Happy Holidays, from CBC

What are the holidays about, exactly? “The holidays” – in quotes, mind you – have extended beyond certain days, say Christmas day or the days of Hannukah, to an entire season, one which seems to begin just after Halloween.

To many, they are about ritual of faith and the celebration of religious beliefs. According to many of our favorite, classic stories, the holidays are about love and a spirit of gratitude and compassion.  To a great many, the holiday season is simply about family and friends coming together.

Wherein lies our duty, as marketers, to chime in and support the holiday season commercially? Or are we in fact the creators of the holiday season itself, falling victim to the Valentine’s Day-as-created-by-Hallmark accusation?

Regardless, we can surely say that whatever the excuse is, we’re glad to be a part of it. We’re glad to be a part of the industry that creates such timeless holiday campaigns as the Coca Cola polar bears campaign (below). We’re glad, too, to be a part of the industry producing new advertising gems like Anna Kendrick’s commercial series for Kate Spade (below), or Gap’s post-Thanksgiving interactive digital shopping experience that gives shoppers insight into what their clothes “do” through a series of short films.

Above all, we’re glad to be a part of the industry that exalts the warmth of and the meaning for, whatever yours may be, the holiday season through great and innovative marketing.

Happy holidays — from us at CBC, to you and yours.

 

Hello ELLO

Simple. Beautiful. And ad-free?

Ever feel like your social media feeds are completely overrun with advertisements for products that, eeriliy, you have recently searched for? It happens to the best of us – and it is no coincidence.

Ello wants to change that. The new platform was originally created by a group of seven artists and programmers as a private social media network, but when word got out (as it typically does in our fast-moving digital world) they decided to release it to the public. As of right now, Ello is invite only, and playing “hard to get” seems to be working for it – Ello is now one of the web’s most exclusive social networking sites.

Luckily, Ello has promised to never change its mission. It is a USA Public Benefit Corporation, which makes it impossible to ever sell ads or its users’ data. The best part of it all? Ello is completely free to use! It exhibits a more artistic, raw side of social networking that other channels don’t have, explaining in its manifesto that the creators believe in “beauty, simplicity, and transparency.”

It’s difficult to say this early on whether or not Ello will succeed as a social networking site without interplaying with advertisers. But let’s say Ello takes off, skyrockets into popularity, surpasses Facebook and Instagram, perhaps… Where does this leave the future of social advertising? What happens to social media marketing if our target audience is part of a club where no brands are allowed?

To see what the site is all about, request an invite by visiting the Ello Home Page. And then, tell us what you think!

ello

Image courtesy of Ello’s home page

Lululemon “Exercises” Good Judgment

Remember that controversial statement that propelled Lululemon from fame to infamy? Well, the dust has finally settled and the issue has been set aside and forgiven. More importantly, though, this has given the brand an enormous opportunity to redeem itself in the public eye. And, luckily for Lulu, we think they’re doing it.

Upon broadening its men’s apparel collection, the fitness and athletic wear company has opened its first menswear store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood just last week. (In fact, in a daring move, the store opened on Black Friday. We pity its employees’ first day on the job!)

Lululemon has also recently launched a successful holiday campaign, #givepresence. The featured video shows popular figures in meditation, fitness, personal health, and more speaking to the power of disconnecting from technology and slowing from the fast pace lifestyle we’re used to. Check it out below.

With nearly 3.5 million views in under three weeks, the #givepresence campaign video has successfully spread its message. And as for the SoHo men’s store, it’s by no means excluding the Lulu-ladies: there is a womenswear store slated to open up across the street.

These two moves—the holiday campaign and menswear retail location—mark a positive direction for the brand. Moving beyond the backlash against last year’s criticisms from Lulu’s then-CEO, the brand is using its clout in the fitness lifestyle industry to convey encouraging messages to rejuvenate the public’s perception.

We think it’s safe to say Lululemon is no longer sweating the small stuff.