. Will you join me and take the pledge to lose 10%? Bathing suit season is around the corner…
At Facebook HQ today, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new and improved search engine tool “Graph Search” for Facebook. This tool allows you to search for particular information within your social graphs.
The main goal of Graph Search is to return an answer, not list a bunch of links in the form of a web search. In the initial version of Graph Search there will be four main areas of focus: People, Photo, Places and Interests. Bing has teamed up with Facebook to make Graph Search a unique and useful tool.
The improvements to the search engine will optimize the way we search for information on Facebook. If you are in Chicago and want to find friends who live in the area to make plans, you can ask a question such as “Which of my friends live in Chicago?” It will then pull up your friends listed in the area. The search engine tool is also able to rank your friends based on the interaction you have had with them, so the more interaction you have with your friends, the higher they will rank.
You are also able to search for things that your friends like. For example, you can search “My friends who like Smash and The Bachelor” to pull up a list of friends who have similar interests. It works the same way for the people search (which definitely will come in handy the next time you meet a really cute guy at Stacy’s party but cannot remember his last name). All you would do is search “People named Joe who are friends with Stacy”.
If you are thinking of trying out a new restaurant, you are able to view everyone who has been to that restaurant. However, it would even better if you could also rank the quality of your experience – like you can on Yelp. This way if a friend on Facebook can’t decide between two places to go, they can just check out the ranking as well on Facebook. Maybe this feature is coming in the future?
This update will most likely be a more resourceful tool for marketers than everyday users because; it will make it easier to find out the likes and interests of their target audience. This can then help make advertisements appear more personal and targeted toward the fans. On the upside for everyday users, it will make “Facebook stalking” much easier.
After testing out Graph Search I’ve noticed that the update is much more direct and saves time as opposed to the old search on Facebook. Want to try it for yourself? The Graph Search Beta is currently limited but you can join the wait list to be one of the first users to test it out.
What do you think about the new Graph Search? Is it a helpful, useful tool for Facebook users and marketers alike?
How well does Proctor & Gamble understand how to market to women? They invented the Soap Opera. P & G has always been out in front scouring for new products and new ways to help a woman keep house and keep groomed. And over the years, they have become a global powerhouse housing so many brands that are a part of the fabric of our daily life. Like who knew P&G owned Dolce & Gabbana? So it’s no surprise that one of the best integrated brand campaigns this year came from Proctor & Gamble. Their Proud Sponsors of Moms campaign was a brilliant idea and executed wonderfully as they were one of the first big players to integrate the new social media flavor of the day, Pinterest. This campaign launched prior to the Olympics. It made moms the heroes doing Olympian feats everyday as they hurdle over work deadlines, dinner quandaries, homework queries and leap over laundry baskets. It’s emotional and really connects to women. And anyone who has a mom. Which is all of us.
Want to see more, check out my first post in my series 20 examples of marketing to women that connects.
There will always be those woman-only products that you can market without giving men a second thought: maxi-pads, push-up bras, remedies for PMS, etc. Similarly, some products can be marketed to men and men alone—aftershave, athletic supporters, and so forth. But as men’s and women’s roles become less rigidly defined, there are fewer and fewer such products. This presents both new opportunities and new headaches for advertisers.
Case in point: Miller beer. Their Miller64, the lightest of the light beers, is considered by many men to be a “chick beer” (not to be confused with Chick Beer, an actual brand of beer marketed directly to women). To give an idea of what Miller is up against in marketing Miller64, one YouTube commenter, having seen a 2009 TV spot for the beer, scoffed, “Real beer for real men, none of that watery nonsense.” Yet Miller apparently believes there is a male market for this beer, men who care about watching their weight.
So what to do? Scantily clad babes and he-man hunting trips will only turn off women consumers. But many men are loath to even admit they count calories, let alone drink a “girl” beer. Miller’s answer: hide the low-cal, light lifestyle message in a manly drinking song that sounds like something drunken pirates would bellow on the open seas. The lyrics are modern enough:
We run a mile before breakfast
Sure, I had a salad for lunch
But a Miller 64 at dinner
Oh yes 'cause I've worked on my paunch
But the melody and the voices are pure testosterone.
The folks at Yoplait answered their man/woman marketing dilemma in a different way: they simply made two different commercials. Today’s new dad doesn’t just mow the lawn and work on the family car. He’s a kinder, gentler dad, who shops for groceries and even packs the kids’ lunches. Which is why Yoplait needs not just one but two different spots for their Gogurt squeezable yogurt tubes. One spot claims that “Moms who get it, get Gogurt,” and the other, “Dads who get it, get Gogurt.”
Note, however, that despite their enlightened approach, Yoplait can’t quite resist falling back on the tried and true “clueless dad” trope; unlike the perfectionist, über-efficient Mom, Dad requires a full pad of sticky notes to remind him to pack Gogurt into the kids’ lunches, including one from his wife (who still knows best, after all).
Clearly, when it comes to marketing one product to both men and women, advertisers are still feeling their way. Is it possible to effectively market to women and men with one spot? Or do you think Yoplait has the right idea?
When it comes to award-winning marketing to women creative, Nike has just been doing it right for decades. When I was a young copywriter I would study my award books like textbooks. I took notes on the inspirational copy from the Nike women’s campaigns in the 80’s. I put the ads on my bulletin board in homage of just how culturally powerful marketing could be. I wished I had written that Super Bowl spot that set a new generation of girls on fire to what they could achieve. From the female phenoms to the girls next store, Nike always understood the female audience and how their brand could inspire, empower and move generations of women to kick ass. It was never so much about the products themselves, but for what they stood for. Culturally, the Nike women’s marketing challenged gender roles and society’s rules. I have always admired the concepts, the copy and the sheer commitment to the audience over the years. Nike’s marketing to women advertising continues to inspire me as a creative and as a woman. I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.
Want to see more, check out my first post in my series 20 examples of marketing to women that connects.